The demand for gray hair coverage displaced the anti-hair loss trend, which was the top demand for consumers until last year, said Chon Sangchul, business manager of Seppic Korea.
Chon explained that this evolution highlights the ever-increasing importance of health among Korean consumers, pointing to the stronger correlation between health and beauty.
The emphasis on health has also been influenced by the clean beauty movement, which has permeated the Korean personal care landscape, influencing skin care, makeup and now hair care.
In particular, the clean beauty and health movement is fueling the demand for silicone-free hair care products.
“The silicone-free hair care trend is one of the most important trends in Korea, because the big trend is clean beauty, which is about health, safety and consideration for the environment,”Chon said.
As such, silicone-free alternatives are becoming increasingly important to the burgeoning Korean hair care market.
“The hair care market in Korea is really growing more than ever. Hair care, including shampoo, treatments and leave-on [products] grow fast’, Chon said.
This pushes cosmetic players to find an alternative to silicone, but given its formulation power, especially in hair care, it has been difficult to find real alternatives.
“The problem is that most silicone-free alternatives don’t provide the same performance as silicone. It’s very hard to replace,” Chon said.
Recently, Seppic has developed a new emollient, Emogreen HP40, which it claims can replace silicone ingredients such as cyclomethicone, dimethiconol and dimenthicone in hair care formulations.
According to the company’s own trials, the bio-based emollient provides protection against heat damage and preserves keratin. Equally important, the silicone alternative offers the same sensory performance as dimethiconol and dimethicone.
Chon expressed his excitement to push the product into the K-beauty market, noting that it had already garnered some positive feedback from customers.
It can be applied to a wide variety of hair care products, from shampoos and conditioners to treatments and leave-on products.
It is a 100% natural product made from sunflower oil and sugar cane. “We are using new molecules that have never been used in the cosmetics industry.” Chon said.
He added that the ingredient is currently being registered with the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and is expected to receive approval around the third quarter of this year.
It is also undergoing registration for China’s Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC) and Inventory of Existing Chemical Substance in China (IECSC).