Trends That Will Shape Haircare In 2023—And Some That Will End
As we continue to look forward to next year, for the latest edition of our ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we asked 16 haircare brand founders and executives the following questions: What haircare trend do you see rising in 2023? What 2022 haircare trend do you think will be over?
- Dianna Cohen Founder and CEO, Crown Affair
I think what will be on the rise is actually healthy, hydrated hair versus over-styling and processing. A shift from the “done” look to a real texture and pattern—the no-makeup-makeup version of haircare, the idea of taking care of your hair first versus using a product that instantly “repairs /rebonds,” but doesn’t get to the root of the damage.
Like nutrition, journaling or any practice that requires consistency, we’ll see a shift towards people embracing their natural hair texture by taking the time to understand it. The “art of the air dry” movement is happening and will take hold in a more meaningful way in 2023. We’ll see this reflected in color as well, with people shifting to clear glosses versus highlights or full dye.
I think we will see a shift away from franchised lines. We’re entering the intentional, hero product era. Every formula should exist for a reason. The days of launching franchised assortments with extensive yet unnecessary additional SKUs to round out the “collection” will hopefully wane.
- Sonsoles Gonzalez Founder and CEO, Better Not Younger
In 2023, the skinification of hair will continue to advance. In the past couple of years, we have seen the emergence of many scalp serums, offering the promise that a better scalp will lead to better hair. But just like skin, there are many types of scalps, and products in the future will be tailored to address different scalp and hair issues.
While consumers are very familiar with their skin needs and skincare ingredients, there’s very little understanding of what’s going on with the scalp and how it affects your hair. More segmentation and education will start to emerge. Skincare trends like microbiome health and skin barrier protection will be incorporated into new scalp care developments.
I hope to see the “anti-aging” lingo fade out in favor of “pro-aging” or any form of positivism towards aging. Aging is a normal process of living and fighting it will only bring more frustration to women and discrimination against the older population.
Women should not feel excluded from conversations about beauty and self-care just because they are no longer in their 20s or 30s. Give her the right tools, educate her and your staff and she will reward you with her dollars. Anti-ageism should be the next inclusivity frontier.
- Yolanda Cooper Founder and CEO, We Are Paradoxx and Supernova
The biggest hair trend for 2023 is already starting to make waves (excuse the pun). It’s called the “French new wave” and is an elevated more casual update on the “cool girl waves” look. Think inconsistent shapes created by both curls and waves, lightly straightened and brushed out versus the uniform wave in the same direction we’ve been used to seeing, effortless (created by lots of effort!), texturized and perfectly imperfect.
The dying 2022 hair trend will most certainly be the claw clip. Anything that is “all over TikTok” now will 100% fall off a cliff in 2023. Think about it, content fatigue on TikTok is something crazy, like 24 to 48 hours, so consumers get bored fast with what they see there.
- Jamila Powell Founder, Naturally Drenched
Packaging will become a bigger part of the product's story. I think we will see new and exciting packaging concepts on the market geared towards reducing waste. Brands are looking to scale down packaging, while increasing the ability to reuse or recycle waste. Consumers are also interested in knowing more about a brand's ethos and will take that into consideration when deciding which products will become a part of their routine.
In the new year, streamlining the wash day process to include the absolute necessary steps with affordable high-quality products will be paramount. Affordability isn’t exclusive to low cost. Consumers are looking for high-quality affordable products with efficacy.
Consumers are looking to slow down and enjoy every aspect of their lives. Streamlined luxury will allow consumers seeking ease and efficiency to enjoy their wash day routines, while minimizing how daunting this task can be. There will be an emphasis on actives, texture and scents to create wash days that excite the senses, while doing its job sans the trends.
- Carol Teter CEO, LatinUs Beauty
A trend for haircare in 2023: Experience rules! As the pandemic continues to wane in the rear-view mirror, consumers want to get back to experiencing life again, touching, feeling, smelling.
For haircare, this means getting back on the shelf—literally. Consumers want to touch the bottles, open the cap and smell the fragrance. Digital will remain an important distribution channel, especially for repeat purchases, but, for new brands in particular, consumers want to be up close and personal before they buy.
