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Top wellness trends for 2024

Multi-sensory wellness and male beauty treatments are amongst the New Year's top trends according to reports.

Trend forecaster WGSN launched The Future of Beauty and Wellness Report 2024, in collaboration with salon software brand Fresha, together uncovering 11 trends set to shape the health and beauty industry next year. Top of the agenda? Dopamine beauty, prioritised indulgence and pet wellness.

Liberated wellness

Beauty standards and wellness culture are changing, breaking boundaries and redefining what it is to feel good inside and out.

Dopamine beauty

We're all more focused on mental and emotional health and now that's inextricably linked with beauty as well. Biohacking the feel-good brain chemical dopamine, emotionally driven services are set to dominate, ranging from things like the use of colour as a tool for expression, and the rise of psychodermatology, drawing "links between poor mental health and skin conditions, by focusing on how the mind can treat the body and vice versa."

Prioritised indulgence

We love this one because we have always felt that a little indulgence is good for the soul. This trend sees renewed appreciation for the time spent on self-care and beauty routines. The revised perspective is that it's not actually indulgent at all, but a necessity to look after yourself.

Pet wellness

Our pets are such an important part of our emotional wellbeing for many - not to mention helping us to get outside and exercise even when the weather isn't so inviting. "Hair and beauty services are beginning to include experiences that help pets and pet-parents to feel good." Spas like Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa offer a “pampered pooch” luxury pet-sitting service, as it turns out most of us don't like leaving our furry friends and feel anxious when we don't know what they're up to.

Phygital exploration

Leveraging technology to our wellbeing advantage, phygital exploration sees AR and VR merge the online and offline worlds to help us explore beauty in phygital worlds (a blend of digital and physical). Opening up innovative opportunities, it's leading to things like safe experimentation with new hair or beauty looks as well as the use of generative AI software to predict how your skin will change over time through the use of different skincare products.

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No-boundaries beauty

As historic beauty attitudes around gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity are challenged, inclusive beauty is on the rise to tackle unmet consumer needs. It's about responding to individual needs, and within that there are three beauty and wellness trends emerging, focusing on individual identities: cultural intellect, modern males, and gender-fluid futures.

Cultural intellect

Consumers are demanding hair, beauty and wellness services that represent a greater diversity of needs.

Modern males

Traditional gender narratives are being rewritten. Men are becoming more confident in trying out new services, driving progressive change in the male grooming and beauty market.

Gender-fluid futures

Conversations about gender are evolving from a binary to a fluid mindset. WGSN says this is: "inspiring hair, beauty and wellness destinations to question gender-assuming language and services so that all identities can access the right experiences for them."

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New-age experiences

We're all becoming much more curious about our wellbeing on multiple levels, with each of us seeking explorative, personalised, in-real-life experiences across the board. Technology does wonderful things, but more of us are appreciating the benefits of in-person experiences, which is where health, wellbeing and beauty can really make a difference, whether it's having a massage or a haircut.

A makeover for add-ons

It's all about maximising the experience, so a haircut is no longer just a haircut but a head massage as well, with free drinks, magazine and so forth. It's about the whole experience.

Multi-sensory wellness

We know we are multi-sensory beings and we're embracing that in our wellness experiences to enhance the sense of rest, recovery and balance. We're becoming much more holistic in our wellness approach with practices like mindfulness, journaling and meditation, and that's extending to the spa and salon space by maximising on the sensory experience. WGSN says: "Beauty and wellness services are becoming more sensorial, subtly engaging all five senses to deliver an immersive experience that leaves consumers feeling positive long after their treatment."

Health tweakments

Tweakments (eg., fillers, Botox, microneedling and skin peels) have historically been about going under the knife but the move towards minimally invasive cosmetic enhancements is only continuing to maintain momentum. Preserving the appearance of peak health for an undetectable, more natural look is the idea, and "The goal is no longer to look younger, but to look healthier."

Accessible diagnostics

In a world of data and tech we want to know what's what when it comes to our health. There's a rapid rise in health tech, opening up access to diagnostics within beauty and wellness services. Our heightened focus on health and wellness is triggering rapid innovation in the world of tech, opening up access to diagnostics within beauty and wellness services. Monitoring devices are becoming commonplace in everyday life, and spas and salons are adding to the conversation with smart-tool upgrades that enable people to have hyper-individualised care and experiences.

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