Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman locked in a doorless and stairless tower, unable to escape. One day, fate would have a handsome prince walk through the woods nearby, and he would listen to the melodious voice of Rapunzel as she sang the hours away. The prince was instantly attracted to the beautiful voice and wanted to know from where it came. Eventually, he found Rapunzel’s tower, but he could not find a way inside without a door. The prince soon realized that the only way he could reach Rapunzel was to climb to the top. He did not have a rope, so the prince called out, “Rapunzel let your braid fall”, and she dropped her long and delicate braid down the side of the tower for the prince. After many adventures, they managed to be together forever.

The new hair classification: After all this time, Rapunzel continues to inspire us into the 21st century with the styling trends she presents us. Our modern Rapunzel lives in many countries, where she shows us her beautiful hair in different shapes and styles. Traditionally, science has stated that there are ten types of hair fibres, from completely smooth hair to curly and curly wavy hair.

Traditional classification of hair types.

 However, hair-needs have segmented the market, and we now see new hair classifications beyond the traditional ‘normal’, ‘dry’, ‘oily’, ‘dyed’, ‘coarse’ and ‘fine’ hair types. A report published last year indicates that there may, in fact, be 27 hair types if we are to consider the differences across hair density (low, medium, thick), hair diameter (thin, medium, thick fiber), hair porosity (high, medium, low), hair fat level (fatty, mixed, dry), hair elasticity (high, medium, low) and hair fiber type (12 classes). Hair is also classifiable by colour, culture, climatic and genetic aspects, which takes us to a whole new world in products, finished looks and trends.


Glass Hair: We are in an era of daring looks, and glass hair is a very trendy style in several regions. It consists of a sharp cut, with a completely polished, soft and very bright appearance (simulating the reflecting qualities of glass). The trend is reflected in the launch of specific products, such as oils, that helps to maintain style.


Tomboy hairstyle: This is a cool and comfortable style for the summer. The tomboy look hardly requires any work. Wash, let dry, and it is ready. This masculine style goes a step further because it reinvents itself in a longer version, especially in the contours and the neck. It is an androgynous style.


Smoky pink: It is this year’s juicy inspired trend with pink tones derived from classic strawberry colour, mixed with blond tones.


Cherry blonde: Juicy trend from this year with pink tones derived from classic strawberry colour, mixed with blond tones.


Salon power: The beauty parlour environment tends to become a more intense experience. Consumers usually prefer to leave their hair to expert hands at the parlour. Thus, many trends are generated here. The region is going through the “Salon Evolution” creating places that offer a great experience, including synesthetic concepts.

Augmented Haireality: Artificial intelligence applied to hair topics is a great opportunity to advance in the personalization of beauty. You can use augmented reality to find the desired look before cutting, colour choice, hairstyle and work in the beauty parlour, thanks to the use of new applications in smart mirrors and mobile devices. Using this tool, you can predict colours, shapes and styles before making the change.

Dry Hair Masks: Now the new hair masks are dry and in leave-on format. An interesting trend in which the formula is applied on dry hair and brushed, before going to sleep. In the morning, the hair should be brushed, but not washed, allowing the maintenance of the hairstyle and style.

Volume-Enhancing Hair Products: Thickening and volume-enhancing are trending claims. The idea is to make the hair look denser and with more volume. We are seeing thickened hair sprays in the market (in genderless concept), they are ideal for making thin hair look thicker. The technology is based on polymers that wrap the hair to improve its appearance.

Sustainable styling: In the market, we are seeing the launch of a wide variety of polymers for styling with a large percentage of natural origin and involving concepts of sustainability. These are exciting launches because the performance of synthetic polymers is very good, and the challenge is to have a similar performance with new materials of natural origin. And what trends would the prince of Rapunzel follow in the 21st century? I would determine he is an athlete and a soccer fan, and therefore, a follower of the trends we see in sports events.

White hair – fashionable in the Copa América soccer cup: Players become fashion references during world championships. In July 2019, the event came to an end, and we were struck by the prominent use of white dye, resembling grey hair and in some cases with golden highlights. In general, we saw silver, white and gold were trending. The players that marked this trend were Sergio Agüero and Nicolás Otamendi from Argentina, the Uruguayan Nicolás Lodeiro, the Peruvian Raúl Ruidíaz and the Venezuelans Yeferson Solteldo and Yangel Herrera.


Shaved shapes: This is an interesting trend that we see in the different cities of Latin America daily. Barbers continue to be increasingly creative and innovative. The scalp is the new canvas. We are seeing styles that include different types of gradients, fades, arcs and fine lines.


Spiky hair: The spikes and tips are back. The cosmetic formulations used for these styles should provide texture and volume, and we see trends in materials such as clay, ointments and fibre.

What’s next – hair colour for young men: This trend is interesting because in some regions the use of hair dyes is decreasing because women prefer a natural appearance. In England, this category is growing dynamically in the 16 to 24 years segment (4 out of 10 men use hair dyes). Celebrities and personalities in social networks play an important role in the selection of tones, colours and looks.


Rapunzel and the prince will live happily and will be in force for many more years, always in fashion and followers of the trends that inspire us to innovate in cosmetics!

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John Jiménez is a pharmacist from National University of Colombia with a master's in sustainable development and specialization studies in marketing, cosmetic science and neuromarketing. He has 30 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation. He has been the recipient of the Maison G. de Navarre Prize (IFSCC USA 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC USA 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He also has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America. Since 2019, he has written a trends column for In-Cosmetics connect, Since 2013 a trends column for Cosmetics & Toiletries Brazil and since 2020, a column on neuromarketing for Eurocosmetics. He also has authored and co-authored articles and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. Jiménez additionally served as president of Accytec Bogotá (2017-2019). He joined Belcorp in 2005 and currently is Senior Researcher for skin care, suncare and personal care categories. Before joining Belcorp, he worked in Laboratorios Esko, Whitehall AH Robins and Fresenius Medical Care in Colombia.

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