These Hair Care Formulations Are Solid—Literally

A new trend is raising the “bar” in hair care.

From June 2018 to May 2021, the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNDP) showed that personal care brands launched a combined 527 hair products in bar and solid formats—accelerating from just 20 products in 2018 to 235 products in 2020. If 2021 keeps its current pace, it will nearly double the 2020 tally with roughly 420 new launches.

The growth story of solid format hair care starts with bar soap, which is in a renaissance of natural, sustainable and sensorial formulations that speak to the clean beauty movement. Much like a body bar, a shampoo bar contains ingredients that cleanse and purify. Conditioner bars and hair color bricks are becoming increasingly popular, too. Here are a few innovative examples from Sensient:

Energizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar

Energizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar

Reawaken hair back to its clean, glossy state with no sulfates needed. This shampoo bar gets its silky conditioning effect from our Natpure® Feel-M Eco, a non-volatile silicone replacement that nourishes hair with enhanced spreadability as emollients are released. That means easy combing and limited color transfer. The addition of gentle Sensishield® Scalp helps reduce inflammation and irritation with antioxidant guayusa leaf extract that fights free radicals.

Orange Shine Shampoo Bar

Orange Shine Shampoo Bar

Make damaged hair rise and shine using our Orange Shine Shampoo Bar. While many traditional shampoos are made from mostly chemicals and water, this eco-friendly, dry format shampoo breaks that chain by packing a concentrated, waste-free dose of ingredients to leave hair feeling soft, shiny and revived.

Like the Energizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo Bar, the Orange Shine Shampoo Bar starts with Natpure® Feel-M Eco. The bright, morning-ready color is brought to you by Natpure® Col Orange, a natural water-soluble dye. The Natpure® Col line is 100% botanical, traceable and consistent.

Anti-Brassy Conditioner Bar

Anti-Brassy Conditioner Bar

Calling all blondes—if you’re looking for a conditioner that leaves your golden tresses looking lovely, our Anti-Brassy Conditioner Bar is the storybook formula you’ve been missing. Unicert® Violet K7025-J dye reduces any brassy tones, leaving blonde hair gleaming gold. For conditioning, we’ve added Natpure® Feel-M Eco and Sensibiopro® R to coat every strand with natural shine.

Sensibiopro® R is an innovative technology that can dramatically improve the condition and overall appearance of colored hair. It is a complete system of amino and fatty acids with an active ingredient to deliver hair reparation, restore hydrophobicity, and protect hair against heat damage. Used in shampoos and conditioners as a reinforcer of hair barrier structure, it makes colored hair not only softer, but stronger.

Botanical Hair Color Brick


Another 100% botanical bar, this hair color brick begins with Natpure® Col Dark Brown 230, a ready-to-use blend of Natpure® Col dyes made from carefully selected and grinded leaves of Henna and Indigo. Cocoa butter adds its well-known nourishing properties, followed by a natural fragrance from the highest quality essential oils highlighted by a top note of crisp rosemary and rounded with sweet Ylang Ylang. Geranium imparts a floral and herbal green medium note.

Why Switch to Solid Format Hair Care?

The solid hair care trend is attractive for many reasons, the most notable being:

  • Reduced greenhouse emissions in manufacturing
  • Water conservation in formulation
  • Minimal and recyclable packaging (or no packaging at all)
  • Zero waste potential
  • Long-lasting use (up to 80 washes, equivalent to three bottles of shampoo)
  • Affordable price points for consumers
  • Natural ingredients and unique formulas

Most of these benefits center on sustainability, as GlobalData shows that some 80 million plastic bottles are disposed of around the world every year just from shampoo and conditioner alone, adding to the world’s growing mountain of plastic waste. But make no mistake; shampoo bars, conditioner bars and hair color bricks are truly desirable when it comes to hair care. Natural, vegan and organic ingredients are driving this emerging market, making Sensient a “natural” fit to lead the path forward. Contact us to learn more about our solid format hair care portfolio.

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