Trisha Bhattacharya
Trisha is an Insight Analyst – India at Mintel, and is responsible for providing clients with cutting-edge insights, thought-provoking opinion and strategies, with a focus on the Indian market.

Indian consumers continue to follow a basic haircare regime which includes using products such as oil and shampoo. However, rising awareness of different haircare routines, hair spas, and the benefits of scalp treatments has opened up a host of opportunities for beauty and personal care brands to upgrade their products.

The focus for many Indian haircare consumers today is centered around concerns about pollution, hair loss, and UV rays. Besides building credibility with basic benefits like nourishing and smoothing, brands are now expected to embrace advanced benefits such as revitalising and hydrating while utilising clever combinations of plant-based ingredients. Here, we take a look at three haircare trends that can help brands in India gain a competitive edge.

Define treatment in basic products

Due to hectic lifestyles, consumers are showing an increased interest in maintaining their hair with minimum effort. Consumers’ natural inclination towards oil and shampoo and demand for multiple benefits in a single product is causing a shift beyond basic products to more advanced haircare categories like conditioners and styling agents.

Gatsby Care Anti-Dandruff Treatment Hair Cream
This product is described as a smoothening and softening cream that helps reduce dandruff flakes and itchiness and is enriched with vitamin E and B5, as well as a conditioning agent to keep hair healthy with a natural shine. It features a fresh, spicy, citrus fragrance; the formula is also said to leave hair easy to restyle, without giving a stiff feeling.

Evolina Herbal Hair Oil
This product features a scalp nourishing formula and claims to prevent hair fall. The formula contains sesame oil that acts as a hair vitaliser, amla to strengthen hair, bhringraj and a natural conditioner jatamansi, which is beneficial for smooth, silky and healthy hair and promotes hair growth.

Strengthen protection claims against external factors

Increased concerns about air pollution are driving consumer interest in pollution-proof claims in the scalp care and haircare category. Products with functional ingredients like antioxidants that protect against UV rays, heat and pollution will redefine the haircare segment in India. In fact, two in five Indian consumers say that pollution impacts hair appearance, which opens significant opportunities for brands to mitigate these growing concerns.

Charak Moha 5 in 1 Hair Oil
This hair oil claims to offer complete care for hair and scalp, and features various oil blends to solve five hair problems, including preventing premature greying, controlling hair fall, stimulating hair growth, reducing split ends, and eliminating dandruff. This rinse-off ayurvedic product is enriched with coconut, almond, jojoba, rosemary and argan.

Ogx Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Extra Penetrating Oil
This product features argan oil from Morocco, specially formulated for coarse, dry and damaged hair. It claims to help penetrate, moisturise, revive and create softness and strength while restoring lustre and protecting hair from harmful styling heat and UV damage.

Use natural hero ingredients

The natural trend has been popular in haircare for several years in India. Veganism is also growing in popularity and, for many consumers, vegan products are considered natural. For these consumers, interest in products that include plant and vegetable ingredients is also on the rise. This consumer perception of plant-based ingredients being healthy and natural makes it an emerging claim. Haircare brands can take advantage of the vegan trend by launching plant-based products or incorporating trusted natural ingredients like coconut and olive into current formulations.

Earthy Sapo Shikakai & Multani Shampoo Bar
This product is said to be formulated with herbs including shikakai, multani mitti, coconut milk, aloe vera, bhringraj, rosemary, amla, hibiscus flower, methi, brahmi and neem for effective cleansing and hair strengthening. It is said to contain glycerine, which is said to attract moisture and leaves skin and hair softer.

Arata Zero Chemicals Hair Cream
This hair cream is said to be packed with the natural goodness of organic flax seeds and olive extracts and claims to yield salon-like hair without damaging it. This non-toxic, non-flaking formula is made with natural ingredients to maintain and promote healthy hair and is free from parabens or chemicals.