Hair Care Trends—the evolution of Shampoos and Conditioners

Woman holding up a round bar of soapWoman holding up a round bar of soap

The global beauty care market is poised to reach 716B$ by 2025 and hair care alone will hit 86.5B$ in 2022.  What’s fueling all the growth? The pandemic permanently modified how consumers view self-care.  Routines are a vital part of the day, as is making health and wellness a priority.  Hair care became just as important as skin care and establishing a routine is reassuring and relaxing to many consumers during these volatile times.  As consumers look to improve hair health, hair care routines will overlap with skin rituals and we’ll see more luxurious offerings in the market. The skinification of hair care will also include consultations (both in-store and on-line) as scalp care takes a front seat (seen in our Scalpology trend kit), and the trichologist becomes just as sought after as the dermatologist, because the scalp is the new beauty care terrain.  #scalpfacials Innovative, science-backed brands, with eco-friendly products are the future.  Lifestyle will prevail in hair care consumption, brands matching the consumer have staying power. 

The metaverse will a fuel a new coolness in how we look at hair styles and engage with products on-line.  It may also help further drive the demand for inclusivity and personalization since 65% of the world has curly or textured hair and those consumers are demanding products adapted to their needs.  These hair types require upkeep, regular styling and nourishment and it’s a great space for sustainable innovation.  There’s an increased demand for solid formats across all market categories, especially hair care. These non-traditional formats are commonly seen as eco-conscious and sustainable because they use less packaging and are formulated with little to no water. As brands progress towards climate positive impacts such as water reduction, carbon neutral transport, plastic reduction and reuse, we’ll see more innovation for solid formats.

At Univar Solutions, we have the core ingredients you need to develop solid hair cleansers and conditioners.  We’re here to help you positively impact climate change targets and respond to those 93% of beauty consumers that want to shop sustainably in 2022.  Let’s move forward together to deliver products that can have a positive impact on the planet. 

Solid Hair Conditioner & Cleanser 

Product selection to formulate hair cleanser and conditioner under free-powder, compact powder, hot pour and paste. Discover our ingredient solutions and formulation ideas and gain inspiration for your next solid hair care development.

Need a bit of inspiration? You can also explore our prototype “Solid Hair Conditioner and Cleanser” formulation

Eco-friendly bio-based cationic surfactant

DANOX® HC-30 by KAO Chemicals Europe is a powerful conditioner based on a synergetic combination of cationic surfactants and fatty alcohol, for excellent hair conditioning, flyaway control and good sensory feel. It also acts as an emulsifier for ready-to-make conditioner that allows a single-step formulation process. It is vegetable origin and environmentally friendly with better classification and labelling that standard cationic surfactants.

Outstanding conditioning agent

KAO SOFCARE® GP-1 shares similar characteristics with silicones. Therefore, it is an ideal total or partial replacement for amodimethicones and dimethicones, giving some interesting extra benefits like easier incorporation and the possibility to formulate transparent products.

Dry sulfate-free surfactant for solid or concentrate solution

Cola®Mate LA-100 MB by Colonial Chemical LA-100 MB is a spray dried, high foaming, mild sulfosuccinate surfactant with good detergency. It may be used in powdered products where mildness is important. Cola®Mate LA-100 MB may be used to increase the concentration of aqueous systems for improved performance and mildness.

Sensorial enhancer, foam booster and hair conditioner

FOAMYSENSE TM are nonionic polymers bringing hydrodynamic drag reduction and a slippery feel which contribute to a smooth skin feel. FOAMYSENSE™ also boost foam volume and enhance foam creaminess for an excellent in-use experience.

FOAMYSENSE™ are designed for cleansing and grooming products.

Specific grade like FOAMYSENSE™ N60K Polymer have shown reduction of bar cracking.

New bio-derived & biodegradable cellulose technology

UCARE™ Extreme Polymer by Dow is a versatile, bio-derived (>50% bio-derived content) and inherent primary biodegradable according to OECD test(s) guidelines * technology. This brand-new innovation helps you create hair care products that deliver superior conditioning and can match the performance of some silicones, particularly in enhanced combability, reduced breakage, and restored hydrophobicity. It is specifically designed for conditioners, leave-on products and shampoos.

*Inherent primary biodegradability with pre-adaptation according to OECD test(s) guidelines (reaches > 20% biodegradation in OECD test(s))

Fair for Life emollient

Shea Butter Refined (Fair For Life, Organic)

Our Fair For Life certified  producer employs 35 members of staff and is working with 180 cooperatives of about 20,000 women in Ghana and has now expanded to work with 20,000 others in Burkina Faso.


Slightly colored, Shea Butter is an attractive emollient for many cosmetic applications, including hair and skin care. Solid at room temperature due to its content of saturated fatty acids (C16 Palmitic Acid but mostly C18 Stearic acid), it readily melts at body temperature.

According to our sensory profile study of vegetable oils its application brings a good spreadability and a soft, greasy while non sticky after-feel.

Beeswax-free structuring agent

Vegan Wax (PHC 9677) by Poth Hille & Co Ltd is a blend of natural, vegan and palm free waxes formulated to reproduce beeswax characteristics. Compatible with natural and synthetic ingredients including fragrances, pigments and oils.

Vegan Wax (PHC 9677) has great flexibility combined with oil binding characteristics. Good colour and low in odour.

A yellow waxy solid useful as a Beeswax replacement in food wraps.

Aluminium-free, nature derived powdery touch agent and binder

StarDesign™ Ultra by Cargill Beauty is a polysaccharide extracted from corn with an ISO 16128 up to 90%. Its modification with n-octenylsuccinyl (n-OSA) group through an esterification transforms it into sensory enhancers as they become more hydrophobic & oil-absorbing.

In emulsions or stick application, n-OSA starches reduce the perceived oiliness, the tackiness and give the skin a powdered & matte finish. It can be also used as binder and filler to improve solid cosmetic properties

StarDesign™ Ultra has an excellent sensory impact compared with base, shows reduced stickiness and greasiness, improves smoothness and penetration.

Solid Hair conditioner & cleanser formulations to inspire

We know the hair cleansing market is competitive, so we’ve selected a few of our own formulations to help inspire your next innovative product:


Rub it on wet hands, a soft foam will instantly form to clean and condition your hair. This water-conscious formula is enriched with coconut and almond oils like in the traditions, but also with sandalwood essential oil to take your senses to the other side of the globe. Its eco-friendly profile is its strength! It's good for your hair and the planet. Click here to access.


Looking to explore new format in hair care? Try this lovely paste enriched in vegetable oil and butters. Its clay-putty-like texture will deeply cleanse and condition your hair while delivering foam and imparting smoothness. Its unexpected aspect will for sure guarantee it a prominent place in your hair care routine. Click here to access.


Download Our Ingredient Guide

Beauty & Personal Care Lab Services

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Your Next Beauty and Personal Care Innovation Starts Here

A global footprint and world-class supply chain enable us to respond quickly to your specialty and commodity ingredient needs. Connect with our technical teams and get started on your next transformative idea.