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TikTok hair care and scalp care trends – how is it evolving the beauty landscape and influencing Generation Z?

You probably have read or heard one too many times about how the COVID-19 pandemic has enormously impacted beauty trends on social media. It is clear Gen Z’s and millennials’ are currently having the most significant online influence over how beauty and personal care products should be consumed with over 60% of TikTok users being Gen Z (1). Out of all social platforms, the world has chosen and made TikTok a very powerful and easy-to-adopt channel for it with over a billion monthly active users (2). Now at the halfway mark of 2022, so much attention has turned to TikTok hair care and scalp care trends...
beautiful woman smiling whilst holding her long soft hair

It is time to get acquainted with the mega-trending TikTok hashtag, #hairtok. Search it anywhere and you will see varieties of TikTok hair care routines, styling, colour dyes, ingredients to have or avoid in shampoos or conditioners, sustainable hacks, transformations, dandruff care, scalp care, etc. Whatever you can think of the list goes on and #hairtok can lead you to it. Over 22.8 billion videos are posted in TikTok using this hashtag. Other hashtags more relevant and specific to Croda’s innovative portfolio are #healthyhair (>2 billion views), #hairscience (>21.8 million views) and #scalpcare (>258.7 million views).

Screenshot of hair care on TikTok


TikTok is indeed the trend driver for beauty trends and advances faster than market experts capturing the data. According to a Global Cosmetic Industry article, the prestige hair care sector is trajected to jump 15% year-over-year and, anticipated to continue through 2024. Asia’s hair market is set to have a CAGR of 4.21% up till 2027, as forecasted by Mordor Intelligence. While the hair market was heavily and negatively impacted by the early days of COVID-19, due to movement restrictions to the salon, hair spa or simply going out in general; consumers were washing their hair less or realising the presence of hair thinning, damage, loss, dandruff and, scalp care altogether.

The global lockdowns, in a way, forced consumers to find at-home hair solutions on social media, hence, TikTok.  Consumers are suddenly seeking hair care routines, hacks and products that have specific efficacy in addition to environmental consciousness. There is higher demand for conditioners and at-home treatments, where the concept of ‘less is more’ is preferred. Thus, they are particularly selective when shopping online. Furthermore, Gen Z behaviour tends to skew favourably to proven testimonies by influencers and peers.

Sustainable yet result-driven conditioners and at-home hair treatments can easily be found within Croda’s portfolio. Formulators can explore Nutrinvent Balance™ to fulfil this TikTok hair care trend. It is sourced from sustainable palm (RSPO), ISO 16128 and plant-derived, making it vegan suitable. The novel encapsulation technology is suitable as a leave-on or rinse-off conditioner.

How else is Nutrinvent Balance™ sustainable, you ask? It is estimated that for every tonne of Nutrinvent Balance™ used; 129.4million litres of water is saved. It is a fantastic shampoo application due to its controlled release of actives onto scalp and hair, by instantly reduce sebum on the scalp. When hair aesthetics are perceived to be improved, consumers adapt their usual hair wash routines and thus, reduce water consumption.

Hair washing with shampoo bar

Sophisticated awareness for hair care has exploded in China and India. Premiumisation is really taking a turn. Euromonitor and Mintel both have attested, in their separate research papers, that Chinese consumers are also switching to leave-in hair conditioners, oils, serums and masks.

Oils such as Cropure™ Meadowfoam is a popular choice in China. Excellent in moisture-retaining properties, its waxy texture is similar to jojoba oil and, offers a soft and cushiony skin feel. It is a highly versatile ingredient that can be developed into any hair product types. Another oil-type for hair care we can look at is Cropure™ Avocado that has high content oleic acid, palmitic acid and linoleic acid. This highly purified oil has high affinity to skin and scalp, nourishing and offers supple, soft skin feel.

Many modern-day Chinese consider hair care to be as important as skin care. With this perception, they are willing to invest in premium products. It is interesting to note that it is not just the female spectrum but men, are also getting more aware and decisive with premium hair care and scalp care. Chinese consumers are beginning to scrutinise ingredients and wanting results-driven products.

