Tips for Inclusive Hair Care & Color Formulation

As inclusivity and diversity come to the forefront of creating positive change in society, brands must willfully and wholeheartedly scrutinize every aspect of their product development and positioning to be part of...

As inclusivity and diversity come to the forefront of creating positive change in society, brands must willfully and wholeheartedly scrutinize every aspect of their product development and positioning to be part of the solution.

For haircare brands, inclusivity can start with simply catering to curly and coily hair types. In the U.S., an estimated 65% of the population has curly hair. Many regions and countries around the world have a similar majority. Yet, the beauty industry has long shown a bias toward straight hair. While the natural beauty movement had been slowly gaining ground for years, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated it.

Inclusive Hair World Map

Tight curls and twists, is more prone to breakage for several reasons:

  1. Hair has less tensile strength and reaches its breaking point earlier than the hair of other racial groups
  2. Its shape increases tangling and makes combing harder
  3. Its tight curl pattern hinders natural oils from easily making their way down the hair shaft hence making hair strands dry

Backed by our global resources, team and product portfolio, Sensient’s Hair Care Excellence Center in Brazil is helping brands formulate truly inclusive hair care products addressing every aspect of hair care for curls. Let’s embrace those beautiful curls, coils and waves that make each person’s hairstyle unique.


Inclusive Hair Color BIPOC

Because it is so delicate, curly hair can be more susceptible than straight hair to dryness and breakage from coloring. Sensient’s Arianor®Arianor® Flash and Unicert® semi-permanent dyes have high purity with no ammonia and do not modify hair structure. Vegan dyes like those in our 100% botanical Natpure Col® line are also becoming popular, thanks to their sustainable sourcing and natural coloring.


Inclusive Hair Care BIPOC

Aside from coloring, another common source of hair damage is styling. Film formers are essential to promote curl fixation and control in hair styling formulas. Sensient has natural options with excellent performance.

Natpure Feel-M Eco®, for example, is a natural, multifunctional and non-volatile film former, similar to silicone, that provides the strong conditioning effect needed to style curly hair along with some extra shine. Its detangling power makes it an ideal solution for styling creams, shine sprays, and conditioning mousses.

Natpure Film AP®, our natural, sugar-based film former coated with acacia gum, combines bio-fermentation and surface coating technology to achieve non-stick properties and superior hair retention, stiffness and drying time, perfect for hair gels.

Sun Protection

Everyone knows the dangers of the sun to skin, but what about to hair? Its dead cells do not regenerate on their own, which means hair fiber incurs damage with each new exposure to ultraviolet rays. And remember, curly hair is more fragile than straight hair. For those who color their hair, the sun can also cause fading and loss of malleability.

To solve for curly, colored hair sun damage, Sensient has developed Sensishield®, a powerful phyto-active bringing UV protection for dyed hair. It is composed of green tea botanical extracts obtained by the patented, 100% water-based process, PhytoClean™. Sensishield® has antioxidant properties from polyphenols and caffeine that fight free radicals’ attacks on hair, along with catechins that provide superior UV protection. We recommend Sensishield® for no-rinse products such as wave and curl styling formulations promoting versatile benefits topped off by sun protection.

Repair / Damage Prevention

Inclusive Hair Care BIPOC

Between coloring, styling and sun exposure, hair care quite often comes down to repair—or better yet, damage prevention. Sensibiopro R® is a biomimetic combination of hydrolyzed proteins to reinforce hair barrier structure. It is also heat activated, ideal for the development of thermo activated products that protect against damage from high temperatures and treat weakened hair by restoring resistance and softness.

Formulating from the Heart

Just like we promote diversity, equity and inclusion across our global offices and facilities, we also carry the same themes into our ongoing product innovation as well as our commitment to clients. In the hair care world, our high technical expertise, deep research and development, and strong understanding of consumer demands enable us to create functional ingredients for thoughtful, inclusive hair products. Contact us to learn more about our full hair care portfolio.

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