This applies to investors as well. No longer will it be enough to perform as a digital-only brand to be a funding and acquisition target. Investors want to see how a brand performs in brick-and-mortar. Brands who offer their consumers and investors an introduction in brick-and-mortar with a complementing digital presence will win.
- Samantha Denis Founder, Allyoos
The more women I chat with about their hair, the more I learn that there is still a huge interest in treatment-centric hair products. I believe scalp and hair treatments, hair supplements, and products that are designed for and positioned around hair strengthening will continue to be the winners of the category.
I get so many questions about what hair products to ditch and what hair products to switch to during pregnancy and for postpartum. This is still a huge question mark for people and a huge opportunity for brands to support women on their motherhood journey. A lot of times this is when a switch to clean products begins, so gentle, actually clean haircare that calls this out would be a huge assist.
Bangs are all over Brooklyn! Everyone has bangs! I think this is awesome. Bangs feel so old school to me and watching them come back is exciting. I think definitely go for the bangs.
Another switch I think will continue big time in 2023 is the switch to virgin hair, less highlights, less touchups, more virgin, mouse-y and gray strands. There is still so much room to play here!
Getting your hair done at the salon is a major self-care moment. So, if you want to make the switch to a more natural look, but don’t want to give up your salon self-care routine (I get it), you can still go in for a glaze or gloss to enhance your natural color, shine, dimension, etc.
You can also still go in for color, but try lowlights that are way dimmer and enhance your natural tone instead of highlights that completely change it. I think we’ll continue to see a lot of this, women wanting to look more like themselves, just enhanced a bit.
I think dry shampoo had its really long moment, but it might be over. People are starting to catch on big time to the toxins in conventional aerosol dry shampoos, finally. And even though there are really great clean shaker options that totally get the job done, I think people are starting to move away from quick-fix products that don’t really serve hair health in the long run.
Dry shampoo is really doing zero for scalp and hair health, and I think people are finally getting this. Also, it seems to me like women don’t really love using dry shampoo, they just don’t know what their options are.
- Julissa Prado Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls
For 2023, there are few haircare trends we can aim to see. First, professional haircare is booming, and consumers are continuing to become incredibly knowledgeable about products and ingredients. Where maybe in the past brands could focus more on a strong brand awareness and marketing, the shift in 2023 will be on product efficacy, results and performance, where mass brands will be pulling in a strong professional approach.
Additionally, the ongoing skinification of haircare products will be a major trend. At Rizos Curls, we’ve been doing this for the past year, but the momentum is building within the industry to bring skincare ingredients over into hair care as the scalp is an extension of our face/skin.
A few trends that may be over next year is the hate on the side part, so people can wear their hair however they choose. Also, as customers are becoming more ingredients savvy within haircare, we will see less silicones in products. Another big trend we will see start to fade away are virtual events. People are yearning and ready for in-person live events.
- Cynthia Desrochers Marketing Director, DesignMe
We’ve been talking a lot about the skinification of the hair market. While I still think this will remain a big topic in 2023, I believe we will see a growth in fun to use products. The past two years have been more focused on care since a lot of people have been stuck at home behind their desks. In 2023, people will be out more and looking for products that will give them joy to use, but also instant results. Styling products will need to be fun and easy to use.
We expect people to experiment with styles more. In 2022, perhaps with the Euphoria effect, we saw the rise with more niche products, including bright colors in makeup and hair.
Curls will remain a big topic, embracing natural texture and again having more fun doing it. If we are honest, more brands need to do more and be better in the curl segment. Being inclusive of all curl types doesn’t stop at a model image in a campaign shot.
As far of ingredients, clean is not enough, and customers demand more such as where they are sourced, how are they harvested and transported. This will be a challenge in the years to come for beauty brands.
As far as buzzword ingredients, I believe hyaluronic acid will remain a big topic, and natural ingredients will keep growing. We saw so many influencers this year on TikTok doing DIY treatments with a rosemary and ginger infusion.
As far as manufacturing, brands will need to consider more localized production. The increase of the shipping costs is an ongoing decision factor when choosing to produce local or overseas, even from a packaging standpoint. Brands that have solid relationships with suppliers will be the most successful in 2023.
