On the heels of its majority stake acquisition by Unilever, hair-growth supplement brand Nutrafol is expanding into topical products.
On June 8, the 6-year-old brand launched three products under a new Scalp Microbiome collection. They include an exfoliating hair scalp mask, a cleansing shampoo and a scalp essence, and range in price from from $44-$59. In Oct. 2021, the brand launched its first topical product called Growth Activator, for $69. Nutrafol offers four core supplements for men and women, as well as five add-on supplements to target stress, hormones and collagen. Nutrafol is sold via DTC e-commerce and through a network of 3,000 doctor offices and salons.
“[This expansion] is about [an understanding] that we can biologically affect certain things from within and from our lifestyle. But there are certain things that need additional support. Even if you’re taking all of the supplements, if you’re not treating your scalp well, you’re going to be [negatively] affecting it,” said Sam Archer, vp of product marketing and innovation at Nutrafol.
To differentiate its product expansion, Nutrafol opted to tackle the scalp from a microbiome perspective. The microbiome and the skin barrier have become a hot topic for skin-care brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm, Beekman1802, Codex Beauty, Biologique Recherche and even Lenny Kravitz-backed oral care brand Twice. Nutrafol’s education strategy on social media will begin with identifying what hair loss is, why it happens, what the relationship is with scalp microbiome and what causes imbalances.
“With supplements, the most important thing is getting to habit formation, but with topical products, it’s a little bit different. People are already washing their hair, so we [just] have to make sure these are products that people enjoy using,” said Archer.
The arrival of this expanded product category comes as the brand finds new growth opportunities post-acquisition. Depending on one’s product routine, a person could be taking up to six daily capsule supplements from Nutrafol, which could be a strain on launching future capsule products. Terms of the Unilever acquisition deal were not disclosed, but media reports put the brand’s valuation at around $1 billion.
According to Nutrafol, it experienced a 100% year-over-year sales growth in 2021, and sales are expected to increase by 86% year-over-year in 2022. Glossy’s July 2021 reporting stated that industry sources estimated Nutrafol’s top-line revenue to land between $150 million and $175 million in 2021, which would bring its 2022 estimated revenue to between $279 million and $326 million if expectations held true. Furthermore, Nutrafol’s professional sales channel grew 77% year-over-year as of March, according to the brand.
Nutrafol, previously received funding from private equity firm L Catterton and will operate as part of Unilever’s Health & Wellbeing unit, which includes brands like Olly, Liquid I.V. and Onnit.
“Joining forces with a leading global organization like Unilever, and all the resources and scale that comes with that, is the natural evolution in our mission to help people grow into their best selves through whole-body health,” said Giorgos Tsetis, co-founder and CEO of Nutrafol, in a statement.