Technicolor dream colour hair: Trends and formulations

From ammonia-free formulas to the recent surge of fashion colours, cosmetic scientist and hair care expert RJW Hefford discusses hair colour trends and their impact on the way we formulate

It has been seven long years since I ventured into print to talk about hair colouring products.

The reason for this is that the technology contained within this product type does not change very quickly and it was all getting a bit boring.

However, it seems about time I had another look; the marketing of hair colour has certainly changed somewhat recently, as has ownership of two of the major brands.

While having a look at the hair colour market I can also see how much (or not) the technology has progressed.

In this article I will concentrate primarily on the retail hair colouring market.


Who's on top?

At a top level not much has changed; the UK market, for example, is still dominated by the large multinationals: L'Oréal with Garnier; Henkel-owned Schwarzkopf; and Wella and Clairol.

The last two brands were recently purchased by Coty from Procter & Gamble, which seemingly decided that hair colouring was not part of its core business after all.

If you go into any major high street store you will see that the retail business is still dominated by permanent colour products in boxes with nice headshots generally supplied by the large multinationals already mentioned.

However, some other, perhaps less significant brands have survived over the past seven years, including Precision Foam Colour by John Frieda (Kao), which will be discussed later.

What has perhaps changed the most is an upsurge in . . .

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