A good example in 2022 would be the aluminum crisis that has affected the production of any aerosol product this year. Organized forecasts, cash flow and supplier relationships will be a must to survive.
This year, we also saw a big focus on the repairing category. I think it will not go away, but it will be presented differently. We saw lawsuits over some promising claims to repair hair overnight. I think brands will take a more conservative approach and take the time to educate the how and why you get damaged hair. Repairing hair takes more than four minutes.
To conclude, care will remain a growth factor for the category, but it will need to be disruptive in the application method, the packaging or in the texture. We are launching our innovation in this segment in June—stay tuned! As far as styling, consumers want performance plus a fun factor. I think our most recent launch Puff.Me volumizing mousse could attribute its success to this!
- Babba Rivera Founder and CEO, Ceremonia
The mantra for next year is definitely: Scalp health is hair wealth! Customers are becoming more interested in the care and wellness aspect of haircare and are starting to connect the dots that healthy hair and growth ultimately begins at the scalp.
I anticipate more demand for scalp scrubs, scalp serums and oils to combat itchiness, remove buildup and accelerate hair growth. In addition to this, I think more customers will start giving themselves scalp massages to stimulate blood flow for faster hair regrowth!
I think we will see the end of the hair straightener. As we enter the era of wellness of hair, I believe the obsession around damaging heat tools will start to fade. With the uprise of nourishing products that help you embrace your natural hair and innovative styling tools that are less damaging, e.g. Dyson, I think 2023 will officially mark the end of the hair straightener.
- Brittany Johnson Senior Brand Marketing Manager and Cosmetologist, Mayvenn
One of the trends that I see rising in 2023 isn't truly a trend at all: Stopping the need to differentiate between everyday haircare and the natural hair movement. Women's natural hair has always been a source of power, expression, and unfortunately, controversy. We're seeing fewer people approach hair as a movement that needs to be discussed and dissected.
The industry is moving towards recognizing that natural hair is simply beautiful hair that needs and deserves to be cared for with as much respect as less textured hair types. The amount of energy that's been put into "othering" natural hair clients for so long is continuing to better serve them by taking time to research the right products, techniques and education so that a variety of stylists are well-versed in curls and coils enough to serve them.
One of the trends that we're seeing make its way out is the desire to DIY everything, from hair color to texlax to detailed haircuts and everything in between. Haircare is such a deeply personal thing that is different for everyone, but there are still some services that are best left to the professionals.
Forced salon closures during the pandemic had us all being super resourceful, which is great, but within reason. I've heard countless horror stories of clients who attempted to go from their at-home box color to blonde because they were so used to simply taking care of themselves during an extremely tough time.
Now that the professionals are back in full swing, we're seeing increasingly more folks remember why they entrusted their favorite stylists and beauty gurus in the first place, and eliminating the need for unnecessary damage to their hair or lengthy corrections along the way.
- Sabrina Szinay Founder, Sándor
2023 is all about simplifying. We have been in a time of overconsumption, and I am witnessing more friends, clients and customers seeking curated, high-quality products with natural and intentionally selected ingredients. They are also asking for brands that give them a sense of togetherness, purpose and values. Sustainability has been a big topic in the beauty industry, but what is true sustainability?
At Sándor, this looks like investing in our environmental and social impact beyond formulas and packing. For example, we are working to build European ingredient and component supply chains and production to minimize our total carbon footprint, save time and support local economies.
- Angela Fields Founder, CurlyCoilyTresses
In 2023, I see several significant transitions in key areas of natural haircare. Anti-aging hair and scalp treatments over the use of heavy oils and butters on hair and scalp: Some of the most popular ayurvedic herbs known for encouraging growth, infusing shine and revitalizing follicles like amla, bhringraj, shikakai and neem will become even more popular and commonplace in natural hair care primarily for the unmatched ability of plant-based ingredients to nourish and infuse individual nutrients. Ayurvedic herbs have an impressive nutrient profile.
Popular skincare active ingredients over traditional hair product ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, collagen, retinol and even peptides have been transformational in skincare and are being sourced more often in natural hair care for the very same reasons. Get accustomed to hearing anti-aging hair and scalp treatments.
