P&G Beauty has acquired Mielle Organics, a Black-founded textured hair care brand, for an undisclosed sum, with the founders stressing that the deal will increase availability of products, and that there are no plans to change formulas.
Founded by wife-and-husband duo Monique and Melvin Rodriguez in 2014, Mielle signed a major investment deal with Berkshire Partners in 2021 after bringing in about $40 million in sales in 2020, sources said at the time. The brand makes hair care and skin care products that are sold at major mass retailers, including Walmart, Target and CVS. Bestsellers include Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil and Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo.
“This partnership really means that we can better serve Black women in our community by combining Mielle’s expertise and knowledge in the textured hair care space and our innovative approach to textured hair with P&G Beauty resources, their research capabilities and access to Black scientists,” Monique Rodriguez said of the deal in an interview.
P&G Beauty has been increasing its hair care offerings for people of color over the past few years. In 2019, it launched the My Black Is Beautiful brand, with a collection of five products designed specifically for Black women, infused with a proprietary formula called Golden Milk, comprised of natural ingredients such as coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, honey and coconut oil. The prior year it acquired Walker & Co., which has two brands — Bevel, a men’s shaving brand tailored for men with coarse hair, and Form, a women’s hair care business centered around coily hair.
“It’s really about access and availability to our products for our consumers,” Monique Rodriguez continued of the deal. “Black women we understand have limited access to products in the textured hair care space and we wanted to be able to overserve our community with making sure that they can find Mielle products in their local store.”
Alex Keith, CEO of P&G Beauty, called the brand a “lovemark,” as it is “loved by millions of Black women.”
“Within this partnership, our role as P&G Beauty will be to support the Mielle Organics team with what they need to achieve their vision — including product expansion in Black and brown communities and investing in research and innovation,” she said.
Once the deal has been approved by regulators, Mielle will continue to be led by Monique and Melvin Rodriguez, as chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively, and will operate as an independent subsidiary of P&G Beauty, according to a statement.
As part of the deal, Mielle and P&G have each committed $10 million to Mielle Cares, a nonprofit aimed at providing resources and support to advance education and economic opportunities in Black and brown communities.
“Mielle remains committed to leading with purpose and impact and serving as a beacon in historically underserved communities. Expanding our impact in Black and brown communities will become an even greater focus in the years ahead,” said Melvin Rodriguez in a statement.
Recently, Mielle hit the headlines after some white influencers, including TikTok star Alix Earle, who has more than 3 million followers on the platform, recommended Rosemary Mint Scalp and Hair Strengthening Oil in posts. This sparked an online debate that the product, popular among Black women, would sell out, as well as concerns that the company could change the formula.
“What I can say is that I really understand the frustration from the consumers because of the lack of access to our products,” Monique Rodriguez told WWD. “What I can also say is that I really appreciate that new customers are coming into the Mielle ecosystem and discovering our amazing products, especially the oil, which is one of our top sellers. But this is another reason why this partnership with P&G is so important. This partnership allows us to create more access and availability so consumers don’t have to drive 30 miles to pick up their favorite product.”
She also ensured that the formulas would remain the same. “What I can ensure our consumers is, Mielle, we have no plans on changing formulas. Joining P&G means our loyal customers can expect the same high-quality products tomorrow that they have today.”
Financo Raymond James and William Blair represented Mielle.