Everyone’s beauty routine is an extremely personal process, one that is becoming more customized with the rise of the personalized beauty market. According to Research and Markets, the personalized beauty market is expected to grow from $29.25 billion in 2021 to $37.72 billion in 2022 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.87 percent. The market is expected to reach $51.64 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 12.08 percent. A personalization concept can range from a company questionnaire determining a consumer’s individual needs and tailoring products according to the gathered info, to scanning a consumer’s hair type and analyzing strands to determine a customized hair product set. Beauty News approached three personalized beauty brands, including Proven Skincare, Function of Beauty, and newly-launched The Hair Lab, to explore why this specific section of the beauty market is expanding so quickly. 

Tailoring to Individual Consumer Needs

A major factor why personalized beauty is increasing at such an exponential rate is the ability to create a product that meets a consumer’s specific beauty needs.

As Proven Skincare’s co-founders Ming Zhao and Dr. Amy Yuan said, “Given two choices of products, one being one-size-fits-all, one being tailored to an individual, what is today’s consumer going to choose? It’s a no-brainer that they will select the tailored, personalized product.”

Similarly, Marianna Trofimova, Function of Beauty’s Chief Marketing Officer, noted, “The personalized beauty industry is certainly here to stay and will progressively become the norm in the beauty space. Especially, with Gen Z [consumers] being the most diverse population in history, resulting in diverse needs and complex concerns across the hair, skin, and body. Personalized beauty allows for those needs to be addressed in a unique way and ensures you’re getting the best results.”

Function of Beauty was one of the first personalized beauty brands to gain mass appeal. Launching in October 2016, it has since become available available in Target stores beginning in December 2020. The customizable hair care and skin care company is one of the fastest expanding personalized beauty brands on the market. As noted by NielsenIQ, Function of Beauty experienced more than 77 percent growth in the past 52 weeks.

Databases and Tech Drive Personalization Growth

Enhanced data spaces and AI technology have also significantly contributed to the personalized beauty industry’s rapid expansion in the past few years.

Ming and Dr. Amy Yuan explained, “Our Skin Genome Project is the largest beauty database in the world. It follows the same line of questioning as a dermatologist and enables us to create personalized skin care based on 47 important factors about the customers’ skin, environment, lifestyle, and personal preferences.”

Whereas personalized brands previously explored consumer concerns like acne or color-treated hair, brands like Proven Skincare and The Hair Lab also take into consideration the environment of the consumer, with factors such as humidity or air pollution, to determine the best possible product solution.

Eric Delapenha, Founder and CEO of The Hair Lab, explained how the brand goes above and beyond to customize hair care items for its consumer base. “First, the device [The Hair Lab’s handheld Strands Smart Scanner] captures several visible light images and parallel polarized light images at 20x magnification. The images are sent to our cloud database for processing by our AI-enabled algorithms to analyze hair texture, scalp sebum, and a few other key biological hair factors… These measurements, in combination with user preferences and location-based environmental factors like UV, humidity, and pollution are then processed together using a separate algorithm that we developed using the insights from our Strands biological hair database, to create a final product recommendation.”

Creating a Convenient Shopping Experience

Personalized beauty brands have never been as easy to shop for as they are now. Aside from having the convenience of ordering personalized beauty products online within the span of a few minutes, consumers can now reach several personalized beauty brands within mainstream retail stores.

Eric pointed out that the process saves customers from the time and money that often comes with the trial-and-error of testing out multiple products.

“If a consumer is looking to forgo this trial-and-error method and not continue to spend money trying products that may not work, technology can often offer an alternative solution. As each person’s hair is entirely different, the same way our skin textures and needs differ from person to person, The Hair Lab by Strands is accessibly filling a gap and answering the need for custom hair care,” Eric explained.

The Hair Lab launches on Walmart.com August 18 and will be available in 2,500 U.S.-based Walmart stores beginning September 1. The Walmart-exclusive hair care collection features three shampoo bases—moisturizing, revitalizing, and clarifying—specific to scalp type ($8.94 each); three conditioner bases—lightweight, well-balanced, and deep— tailored to hair texture ($8.94 each), and 10 specialized doses to address the full spectrum of hair needs, such as heat defense and curl definition, ($2.94 each). The retail outlet and price range of the products make The Hair Lab one of the more affordable personalized beauty brands on the market.

In the years to come, the personalized beauty industry will only become even more customizable and accessible to the public, touching even more categories.