Creations Newsletter Issue 14 Header Image
Scientists Formulating for Hair
Formulator's Focus

Formulating for Multicultural Hair Differences

How does your brand offer targeted solutions to meet the needs of today's growing multicultural market? BASF understands this challenge and offers an extensive personal care portfolio and the expertise needed to offer our customers imaginative and innovative products and ideas to solve a variety of formulation challenges.

Understand the Basics

Consumers are seeking new products to satisfy two needs: hair care for their specific hair type, and to embrace current styles and trends. It is therefore essential when developing formulations to bring these hair care products to the market, to understand the behavior of the hair and its basic physical and chemical structure.
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Focus on Hair Structure and Condition

The development chemist faces a variety of challenges when formulating products for the multicultural hair care market, therefore it is beneficial to focus on hair structure and condition rather than on ethnic background.
There are four basic reasons for this:
  1. The natural structure of the hair is quite different
    1. A consumer with thick, curly hair will need more maintenance/conditioning products or services compared to one with fine, thin hair; which may require a simpler regimen to maintain his or her hair.
  2. Hair styles vary from consumer to consumer
    1. The formulator needs to assess what products are needed to achieve a particular style.
    2. No matter what the style, male and female consumers desire products that enhance the style and condition of their hair.
  3. Hair care habits differ
    1. Depending on hair type and geographic regions, consumer regimes can differ greatly (i.e. how often is hair washed, conditioned, treatments used, etc.?)
  4. Hair damage is Not Uniform from the root to the tip of hair
    1. Hair damage is caused by both mechanical and chemical trauma that alters any of the physical structural components of the hair.

What is the key to formulating for multicultural hair?

It is really about combining the hair type and needs of the consumer to the current trends to come up with a defined benefit and why it would work for the specific hair type.

BASF has several ingredients to address the needs of multicultural consumers

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Source: Ref: A. Syed, Ethnic Hair care: History, Trends and Formulation, Cosmetics &Toiletries, Vol. 108, September 1993, p.99.


Do you want more information? We would love to hear from you. Please contact Andrew Miller, Hair Care Marketing Manager, North America or visit our website.
For more information on care creations visit us online at
carecreations.basf.com