Several canny moves have propelled The Ordinary to the forefront of beauty since its inception in 2017: its ingredients-first, no-frills skincare products; its ultra-affordable pricing; its annual anti-Black Friday month-long sale.
Haircare is not one of them.
But on February 22, The Ordinary surprised customers with the launch of hair and scalp treatments, an expansion that DECIEM, The Ordinary's parent company, characterized as "the epitome of the 'skinification of hair.'"
The Ordinary's chief scientific officer, Prudvi Kaka, provided Highsnobiety with a succinct explanation of what, exactly, the "skinfication of hair" is.
Specifically, it "refers to the shift in the industry where companies are highlighting the importance of treating the scalp like any other area of skin," Kaka said.
"The Ordinary’s new hair care line [offers] consumers formulations and ingredients that would ordinarily be used in skincare."
For example, there's a scalp serum formulated with hyaluronic acid, a humectant commonly used in moisturizers; a two-in-one hair and body wash with tocopherol, an antioxidant, and phytic acid, a mild exfoliant; and a hair treatment boasting a cocktail of peptides, collagen-boosting amino acids that can help reduce inflammation and support hair growth when applied to the scalp.
Basically, The Ordinary's hair care range revolves around the single, simple concept: the health of your scalp (which is skin, in case you forgot) is key to growing thick, shiny locks.
"There is a gap in consumer education regarding scalp care," Kaka continued, explaining that the skin on your head requires upkeep just like the skin of your face.
"We are encouraging our customers to think of their scalp care through the same lens as their skincare regimens."
If your Spidey Senses are tingling, fear not. As buzzword-y and marketable as the phrase "skinification of haircare" might sound, robust science supports its sentiment.
The Ordinary isn't the only brand clued in to the power of the scalp — other skin-focused imprints are turning to hair care, too.
Augustinus Bader, Dr. Barbara Sturm, and Drunk Elephant recently launched their own treatments for your noggin skin. We're even beginning to see the opposite occur, as hair care giants such as OUAI branch out into skincare.
Others have embraced the hair-skin connection from the start. Take SEEN, a dermatologist-developed hair care line, for example — the brand's products are developed without clogging and irritating ingredients (such as silicones and fragrance) that, even after a shower, can leave residue on the skin and cause breakouts.
The skinification of hair points to the wider truth that a single magic bullet for "perfect" skin or hair simply doesn't exist. Beauty and health are holistic, a reality that brands touting magic cures and miracle products don't want you to accept.
So, the next time you're having a bad hair day, get down to the, well, root of the problem. It might just be your scalp.