Shiny hair is primed to become the biggest hair trend of 2022.
Skin care-inspired products for hair have become a bonafide sub-category of the hair-care space, but they’ve focused on the overall health of the hair and scalp rather than offering an aesthetic element. But signs point to a burgeoning evolution of the skinification of hair, as products like shine sprays and hair glosses become increasingly prevalent. Not only do new shine sprays on the market adopt the glass-skin aesthetic common among K-beauty acolytes, but they also offer hair benefits akin to other skin care-inspired hair products. Drybar added two new products to its 2–year-old Liquid Glass collection in January, including a Glossing Rinse and Smoothing Sealant. Also in January, Sol de Janeiro launched a glossy hair oil, Garnier Fructis announced the creation of a Sleek & Shine Glass Hair Water, and Curlsmith launched a five-piece collection of shine-focused products. Before this, Amika hair care, JVN Hair, Goop, and professional brands Aloxxi and Kenra Professional all launched shine products in 2021.
Much like the phrase “sun-kissed,” shiny hair is considered indicative of health and youthfulness. And health is wealth, as the saying goes. In a recent Popsugar story on the “expensive brunette” hair color, “expensive” hair was described as luxe, healthy hair with a dimension of shine. And on TikTok, the “clean look” for hair has gained traction, with off-duty models sporting shiny, pulled-backed hair with a no-makeup look serving as inspiration. Publications like Refinery 29 and Allure reported the “liquid hair” trend over the summer of 2021, while a form of the hair gloss salon service called French Glossing has also picked up some headlines. But regardless of the du jour terms, the common denominator of each nuanced trend is high-shine hair.
“High-shine and high-gloss hair are one of the most ideal and familiar characteristics of healthy hair and easiest to achieve without professional help,” said Naeemah LaFond, global artistic director of Amika. “During the pandemic, many of us collectively decided we were going to be more committed to care, maintenance and our hair health.”
According to NPD Group data, hair-care sales have continued to soar, with the category seeing 36% year-over-year sales growth to over $619 million in the third quarter of 2021. Hair-styling products, including sprays and gels, saw a double-digit year-over-year sales lift, as more people at the time were venturing out of the home.
“Previously, the whole shine [trend] was typically very straight and very sleek,” said Bob Siebert, vp of education at Aloxxi. “Now you’re starting to see this polished, luxe feeling — not just not on straight hair, but also on full-body blowouts and even natural textured hair.”
Aloxxi sells a Bombshell Shine Mist and a Dry Oil Shine Mist. The majority of its sales are wholesale through salons. Abbie Porche, vp of sales at Aloxxi, said shine products are consistently top performers in the portfolio, but she declined to elaborate. Siebert said Aloxxi is ramping up its social media content this year to promote its shine products to its professional network of stylists. A pillar of that effort is hosting Instagram Lives featuring Aloxxi stylist ambassadors. In February, the company will launch a new website and education portal. Aloxxi positions the Bombshell Shine Mist as traditional hair care, because it purports to protect from blue light damage that can impact colored hair. Essentially, it’s not only a hair styling product, but it’s also a hair-care product.
LaFond said shiny hair was associated with greasy and unclean hair in the past, but that people are now evolving away from that connotation. In some ways, it could be considered similar to the dewy skin look, where shininess used to indicate oily and acne-prone skin, but having a hint of shine now makes one appear fresh and glowing.
LaFond said her customer education for Amika’s Glossy Shiny Spray focuses on the healthy-hair ingredients in the formula, such as sea buckthorn. It also spotlights the fact that it’s formulated without mineral oils or animal testing.
“The foundation of skin care is ingredients; that’s what people look for when they look into skin care. And that’s what’s happening in hair care. People are hyper-focused on ingredients now,” she said.