Olaplex sells to private equity firm Advent International

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Chatchai Limjareon)
© Getty Images \ (Chatchai Limjareon)

Related tags acquisition Venture capital Hair care

This week the professional hair brand and the firm announced a deal that will see Olaplex grow in terms of global market reach, product portfolio, and retail strategy.

“Olaplex has differentiated itself by offering superior products backed by patents,”​ says Tricia Glynn, a managing director at Advent, in a media release about the acquisition deal. And she goes on to point out that, “It is rare [to] see brands of this size growing so rapidly and with such a passionate consumer base.”

“We believe the company has significant runway for growth by increasing its brand awareness globally, broadening its product line of innovative ‘hero’ products, and further developing its ability to speak and sell to consumers directly,” ​says Glynn.

The beginning of Olaplex

Dean Cristal and Darcy Christal founded Olaplex in 2004, leveraging a patented hair protection and repair technology and an ingredient called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleat. The tech behind the brand was developed by Eric D Pressly and Craig J Hawker, chemists at the University of California Santa Barbara, and has in the past been the focus of a legal dispute between the brand and L’Oréal—that company was, in 2015, in talks with Olaplex to acquire the business.

Still, “in just five years…the company has emerged as one of the largest independent hair care brands in the world….Olaplex is a go-to brand for both stylists and consumers,” ​according to this week’s media release.

Today Olaplex products are used and sold in the professional channel as well as in conventional beauty retail stores like Sephora. “Damaged hair is a universal problem,” ​asserts Dean Christal. “Having grown up in the beauty business,” ​he says, “I was inspired to disrupt the hair care industry by developing a technology that protects hair from damage.”

Advent International and Olaplex

Advent International has been in business since 1984, has offices in 12 countries, has transacted deals in 41 countries, and as of June has $54bn in assets undermanagement, according to this week’s media release about the Olaplex deal.

Advent invests in several sectors: technology; industrial; healthcare; business and financial services, and in the retail, consumer, and leisure sector—which is where Olaplex fits in. The company’s only other investment in a beauty brand is Arabela, a direct-sales beauty and personal care company that Advent acquired in a buyout in 1998.

Still, the firms track record growing businesses around the globe made the deal appealing to Olaplex. “With Advent’s shared vision and deep experience in supporting high-growth businesses, we look forward to enhancing our company’s strong customer loyalty globally and across channels and realizing our ambitious growth plan,” ​says Dean Christal.

And Tiffany Walden, chief operating officer of Olaplex sounds as confident about the company’s past as she is about the future with Advent. “I’m proud of the success Olaplex has achieved to date,” ​she says in this week’s media release. “We are excited to work with Advent to build on our foundation and continue to provide our customers with the highest quality products.”



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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