Olaplex has carved out a fast-growing market worldwide for its bond-building hair products. The US brand has sparked a host of imitators, but its patented technology has achieved gold standard status for repairing hair damage.

Originally a professional brand, Olaplex has shifted to online sales and partnerships with leading retailers such as Sephora, Adore Beauty and Lookfantastic. Online and retail sales now account for 27 per cent and 18 per cent of revenues, respectively.

Olaplex was named the number one brand in the hair category for Sephora US in 2020 and overall sales increased 90 per cent last year to US$282.3 million. This year has been even better, with revenues soaring 171 per cent to US$270.2 million over the past six months.

Advent International, which inked a deal to acquire the Laura Mercier, bareMinerals and Buxom Cosmetics brands from Shiseido last week, acquired Olaplex in early 2020 for an undisclosed sum. The private equity giant has filed an IPO (initial public offering) at the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise US$100 million, valuing Olaplex at US$1.5 billion.

Major global banks such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Barclays are leading the offering and Advent will continue to control the company after the listing. Founded in 2014 by Dean and Darcy Cristal, Olaplex is one of the most social media savvy haircare brands in the world. One of its Hair Perfector products is sold somewhere in the world every five seconds.

Prestige haircare is one of the fastest-growing categories, reports The NPD Group, and expects the sector to grow at a compound annual rate of six per cent over the next four years. Olaplex is also poised to enter the wellness and skincare categories in the near future and will also debut on Alibaba’s Tmall and in Latin America.

In addition to being available through third party e-tailers in Australia, Olaplex has its own dedicated, direct-to-consumer and salon website in Australia – olaplex.com.au.

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