As the microbiome takes a beauty focus, scalp care can take note

As the microbiome takes a beauty focus, scalp care can take note

Andrew McDougall, Global Haircare Analyst, Mintel

Products that maintain healthy skin flora are in the spotlight and can address a multitude of scalp and hair issues. This means that an opportunity is opening up for hair brands to take a microbiome approach in order to specifically address scalp health concerns, help consumers to diagnose their scalp condition and promote probiotics to maintain a healthy balance.

As the microbiome is stepping into the spotlight in skincare, haircare brands should extend this interest to the scalp and clearly communicate the benefits. The dermal biome plays a big part in overall health and wellness and could keep the scalp clear and itch-free, leaving hair strong, clean, shiny and vibrant. On the contrary, a compromised biome can cause dryness and irritation, impairing follicles, making hair fragile, dull and easily damaged.

Brands should look at how the microbiome is being addressed in the skincare category, and adapt this for the hair/scalp, to appeal to health-conscious consumers. Scientific advances have opened up new opportunities for innovation, and more consumers are starting to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy skin microbiome. In terms of the scalp and hair, brands can make claims around preventing moisture loss, regulating body temperature, protecting against infection, and creating a healthy habitat for the microbiome.

Haircare brands should link scalp health to hair quality, as this will attract more interest. Consumers are more likely to use scalp care products to treat problems like dandruff and itchiness, rather than hair problems like frizz or breakage, because brands tend to emphasise the scalp-related benefits in marketing communications. But by linking it with hair quality they can extend the segment to hair problems as well as scalp ones.

We have seen recent studies show the importance of a stable bacterial and fungal community on the scalp as well as showing how probiotics can help with hair loss, so this also opens the door for brands to explore this avenue. By using these types of products on the scalp/hair, brands can promote healthy hair and also combat certain scalp concerns that may be troubling consumers. Using terminology that we are familiar with in health, wellness, and now even skincare, this topic could become a really intriguing one in hair.


Andrew McDougall will host a presentation on Skincare for hair: how drawing inspiration from skincare trends can boost scalp care on 19th September, 12.30-13:15 at the Marketing Trends Theatre, at in-cosmetics Latin America


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