Science Nature Beauty

The Skinification of hair care

Skin is not simply skin. Different areas of our body show different qualities of skin and these qualities play a decisive role in what type of care our skin needs. While our facial skin for instance is relatively oily, the skin on our legs is comparatively dry. The scalp is just as unique – it is relatively thick, oily, warm and moist with many hair follicles. It is probably the part of skin which is stressed the most but, until recently, cared for the least.

Today, scalp care is booming worldwide. Over the last 5 years, the year-on-year growth in the number of products which have been launched onto the personal care market, with a focus on providing care for the scalp, has been 32%.

Just another marketing hype?

For a long time, skin and hair care were considered as separated as their assigned aisles in the drugstore – by consumers as well as brands and formulators. Dedicated scalp care products, such as scalp tonics or anti-dandruff shampoos were hidden in a corner of the hair care shelf, packaged in bottles which were more reminiscent of pharmaceuticals than cosmetic products. A reinvention of the category is long overdue and it’s about time to give the scalp the attention and care it deserves.

Our hair has a huge impact on how attractive we are perceived by others and an oily, itchy or flaky scalp can affect our self-image and confidence. Even though consumers know that their skin doesn’t stop at their hairline, the scalp seems to be a rather delicate area and many people feel more comfortable buying acne treatments or anti-cellulite body care than dandruff remedies. Just like most people suffer from acne at some point in their lives, many people eventually experience issues like dry or oily scalp, itching, thinning hair or dandruff.

Over the last years scalp care has evolved into a booming category and the times of bitter smelling potions that we hide in the back of our bathroom cabinets are hopefully over. Consumers have come to realize that shiny, healthy looking hair starts with a healthy scalp. The “Skinification of hair” trend is more than just another marketing hype – it’s the acknowledgement of a self-care category which has been overlooked for too long.


Convenient, but effective everyday hair and scalp care

Many consumers have a holistic and preventive approach when it comes to skin and hair care and integrate applying sunscreen and moisturizer or using hair conditioners into their daily self-care routines. But many consumers will only use dedicated scalp care products when experiencing a specific issue like dandruff.

Effective and holistic scalp care should support the scalp in staying healthy and keeping its natural balance. But for a product to become part of daily routines it has to be convenient to use for the consumer. More traditional scalp care products often come in leave-on formulations or leave visible residues in the hair.

At CLR, we were looking for an effective, everyday scalp care solution, that can be used in rinse-off formulations like shampoos. We found this solution in our postbiotic active ingredient ProRenew Complex CLR™.

We tested a shampoo containing ProRenew Complex CLR™ against a placebo formulation. After just three applications, 55% of volunteers reported that the shampoo with ProRenew Complex CLR™ had led to a clear improvement of their scalp’s condition compared to just 10% with the placebo-shampoo.
After a month of usage, the scalp of those volunteers who used the shampoo with ProRenew Complex CLR™ was in better condition and clearly less oily. Itch was reduced and volunteers also reported that their scalp felt much healthier and less dry than with the placebo.

ProRenew Complex CLR™ is a postbiotic ingredient based on probiotic Lactococcus lactis. It improves all the biological processes within the epidermis to make skin more robust and less sensitive and plays an important positive role on the skin microbiota.


Calibrating the scalp’s ecosystem

Dandruff affects millions of people all over the world and is the most common scalp concern for consumers. Even though dandruff is so prevalent, an itchy scalp and visible flakes on hair and clothes are associated with poor hygiene and can lead to low self-esteem.

Dandruff is a multifaceted problem where sebum production, microbial composition of the scalp and inflammatory processes inside the scalp’s skin play an important role. Antifungal ingredients like Piroctone Olamine and Zinc Pyrithione are widely used in the market nowadays. They work well against dandruff, but do not meet all the demands of modern-day consumers concerning the cosmetic products they use and to which they expose their skin on a daily basis.

With CutiBiome CLR™ we developed a natural anti-dandruff ingredient that works in simple products with multiple benefits just as well as in innovative formats and guarantees highly effective problem solving. The combination of natural active ingredients, based on ancient wisdom and next generation science, creates trust in two ways – through familiarity and scientific expertise.

CutiBiome CLR™ is highly effective against dandruff, oiliness and itching. Recent studies proved that CutiBiome CLR™ is just as effective against dandruff as traditional ingredients. Additionally, microbiological studies have shown that CutiBiome CLR™ helps restore a healthy scalp microbiome. These results make CutiBiome CLR™ a modern, natural alternative in scalp care to trust – without compromise.


Improving hair density and thickness

According to the trend experts Spate, the search volume for hair density increased by 22.4% year-over-year in the US. One of the reasons for the increased interest might be that many people experienced a decline in hair density due to the higher stress levels during the pandemic.

Hair loss is especially delicate as hair density is considered just as important as hair length or color when it comes to perceived attractiveness.

While other hair and scalp issues can be managed by a short-term treatment or a visit to the salon, hair loss is a more complex topic as the cause of the problem is often less obvious and lost hair takes a long time to grow back.

Follicusan™ DP provides new vitality and energy to thinning hair, thus counteracting premature hair loss. It stimulates and revitalizes hair roots and improves overall hair health and structure. Hair density as well as cumulative hair thickness are improved.


Well moisturized hair is strong, beautiful and resilient

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, but caring for the hair itself is just as important. Just like skin, our hair needs moisture. Well moisturized hair is smooth, shiny and resilient against frizz and breakage.

MultiMoist CLR™ consists of a synergistic mixture of prebiotic fructooligosaccharides and an extract of Beta vulgaris. MultiMoist CLR™ was already proven to be a tremendously potent and quick moisturizer for skin, but our studies also showed significant activity for a number of important hair features. By binding water in the cortex of the hair MultiMoist CLR™ improves hair’s structural properties and promotes elasticity, combability and color retention while supporting the hair against frizz and breakage.


Spotlight on scalp care – innovative formats

The “Skinification of hair care” trend also encouraged brands and formulators to come up with innovative product formulations for hair and scalp care, adapted from or inspired by skin care formats.

Solid formulations have been on the rise due to their convenience and environmental benefits and over the last year many hair care brands launched shampoo and conditioner bars.

But we also see more traditional skin care formulations being reinterpreted for hair and scalp care, e.g. serums, toners, oils, micellar foams or scrubs and peelings. This is a great opportunity for brands to not just offer solutions to common hair and scalp concerns but also to reinvent the product category. Modern scalp care products are no longer just problem solvers but a part of self-care and well-being for the consumer.

Discover our products for effective hair and scalp care and browse our formulation page for innovative, on-trend consumer product inspiration.



Susanne Kolesov

Online Marketing Coordinator