P&G acquires Jen Atkin's Ouai

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is excited to announce it has entered the prestige hair care market, according to an article by WWD. The company has made an agreement to acquire Ouai, which is celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin’s hair care and lifestyle brand.

Atkin launched the brand back in 2016 with hair care only, before eventually expanding into body products, candles, fragrances, lifestyle products and merchandise.

And now, Atkin, who is known for her famous clients such as the Kardashian-Jenners, Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid, says the plan is for Ouai to continue to grow its reputation under P&G’s ownership. 

The current team is expected to stay on board, with Atkin remaining as founder and chief creative officer, and Colin Walsh staying as CEO. Ouai will also continue operating separately to P&G, without being fully integrated into the business.

According to Atkin, the brand spent "many, many hours really thinking" about who was going to be the best partner for Ouai, saying “We’re a brand that is so committed to not only just making really high-quality products, but having a voice and doing good in the world. I was so shocked and really pleasantly surprised at all the work that P&G has been doing and their commitment to responsible beauty and sustainability and quality, inclusion, wellbeing.”

The team plans to continue launching new products and expand its presence into new geographies, with Walsh saying that as they look to the future, they will continue to innovate in the categories the brand plays in, while expanding into markets, either where they’ve started or where they’ve never been before.

For P&G, the acquisition is significant because Ouai represents one of beauty’s fastest growing categories. In fact, according to The NPD Group, prestige hair care grew by 36% in the most recent quarter to nearly US$620 million.

"Jen and Colin will be the people truly leading, defining the brand’s expansion and those type of things, but I do personally see, and I know that they do, a geographical expansion of that core brand and its core offering as a great opportunity,” said P&G Beauty CEO, Alex Keith.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, industry sources revealed that Ouai is projecting over US$50 million in net sales for 2021, and more than US$80 million for 2022. However, the transaction has not closed, and will require regulatory approval.