In China, 54% of adults think that scalp health is one of the top three most important factors in hair health (Mintel, 2020). Attitudes to hair care are becoming more like skin care; consumers are recognizing that the scalp is an extension of facial skin. This is particularly the case in Asian markets, which in light of the dominance of K-beauty’s ‘skin is everything’ philosophy, consumers are looking for products that nourish the scalp and strengthen follicles. However, Asian hair has distinct qualities; therefore, hair care brands have to tailor formulas to create the best shampoo for Asian hair and scalps.
When it comes to meeting consumer demands in powerful Asian markets, hair care brands have to navigate a complex landscape. However, considering the pace of growth in South East Asia – not to mention the already booming markets in China, Japan, and Korea – there are opportunities in Asian hair care that can’t be ignored.
K-beauty to K-hair: An already powerful market is getting bigger
The global influence of South Korean beauty and skin care trends is already phenomenal – and this is extending to hair care. K-beauty is all about exacting, multi-step skin care, and the hair and scalp are becoming integrated into these rituals. This year, 21% of South Koreans aged over 18 added a new step to their hair care routine in the last three months (Mintel, 2020).
Natural and ethical are key characteristics of brands that are taking off in K-hair. New product launches feature powerful natural extracts like rosemary and green tea, with a particular emphasis on ethical sourcing. This is an astute move from brands looking to appeal to powerful Korean consumers, 33% of which say they are interested in brands with sustainable practices (Mintel, 2020).
However, the standout trend is an emphasis on scalp care. We’ve already mentioned that Koreans are incorporating the scalp into their broader skin care ritual. Now, 15% of new hair care products in Korea have an anti-hair loss claim, which is triple that of three years ago (Mintel, 2020). Anti-hair loss products that focus on the scalp microbiome are a particularly interesting offering, tapping into Korea’s demand for medical or supplement-grade personal care products.
New opportunities in South East Asia
Although K-beauty’s influence is global, its sway over nearby nations in South East Asia is significant. South East Asian consumers have leaned into Korean skin ideals, routines, and ingredients, and this is extending to a concern with scalp health. Responding to this demand is an important opportunity: especially as the beauty market in South East Asia is set to inflate by 5% over the next year alone. Alongside greater internet and social media penetration at 65 and 63% respectively, brands have a unique opportunity to reach new customers (Mintel, 2020).
However, understanding the specificities of these markets is absolutely key. Asian hair care has its own sensibilities, especially when it comes to products associated with scalp care. In comparison to Caucasian hair, Asian hair is less dense. This means there fewer hairs per square inch on the scalp, which can make the hair appear fine, in spite of the fact that the shaft in Asian hair types tends to be stronger and more resistant to breakage. Subsequently, Asian consumers are particularly concerned with making their hair appear fuller and thicker, with greater vitality.
Creating the best shampoo for Asian hair
There’s no doubt that the Asian hair care market presents a substantial opportunity for brands. However, they need to pitch Asian hair care products right. This means catering to the specific requirements of Asian hair texture: the best shampoo for Asian hair will respond to key consumer concerns, such as thickness and density. Equally, brands need to heed key market trends; Asian consumers are increasingly concerned with scalp health as an extension of the skin. They want products that strengthen and protect, nourishing the follicle to reduce hair loss.
In response to the rising concern around scalp health, Provital created Kerascalp™. Harnessing the power of Phyllanthus Emblica, commonly known as Indian gooseberry, this ingredient targets hair follicles to prevent miniaturization. This process encourages hair growth, visibly improving the quality and thickness of the hair. This maintains the proliferative state in the hair bulb, thereby enhancing thickness and density – a particular concern amongst Asian consumers.
When it comes to formulating the best shampoo for Asian hair, this emphasis on scalp health and hair density makes Kerascalp™ a compelling potential component for scalp-nourishing products. Furthermore, Kerascalp™ is COSMOS certified – responding to the consumer demand for ethically sourced products.