Meet the ingredients taking hair care to the next level

By Julia Wray | Published: 16-Oct-2023

From vegan ‘keratin’ ingredients to novel scalp saviours, here are the ingredients behind your future hair care hits

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Hair care is one of the freshest categories in beauty.

Exciting new formats and claims span lamellar waters (L’Oréal brands), pre-wash treatments (Color Wow, JVN, R&Co) and ‘dry’ conditioners (Batiste).

Spurred by continued category innovation, hair care is expected to reach US$104.60bn by 2028 globally, according to Mordor Intelligence.

But where can hair care go next?

In this article, Cosmetics Business explores the latest materials in the specialty ingredients sector for a glimpse into how our tresses might be treated going forward.

Plant-based strength and protection

Keratin, an essential protein in the structure of hair, has long been used as an ingredient in hair strengthening products.

Made up of long chains of amino acids, specifically cysteine, it forms a protective sheath around the hair shaft, but this depletes as a result of styling and other external stressors.

Like human hair, keratin is animal derived.

However, cosmetic ingredients companies are making it easier for formulators to achieve strengthening effects with non-animal materials.

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