Rodan + Fields is getting into hair care.
The 15-year-old company, founded by dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, has long operated in the skin-care space through its namesake brand. The new hair-care line, launched October 22, consists of eight items, including two regimens for hair volume and smoothing and two styling products, all focusing on the scalp. The line is formulated with a proprietary RF TriEnergy Complex ingredient to nourish hair roots. It launches on the brand’s e-commerce site on November 1. Alongside its e-commerce, Rodan + Fields operates a direct sales model with more than 350,000 independent consultants, as of 2020. According to the company’s income disclosure statement, the average paid consultant earned $462 annually.
“For us, going into hair care is the launch of a new era,” said Dimitri Haloulos, president and CEO of Rodan + Fields. “Skin care is our core and will always be our core. But our dermatologists and our expertise do extend beyond that core category. Twenty years from now, we should be known as a prestige beauty and wellness brand.”
There are valid reasons for the expansion into hair care, given the high-growth sales the category has experienced and the stiff competition within derm-backed skin care. According to NPD Group data, second-quarter 2022 sales for prestige hair care grew 24%, the highest of any beauty category. Scalp-focused hair care is an ongoing trend based on the “skinification” of hair that began in 2020. Brands like Briogeo, Virtue, Living Proof and The Inkey List offer scalp scrubs and serums to promote healthy scalps.
“[Hair] doesn’t need products that simply cover up hair problems. Beautiful hair needs care that goes beyond the surface for deeply transformative results,” said Dr. Fields.
According to a Bloomberg story from August, Rodan + Fields engaged Jefferies to explore financing options for a cash infusion. Citing S&P data, Bloomberg reported that the company’s second-quarter revenue dropped 29% year-over-year, marking the third year of double-digit sales declines from its peak in 2018. Rodan + Fields declined to comment. Private equity company TPG made a minority investment in the 20-year-old brand in 2018, valuing the company at $4 billion.
As the first step in growing the brand’s focus and bottom line, Rodan + Fields is putting a noticeable effort behind the promotion of hair care. Rodan + Fields has a paid ad strategy with Hearst Media via Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Cosmopolitan to drive awareness to end consumers. For the first time, Rodan + Fields is also targeting Hispanic customers via digital ads in Spanish and influencer partnerships with Hispanic hair stylists. Rodan + Fields introduced its consultants to the new launch on October 21 at a three-day Las Vegas convention called R+F Convention, during an hour-long training event. Haloulos said this is the first time Rodan + Fields has done product training on the main stage. This extended the main stage training from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours.
“We believe [our launch into hair] will fuel an unbelievable wave of growth, not only for the company but also for our consulting community,” said Haloulos.