Pure Beauty

Olaplex sales slide in Q4 2022 amid hair loss lawsuit

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 3-Mar-2023

A lawsuit filed against Olaplex on 17 February claims that its No. 0 to No. 9 products cause hair loss and scalp blisters

Olaplex saw sales slump by 21.5% to US$130.7m in its final quarter of trading in 2022.

The declines were recorded across the hair care brand’s core trading categories, with a 16% decrease in Professional product sales.

Specialty retail sales were also down by 33.9%, with only direct-to-consumer trading seeing a 3% increase to $168.5m.

Despite a challenging fourth quarter, the brand ended 2022 with a 17.7% rise in sales to $704.3m.

Turnover increased by 15.4% in the US and increased 20.9% internationally in 2023.

"As expected, the fourth quarter represented a challenging end to fiscal 2022 reflecting the rapidly changing market dynamic that began mid-year,” said JuE Wong, Olaplex’s President and CEO.

“Our priorities in 2023 are to reset our base and invest in our core to provide a more powerful platform for growth.”

The company is anticipating further declines for Q1 2023, due to inventory rebalancing issues from some of its professional and specialty retail customers.

This is expected to lower year-over-year net sales for the first quarter by around $25m.

“We are focused on increasing investments in sales, marketing and education, while continuing to bring to market efficacious products that professionals and consumers love and trust,” added Wong.

The hair care brand is also currently grappling with a lawsuit filed against it in February 2023, which alleges that its No. 0 to No. 9 products cause hair loss and scalp blisters.

A group of 28 women are seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuit has drawn attention online, with discussions around the allegations occurring across social media.

Olaplex was quick to respond, however, with Wong issuing a public statement arguing against the “baseless accusations”.

“Olaplex products do not cause hair loss or breakage,” said Wong at the time.

“Olaplex products are safe and effective, as millions of our customers can happily attest.

“We want to reassure our community of professional stylists, customers and fans that they can continue to use our products with confidence.”

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