Personal care giant Henkel, which is known for brands like Schwarzkopf and Dial, is investing in customizable hair dye. The company has acquired a 51 percent stake in the LA-based eSalon.com, which specializes in creating personalized hair dye formulas designed for at-home application. The brand first launched in 2010, and offers clients the chance to test out products as a one-time purchase or commit to a subscription. It generated sales of approximately $30 million in the financial year of 2018.
"With this joint venture, we aim to grow our core business and at the same time expand in an innovative digital business model," said Jens-Martin Schwärzler, Executive Vice President and responsible for Henkel’s Beauty Care business. "The strong eSalon business which addresses the growing trend of personalization in beauty care will be a perfect fit. We expect to gain valuable consumer insights that will also help us to create meaningful innovations for our classical retail consumers."
The acquisition is the latest in a series of big moves for Henkel, which launched the vegan brand Nature Box earlier this year, focusing on cold-pressed oils, vegan formulas and certain sustainably-sourced ingredients.
At-home hair dyes have become a source of innovation for beauty giants recently, as brands seek to tap into the growing trend for customizable beauty options and offer a more nuanced product. In May, L’Oréal unveiled Color&Co, a personalized hair coloring experience offering users an online consultation from a professional colorist via live video. Following the analysis, the service selects an appropriate base color, modifying depth and tone to create a unique custom color blend for each client. The hair color is then mailed to shoppers, along with personalized application instructions. In February, the beauty giant’s Garnier label also teamed up with the augmented reality (AR) platform Modiface to launch a ’Virtual Shade Selector’ tool that uses personalized technology to recommend different shades to consumers via smartphone or computer.