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Helen of Troy Acquires Curlsmith for $150M

Helen of Troy also owns the Drybar products business and makes Revlon tools.

Helen of Troy has acquired Curlsmith, a product line for textured hair, for $150 million.

Curlsmith was founded by Michal Berski, a L’Oréal and Unilever veteran, in 2017. The business was born out of Berski’s blog, where he talked about products for textured hair, and gradually grew into a community-informed product line. Curlsmith is sold in 44 countries. In the U.S., the line is sold at Ulta Beauty and online.

“I have textured hair myself, and when I started growing it out, I realized there were really not many products out there on the market that would be useful for my hair type,” Berski said.

After he began blogging, the Curlsmith community took off, he said. “In a couple months, we got about 10,000 followers on Instagram just following my blog for the tips and advice. We didn’t have a brand, we didn’t have products back then. After a few months, the community started prompting us to develop a product line for people with textured hair,” Berski said.

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“We engaged them in product design, even the brand name, how it should smell, what ingredients we should use,” Berski said.

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Curlsmith’s products include Bonding Oil, In-Shower Style Fixer, Shine Gel and Curl Defining Styling Souffle, and are meant for people with wavy to coily hair. Most of the brand’s products fall in the $20 price range. The business is projected to do between $40 million and $42 million in net sales for this year.

Helen of Troy said Curlsmith will immediately become the most profitable brand in its portfolio. The brand’s sales doubled from 2020 to 2021 and are projected to continue growing in the double digits, Helen of Troy said in a statement.

When the deal closes, Berski confirmed to WWD that he will leave the business, but the rest of the Curlsmith team will stay on under Helen of Troy’s ownership.

Curlsmith is one of several hair acquisitions Helen of Troy has made in recent years. In early 2020, the business closed a deal to buy Drybar’s products business for $255 million. Helen of Troy also makes Revlon hair tools, a license re-signed in 2020, and Bed Head hair products.

Helen of Troy’s chief executive officer Julien Mininberg said Curlsmith will help to advance “Helen of Troy’s strategy to invest in businesses that can accelerate profitable growth in categories where we can add value and leverage our scalable operating platform.”

Berski said Curlsmith will continue to develop new products, build out distribution and expand geographically in the future. The business is also in the midst of working toward becoming a B Corp.

“We haven’t flooded the market yet, but wherever we are, we are leading the category,” Berski said.

WWD previously reported that Curlsmith had hired Financo Raymond James to explore sale options.

Hair has been attracting more and more investor interest as the category continues to grow. Last week, Gisou said it had raised a Series B led by Eurazeo Brands, and in December, Procter & Gamble made its first recent high-end hair acquisition with Jen Atkin’s Ouai.

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