Nutrafol, an ingestibles brand focused on hair-loss prevention and regrowth, announced on Tuesday a $35 million Series B funding round led by L Catterton. It plans to put the investment toward marketing, conducting scientific studies and scaling its personalized product offerings, as well as bringing the wellness movement to hair care.
Nutrafol currently sells 10 ingestible products for men and women through its own e-commerce site, Amazon and 1,300 physicians, clinics and hair stylists across the United States. Within the next six months, it will launch in select premium retailers, according to Giorgos Tsetis, Nutrafol’s co-founder and CEO.
Since its launch in 2016, Nutrafol has grown annual revenue by 300% every year and now has more than 500,000 monthly visitors on its e-commerce site, said Tsetis. Beyond hair loss (which affects 80 million Americans every year), the brand sees opportunity in the $4.2 trillion wellness market.
In February, Nutrafol launched Targeted Boosters addressing concerns like liver health, as well as stress adaptogen capsules and a vitamin B elixir. Each is meant to help address acute underlying causes of hair loss. And in March, the company followed up on the launch by debuting a new website and packaging branding including a five-minute quiz facilitating personalized product recommendations for participants — questions are centered on hormone and stress levels, as well as gut health.
“We focus on hair, but we are really addressing wellness,” said Tsetis. “Rather than hair loss, we’re focused on hair wellness.”
Since March, Nutrafol has been trying to reach the wider public through new marketing initiatives, which stress hair care-as-wellness. The focus is gaining traction across the beauty and wellness industries, with brands like Briogeo, Allyoos and Hims also latching onto the idea that people should treat their scalp and hair the way they do their skin. Likewise, they’re marketing the fact that what happens inside the body is reflected in one’s hair.
“At a time when incumbents in the space are marketing existing solutions, Nutrafol is pursuing a radically different way of thinking to achieve its vision and drive innovation in the hair and beauty industry,” said Chris Roberts, partner at L Catterton Growth Fund.
The brand’s first step toward de-stigmatizing hair loss is through messaging in ads that will run on Facebook and Instagram, and out-of-home postings in cities including New York. Featured copy will serve to compliment, with messages like, “Hair growth and wellness from the inside out. You beautiful-headed creature, you.”
“Our marketing dollars are about changing how people perceive hair health and [defining] what hair health really means: Your hair is a reflection of what’s happening in your body,” said Tsetis. “We have been fooled for decades to think that hair care will solve everything and that the hair-loss category is embarrassing.”
To further accomplish this change in public perception, the company is also embarking on multiple clinical trials to assure the public that its products work. Its first study was focused on women and published in 2018. It has several more planned for 2019, each costing between $500,000 and $1 million. Tsetis could not confirm how many studies will be carried out in 2019, stating it’s dependent on time needed to recruit trial participants.
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