Olaplex, the salon-quality hair care line that has achieved an online cult following, has made news by announcing its recent debut on the stock market. Gaining popularity via social media platforms and influencers, the newish company has made considerable waves (pun intended) in the past two years and is now valued at over $15 billion.

CivicScience took a quick look at where this fast-growing company stands today and who the Olaplex customer is likely to be as the brand scales up.

Niche Now, With Room to Grow

When it comes to adoption, Olaplex is still very niche. A survey of more than 2,600 U.S. adults found that under 10% have used Olaplex products, with 5% planning to try it in the future. Most people have not yet heard of the brand, leaving plenty of room to grow.

Olaplex Customers Place Brand Over Price

The brand’s claim to fame is that it repairs damaged hair through patented, science-backed technology. According to statements from the company’s CEO, Olaplex aims to appeal to the consumer who values quality over price. 

The survey shows that to be on-point – half of those who have used Olaplex say they value brand over price when it comes to shopping for health and beauty items, such as shampoo. That sentiment is nearly as strong among those who say they plan to try the product in the future.

Olaplex is tapping into a much broader trend. CivicScience general tracking (unrelated to Olaplex) shows that 30% of consumers now say that brand is more important to them than price when shopping for health and beauty products.

Income Isn’t Everything

Are high-quality beauty products exclusive to higher earners? Olaplex is top-shelf hair care when it comes to price, competing with Pureology, Living Proof, and similar salon brands. However, the brand is most popular among those earning $50K or less annually. Data indicates the brand carries the highest appeal with younger adults (18-29), making it likely that these lower-income spenders are also young (echoing Gen Z purchasing behaviors seen in previous studies).

TikTok for the Win

Olaplex adopters and intenders heavily over-index as TikTok users. Yet TikTok usage sharply drops off among those who have never heard of the brand. Reaching these folks may require harnessing other social media platforms (such as Facebook) to drive future awareness and adoption.

Olaplex remains a niche product. However as the data show, there is certainly room to scale, especially among those willing to sacrifice price for brand, or arguably, quality.