More fragrance and dye free product options over scented products: Fragrance and dye allergies affect more than two million people, and the number is increasing as fragrances become more chemically complex and widely used. The number doesn’t include those not actually diagnosed as fragrance or dye allergic (i.e., experiencing dry or itchy scalp, but haven’t visited a dermatologist and hasn’t received an allergy diagnosis).
But the impact is still far greater. Anyone living with or working near someone allergic or sensitive to fragrance or dye, should also have fragrance and dye free options. About 96% to 98% of haircare products are fragranced, but more brands are at least offering individual fragrance- and dye-free products.
Shampooing over co-washing: Co-washing, especially if heavy oils and butters are used in styling, can directly contribute to itching and flaking scalp and even dry hair, and in prolonged cases, can even contribute to hair loss.
Just as cleansing our bodies is essential to our overall health, it’s also essential to the health of our hair. The buildup of products, dirt and oils create a barrier preventing moisture and hydration from penetrating hair and scalp. Cleansing is the first step in moisturizing and hydrating. Gentle and moisturizing shampoos are preferred over drying and harsh.
More natural hairstyling over extended protective styling: Protective styling is generally used to describe the use of wigs or weaves on top of natural hair. Often, natural hair is very tightly braided to prepare for the protective style and glue or adhesive are used to adhere the protective style to hair and scalp.
Long-term protective styling can cause excess shedding and damage and even hair loss. Current trends indicate women are deciding to wear their natural hair more often rather than risking permanent hair loss.
- Lindsay Holden Co-Founder, Odele
Scalp care! It’s been a hot topic in 2022 and will continue to be so in 2023. Sure, overall hair health has always been a priority, but the masses are now understanding/leaning into the fact that when it comes to healthy hair, scalp care is at the root of it all (no pun intended). What felt like specialty niche a few years is now definitely more widely accepted and expected, which is fantastic.
Also, clean beauty and what it really means across all of beauty, haircare included. It’s back in the headlines (again), and the lack of a legal definition of the term is causing swirl for brands, consumers and retailers. We’re constantly reevaluating our standards and ingredients for improvement.
These efforts resulted in the removal of PEGs from all formulations by February of 2023, increased PCR from 40% to 50%, and plans for more formal benchmarks in our CSR program. At the heart of all these changes, we continue to prioritize consumer and retailer transparency.
There is so much opportunity to come together on these efforts as we know those of us in the space share the desire to move the industry forward with a clear understanding of clean products.
- Lulu Cordero Founder, Bomba Curls
One haircare trend that we predict to be rising in 2023 is deep conditioning. A lot of people are not aware of the importance of deep conditioning their hair, especially if you have curly hair.
If a person has really damaged hair, specifically heat damaged, a consistent deep conditioning routine will help restore hair moisture and reduce damage caused by chemicals and styling tools.
When it comes to hairstyles, layered hair cut will continue to be a trend that many girls can try with or without a bang. This super chic hairstyle looks amazing on any hair texture.
Dyeing your hair is always a great idea and, in 2022, we saw a rise for a particular color, copper. But we will be saying bye bye to this trend that we saw all over TikTok because brunette will be taking over in 2023.
- Richard Rivas Senior Vice President of Marketing, Farouk Systems
Shiny hair is always in, but consumers are seeking a more holistic approach to healthier hair. They want sustainable products made with natural ingredients that are effective, too. This push for sustainably sourced products will continue to dominate.
When it comes to hair color trends, I predict that rich and decadent variations of merlot will be on the rise in 2023. More consumers will also be able to try on hues virtually before committing. More companies will be harnessing AI-powered technology.
- Kathryn Winokur Founder and CEO, Hally
As people look for new ways to express themselves through hair, temporary hair cosmetics are becoming more popular and accessible to individuals of all ages. Whether you’re a teen looking for temporary hair color for a special occasion or an adult who is looking to experiment with hair color for the first time, temporary hair color cosmetics are the go-to product for that.
I’m seeing a decline of one-size-fits-all hair care products going into 2023. Just like skin, everyone has their own unique hair needs based on their hair types, so I see customized hair products and ingredients becoming the new norm.
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