HJ’s Five Big Hair Product Trends of 2018

by charlottegw / last updated December 2, 2018

hair product trends

As we compiled our HJ Hot List this year (it’s our monthly round up of latest launches – check it out in HJ if you haven’t seen it!), we began to notice some hair product trends cropping up again and again. So from vegan haircare to anti-pollution products, this Season of Giving we are gifting you with the five big product innovations of 2018. (Thank you cards not necessary.) 

Haircare that thinks it’s skincare
In 2018 clients were treating their tresses the same way they looked after their complexions. Namely a serum here, an exfoliator there and even a sheet mask (shout out to Redken‘s All Soft Mega Sheet Hair Mask which dropped at the beginning of the year). We also saw a trend for haircare that harnessed ingredients traditionally used in skincare. For example, Schwarzkopf’s BC Bonacure range hit the market and contained hyaluronic acid and micellar water. The six lines in the range sounded more like products you’d find in the skincare shelf of your local pharmacy, for example Peptide Repair Rescue, Q10+ Time Restore and Collagen Volume Boost. Continuing the skincare trend, bespoke cocktailing proved a hit in the hair world too. TIGI Copyright Care Boosters (a range of three targeted lines such as Shine and Repair) launched in the summer which gave stylists the opportunity to give clients a more personalised treatment at the backwash by adding the boosters to the Custom Care Treatment Base. 

Vegan-friendly haircare
In 2018, it’s fair to say veganism went mainstream. From the explosion of non-dairy alternative milks to vegan fast food joints popping up, the UK got increasingly more vegan-friendly. The haircare market was ahead of the curve. Swedish brand Maria Nila, a 100% vegan haircare range, became available at Sally Salon Services this year and L’Oréal Professionnel launched Botanea, a 100% herbal hair colour made with sustainably-sourced vegan ingredients. Insight got their Vegan OK stamp of approval – a label which people are increasingly looking for seeing that latest figures show there are 3.5 million vegans in the UK. Advances in the sustainability field deserve a mention too – L’Oréal Professionnel Source Essentielle range is housed in square-shaped packaging which holds the maximum amount of product in the minimum amount of plastic.

hair product trends

Bringing the heat
The innovation in the hot tools market went seriously technical. One of the biggest launches of the year came courtesy of ghd. The Platinum+ Styler hit the market in September and claimed to be the world’s first straightener that could predict the needs of hair. In short, it is able to take into account the thickness and thinness of the hair that’s being styled and determines the amount of heat needed so hair isn’t subjected to unnecessary heat. Cloud Nine’s limited edition Project Alchemy range was designed to suit an array of hair types. Their mineral-coated ceramic surfaces minimise the risk of snagging and also feature variable temperature gauges to suit an array of textures. A mention should also go to the Dyson Air Wrap Styler. Six years of product development, £24 million in research, 103 granted patents and 170 patents pending culminated in a hair styler that was able to create everything from beachy waves to bouncy blow-dries, using nothing but air.

Scalp spa treatments
This was the year ‘scalp facial’ came into common salon parlance. Despite the area having been previously been treated with medical-sounding products, this year scalp care was actually treated with luxurious masks, exfoliators and in-salon treatments. The Philip Kingsley Stimulating Scalp Mask proved a hit in salons up and down the country – an intensive anti-dandruff treatment that helped to soothe and clear the scalp of any flakes or irritation. Similarly the Oribe Serene Scalp range, which consists of a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment, helped soothe scalps while being in-keeping with the brand’s luxe image. The targeted leave-on treatment with soothing mint and cucumber extracts added to the idea of beautifying and pampering the scalp rather than ‘medicating’ it. 

hair product trends shelf

Anti-pollution products
The Oxford Dictionary chose ‘toxic’ as their word of the year and there’s no doubt that this highlights the world’s engagement in environmental issues. Indeed, a slew of hair products launched this year with anti-pollution benefits at their heart. For example Alter Ego Urban Proof Shampoo cleanses with charcoal which acts like a ‘magnet’ absorbing sebum and smog away from the hair and scalp. Similarly Philip Martin’s Moringa System was designed for clients living in urban areas and harnesses plant and botanical extracts which help absorb everyday toxins from city smog and fine dust.


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