Hair color was perhaps the farthest thing from our minds when the COVID-19 lockdown began. But as this new reality has taught us, demand for consumer goods in all markets can plummet and/or surge in erratic ways as we all find our way forward. Take baked goods, for example. With the bread aisles picked over and people quarantined at home, at-home baking has given rise to a boom in ingredient demand. According to The Economist,1 in France, sales of baking flour have surged by 160%. ABC 17 News placed this closer to 240% in the U.S., highlighting that baking is something fun that families can do together, and that it can even be therapeutic.2
Consumers who traditionally rely on service providers are now suddenly do-it-yourselfers (DIYers). This, of course, is one reason why sales of at-home hair color kits have soared. According to Glossy,3 Henkel’s eSalon brand saw a 500% increase in orders beginning in mid-March; Madison Reed sales soared as much as 750% by the end of March.4 In conjunction, desperate hair color DIYers are also keeping consultants busy; the same Glossy report noted L’Oréal consults rose from 100 per day in March to > 1,000 as of April 29, 2020.3
In relation, hair and scalp care are at the core of this month’s issue. Epstein, et al., test encapsulated microsystems in a shampoo for their adhesion to hair, ultimately for color protection. Gamez, et al., minimize hair damage due to fatigue failure with an ingredient to mitigate micro-cracking from the inside-out and outside-in. And, Evans considers grooming and treatment traditions in African hair as an explanation for its apparent fragile nature.
Schmid, et al., reduce hair loss by protecting the follicle with a yerba santa extract. This antioxidant is shown to decrease the free radicals that extend the catalase stage of growth and cause hair loss. Lionetti explains how to formulate scalp care in order to build healthy hair from the beginning.
In addition, in light of COVID-19 and more assertive cleansing, Walters, et al., take a deep dive into cleansing for compromised skin. Steventon considers mild hand-washing as it relates to emotion. Finally, our “Expert Opinions” piece collects insights from the industry on hair, scalp and gentle cleansing—all to enlighten your quarantine time. Perhaps by press, this will have passed. Be well.
Rachel L. Grabenhofer, Managing Editor