Shampoo and conditioner, unlike skincare, have not yet fully explored offering new ‘experiences’ such as in-depth customisation to consumers – but that looks set to change.

Hair products are starting to give people more control over product formulations, allowing them to tailor products at home on a daily basis depending on their mood or lifestyle needs.

This could include products being offered unconstructed, where consumers are able to blend the formulas “fresh” for each usage and formulate their own products. Today’s younger consumers value  experiences much more, with 63% of consumers aged between 18-24 stating that they find trying new experiences to be more exciting than trying new products, according to GlobalData’s global consumer survey from 2016 Q3.

What does this mean for the haircare sector?

Consumers can express themselves through a brand via in-depth customisation. This offers a sense of embracing individuality, which is a vital element to the product offer, and can illustrate how brands can be more than a just a logo.

Younger consumers in particular want brands to have a personality they can relate to, and help them express who they are. Today, consumers want companies to appreciate their individuality. Offering products that cater to this need will ensure consumers know that the company cares and embraces their uniqueness – and through doing so brands can foster loyalty.

Function of Beauty and Prose are good examples. Both companies allow consumers to create custom shampoo and conditioner based on hair types and goals.  Function of Beauty bases its ingredients on what consumers want – including their desired hair goals, fragrance, fragrance strength and colour. Pack size and bottle labeling can be customised, as well as the option of a recurring subscription based on personal needs.

Prose bases its ingredients on lifestyles and living conditions such as which city the consumer lives in, as well as questioning stress and fitness levels.

Products made to order can be associated with artisanal or craft products. This allows consumers to have control over the ingredients being used, boosting involvement in the creation process and helping them create products better suited to their personal needs.

Teaming up with stylists

Prose has an offering that combines the convenience benefits of online with the personal service that can only really be achieved offline. It has teamed up with professional hairstylists to consult with their clients.

This tackles the issue of consumers being overwhelmed by choice, and these professionals can have their input into each client’s hair conditions and goals. By offering to create a product that suits individual needs, the company can create a better relationship between clients and hairstylists, while boosting the experience and authenticity factors for Prose.

Online is an important growth channel for personal care products but manufacturers should not forget that there is still a demand for face-to-face contact.