As the name implies, hairceuticals reportedly combine pharmaceutical and cosmetic properties. These products claim to deliver high-performance results to scalp and hair problems including hair loss, hair thinning and hair dryness through state-of-the-art technology and a blend of natural and medicinal ingredients.
McDougall says that although hairceuticals is a concept still in its infancy in the country, it is likely to appeal to Brazilian consumers given the widespread popularity of hair ampoules and boosters in the local market. “Our research shows that Brazilians already purchase a number of hair vitamins and supplements, indicating there is a potential audience for hairceuticals,” he says. A growing number of trichologists – hair and scalp specialists – working in beauty salons across the country is further evidence of this particular demand for a clinical approach to hair and scalp problems.
Hairceuticals already account for a significant chunk of the global hair care market. Kérastase was one of the brands that started the conversation around hairceuticals with Aminexil Force R, a six-week program to counteract hair loss launched in the 1990s. Leave-in scalp and hair concentrate Initialiste and the Densifique line – targeted at improving hair density – are some of Kérastase’s latest launches in this field. Aveda’s Invati has a more natural approach and claims to reduce hair loss due to breakage by 33%.
In Brazil, local cosmetics distribution channels can further boost the trend, says McDougall. “Inspired by the US and Europe, Brazilian pharmacies and drugstores are expanding their beauty and personal care offer, which might prove a powerful tool for hairceutical sales in the country.”
He says economic uncertainty and price points could be sticking points initially. However, these can be overcome if the consumer is engaged and convinced by the health and beauty benefits. In the skincare market, clinically proven results and a shift towards natural ingredients have developed a loyal following in Brazil, he says: “37% of Brazilians from higher socioeconomic groups believe that dermocosmetics are cosmetics that have a formula that is scientifically proven to be effective.”
McDougall says the popularity of dermocosmetics might work in favor of haiceuticals. “A total of 59% of Brazilian internet users look for ‘sun protection’ when buying dermocosmetic products. Given consumers’ high interest in hair – the second largest cosmetics category in Brazil –, hairceuticals are expected to follow the same path.”
Anti-pollution active ingredients are also in demand, with 37% of Brazilian consumers saying the environment has an impact on the appearance of their hair. “Products that can tackle this problem, offer sun protection and anti-aging benefits are more likely to be successful in Brazil,” says McDougall.
According to Euromonitor, the aging population and the consequent search for anti-aging products are also setting the tone for hair care products. The market research firm has yet to track the hairceuticals segment, but based on results for clinical shampoos to treat hair loss, psoriasis, seborrhea and acute dandruff, business is growing. Between 2010 and 2015, this product category saw a 37.9% growth in retail value in Brazil.