Daxue Consulting projects a CAGR of around 6.5%, which will mean an estimated RMB 72.6 billion in 2026. Its analysis also understands the rising demand in hair growth products and echoes ‘skinification’. Skinification of hair is a new and trending approach that is akin to treating hair and even scalp like skin, based on your own individuality. Everybody’s hair and scalp are different. Recognising this, consumers are skewing their purchase decisions towards hero ingredients that nourish the scalp hence, promoting hair health and shine. Consequentially, this opens opportunities for pre-wash, essential oils, scalp cleansing, moisturising and even advanced ampoule care.

An ingredient to consider when developing a scalp and hair serum or scalp cleansing spray; is Phytessence™ Hazel Leaf. As the TikTok generation knows, the scalp is key to beautiful and healthy hair. It is an active ingredient that plays a role in collagen VII synthesis, reinforces the cohesion between the dermis and epidermis cells and anchoring the hair fibres to reduce hair fall. Also naturally-derived, Phytessence™ Hazel Leaf will make a great hair detox scrub too.

Asian people smiling and laughing

The Gen Z population in China should not be forgotten as well. Like everywhere else in the world, the younger generation in China turn to Dou Yin – the Chinese version of TikTok. As powerful drivers, they certainly have more detailed requirements for hair and scalp products.

India, on the other hand, is seeing a surging demand in ayurvedic hair care products. In TikTok, #ayurvedahaircare garners more than 994 thousand views. This medicinal trend is driven by influencers, not only of Indian ethnicity living abroad but also, others who swear by the effectiveness to promote growth and repair damage.

Hairspa™ is an adaptive prebiotic that reinforces fragile and vulnerable scalp. In addition, the ingredient limits dryness and itching. A relatable scalp condition would be dandruff and Hairspa™ can provide the skin with comfort, even against oiliness. Consumers prone to hair breakage or loss, can truly benefit from this active ingredient. Furthermore, it is certified IECIC, Halal, COSMOS and ISO 16128.

The Indian market also wants more natural hair care products, which again, due to growing consciousness for the environment and the belief of less is more. Speaking of the natural, consumers have grown to accepting au naturale, curly hair. A commercial brand based in India, Arata, has an advanced curl care range in its portfolio. The curl care range is developed to counter the long-held beauty standard of straight hair in many Asian communities.

This vision allows consumer inclusivity, in which Gen Z speaks out and supports when brands go that direction. Briefly mentioned in this article by Cosmetics Design Asia, Arata aims to fill a huge gap in hair products designed especially for curly hair types in India and the wide Asia region.  Their strategy includes hiring a Bollywood actress, Taapsee Pannu, who has naturally curly hair. Arata quotes in an article by e4m, “Around 60% of the world’s population has either curly or wavy hair and the lack of any Indian celebrity endorsements for this community is surprising. Not many Indian personal care brands have catered specifically to the needs of the curly haired community.” The brand’s chosen ambassador is authentic and relatable, which will serve the palettes of Gen Z well.

Personal care brands should look and listen to what their future customers are saying on TikTok. The influencer landscape has tremendously evolved because the laymen are researching and educating themselves more, whether scientifically factual or not. The uniqueness of short, bite-sized, less-than-one-minute video posts make it highly accessible to everyone.

Real-life professionals have also been drawn to the world of TikTok, which offers them higher credibility and lowers the barrier of communication. These professionals include dermatologists, cosmetologists, cosmetics chemists and so on. We found a couple of interesting and relevant TikTok profiles that worth checking out:

  1. CRD Beauty Crew. They are a culturally diverse squad of beauty enthusiasts who, not only are passionate but also, know their stuff and facts behind cosmetic ingredient science.


     CRD Beauty Crew TikTok screenshot

  2. Katie and the chemists. A trendy Gen Z who loves exploring formulations and ingredient benefits for skin, hair, sun and colour care.


 Katie_and_the_Chemists TikTok screenshot


They create casual yet educational content that is easy to understand, even though there may be scientific jargons.

The TikTok audience are becoming ingredient junkies and are willing to absorb such knowledge because efficacy and results are key purchase considerations. This social media channel is here to stay in the long run as an edu-tainment platform for beauty, cosmetics and personal care. The emphasis on hair care, in relation to aesthetics and self-care, will continue to boom on TikTok. Croda continually keeps up with this vocal generation and develops solutions to answer Gen Z and millenials’ beauty woes and demands.

Browse through Croda’s portfolio of products or, check out our other TikTok trends blogs listed below!

Nutrinvent Balance - water saving solution infographic

Nutrinvent Balance Water Saving Solution Infographic
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