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DSM in Personal Care & Aroma Ingredients

Exploring hair care around the world

Although hair trends come and go, hair has played an important role in people’s lives for many centuries. Since ancient Egyptian times, or Chinese dynasty, the appearance of someone’s hair indicated a person’s status, their role in a society or even a political preference.

Today, women have a very emotional relationship with their hair as it delivers a quick and effective way of saying ‘this is who I am’. To fully explore the relationship women have with their hair, the DSM Personal Care Insights team wanted to dig deeper to uncover some true insights by asking them not only what they do and do not do, but also why this is the case.


Over the last 12 months, the team have spent hours speaking, observing and listening to people all around the world. This includes using online communities to reach people all around the world, visiting peoples’ homes in Brazil, group discussions in America and one-on-one discussions in the UK. Insights are combined with feedback from DSM’s proprietary blogger platform, The Beauty Connection to understand current hair trends around the world. Discussions have focused on what hair means to people today, what they want their hair to say about them, and what their desires are for the products of the future.

Some of the insights the DSM team have uncovered include; a hair (r)evolution happening in Brazil where women are embracing their curls and “finding who I truly am”, or in the US,  where huge seasonality changes mean that women are constantly in search of that ‘hero’ product.

The main challenge for many women, and especially seen in Europe, is the risk of changing their hair is too high. Every wondered why people cry when they cut their hair? People simply want safety and reassurance. People do not feel brave enough to make changes, but trying to achieve the ultimate hair is an-endless battle, and one that women feel they never win. 

Armed with many of these insights linked to behaviors, challenges and needs, DSM Personal Care is able to create, formulate and evaluate the hair care products of the future.