This health-centric approach to personal care is accelerating the existing scalp care trend, which according to the company, began in Japan a decade ago.
Since then, dedicated scalp care products like serums and exfoliators have hit the market, reinforcing the scalp care as part of the hair care routine.
The driving force behind this market trend was the increasing demand for scalp care in APAC countries. According to a Mintel report, 47% of Chinese consumers a healthy scalp is an essential to healthy hair.
“Scalp health especially is growing in importance as consumers realise a healthy scalp is the basis of healthy hair. There is a rising demand for products to minimise hair damage – such as less aggressive hair colouring and dry shampoo to avoid washing the hair too often,” said Dr. Christina Pickel, study manager at Mibelle Biochemistry.
Pickel added that the interests in hair health and scalp care were expected to be further fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The psycho-emotional stress caused by the pandemic surely affects health in general and also impacts on scalp and hair. Therefore, consumers are getting more concerned with stress-related hair loss and scalp inflammations, which will likely be reflected by an increase in scalp care products.”
To tap on this trend, the company has launched SantEnergy, an ingredient it claims can delay the ageing of hair follicles while increases both hair growth and hair density.
Pickel said the firm’s latest ingredient was inspired by past research on the damaging impact of reactive oxidative species and UV radiation on hair follicles.
“This supports our notion that healthy hair strongly depends on a healthy root, so we sought to develop an active ingredient which helps protect hair follicles from the harmful influences of oxidative stress.”
The active ingredient is based on a polyphenol-rich extract from Yerba Santa, a plant native to the Pacific Coast of North America, known as the holy herb or mountain balm.
It has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and neuroprotective effects, which the firm said can ‘energise’ hair follicles and promote hair growth.
According to Mibelle, the efficacy of SantEnergy to reduce hair loss was tested in a clinical study involving 56 volunteers.
It found that the active ingredient could increase of anagen hair by 31.8% and decrease telogen hair by 20%. Overall, hair density increased by 13.1% after five months of treatment.
“As hair and scalp care has become a trend in many regions, we are happy to have launched an ingredient that helps to maintain healthy and strong hair by reducing the damage to hair follicles. This ingredient can be incorporated in many types of formulations and product lines, and further serves trends such as sustainable beauty and preservative-free formulating,” said Pickel.
Pickel said the scalp health trend was “here to stay” and the firm saw potential in investigating the scalp microbiome to develop more specialised products for the scalp.
For instance, she highlighted that hair supplements are likely to gain prominence as the beauty-from-within trend gains tractions in APAC.
“In the future we may see a more holistic approach to hair care, for example, beauty supplements will gain more importance due to the beauty-from-inside trend. Besides ‘clean’, sustainable and effective, biotechnological ingredients will become more sought after.”