Pongpera Mitradarmbidhaks
Pongpera is Mintel's Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst based in Thailand and is responsible for analysing and providing insights into the Thai beauty market and consumer trends.

Thailand, a tropical country, is hot and humid year-round with subtle differences between seasons. However, the summer months can produce particularly harsh heat. In fact, last summer, Thailand experienced the hottest summer in the past 30 years, with temperatures soaring to 43 degrees celsius in certain regions.

As a result, Thai consumers have become more conscious of the effects of the weather on their hair, and summer has since become a critical period for brands to explore and innovate new products that help consumers get through this new extreme.

The ‘cool’ factor

Consumers have many different ways to cool off, but when it comes to their hair, excessive sweat can lead to a lot of discomfort. According to Mintel research, the majority of Thai consumers wash their hair at least a few times per week to avoid this problem.

Consumers expect an instant sensorial experience, with many buying shampoos that can help them feel refreshed. In fact, as Mintel research indicates, over a third of Thai consumers buy cooling haircare products to feel refreshed in the summer.

While cooling sensations have long been associated with men’s shampoo, it is important for brands to find innovative ways to showcase a superior level of cooling to differentiate from the crowd. Moreover, cooling shampoo in women’s anti-dandruff shampoo has now started to emerge in Thailand. However, it is important for companies and brands to merge the sensation with the top sought-after benefits, such as damage care.

Head & Shoulders Sub Zero Sensation Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The shampoo features ‘the coolest formula ever’ that is said to keep the scalp free from dandruff and itch, while giving an intense cooling effect of -5°C.

Clear Men Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Nourishing Shampoo
Specially designed for men, it is said to be formulated with Bio Nutrium 10 complex, which is a combination of vitamins, hair nutrients, and natural plant extracts, to deeply nourish the scalp and provide long-lasting dandruff protection. It also features a cooling mint with cooling power that leaves the scalp and hair with 0° cooling sensation.

Opportunity to explore added benefits

Intensifying summer heat leads to more than just demand for cooling products. Last year in Thailand, UV index awareness was promoted to keep consumers informed and to help them suitably protect themselves from the sun. Some of the suggested recommendations included avoiding direct sunlight exposure at certain times, wearing sunglasses and hats, applying sunscreen, and so on.

As a result, there is a possibility of behavioural changes among consumers, for example, wearing a hat for a longer period. This presents a need for brands to identify how these may impact hair and scalp conditions. For instance, brands can define what UV rays or excessive exposure to indoor air conditioning can do to hair; these effects can springboard future product development.

With a lot of shampoo launches being timed around summer, it is important that brands identify white space and explore different consumer needs in the summer competition. Brands have an opportunity to launch innovative marketing campaigns to induce trial among consumers. For example, Sunsilk in its campaign transformed UV from being a beauty enemy to a beauty enhancer – using it as a tool to showcase shine-increasing properties in shampoo, which is so effective that it reflects the sunlight.

Sunsilk Natural Sakura & Raspberry Shine & Soft Shampoo
This product contains nutrients from Japanese sakura and Canadian raspberry seed oil and is for coarse, unlively, and dull hair. According to the manufacturer, the sakura symbolises Japanese precious beauty and nourishment, while the raspberry seed oil is said to help protect against UV rays. The shampoo has been designed to leave hair soft and dazzling shiny all day.

Botanist Botanical Chill Smooth Pear & Leaf Green Shampoo
The silicone- and synthetic colourant-free formula offers a cooling and relaxing fragrance of pear and leaf green and a cooling sensation; and the botanical summer chill complex helps repair dry hair caused by summer heat, and leave the hair smooth, moisturised and glossy.