Life Style

Olaplex CEO JuE Wong On Patenting Hair Repair, Making History And Her Biggest Launch Yet

When Olaplex launched back in 2014, its hair-repairing products couldn’t have come at a better time.

As a recent victim of all-over platinum hair dye, I was their prime customer: frizzed out, stressed out, and wondering how much hair I’d have to chop off to repair the damage one too many bleach baths had done.

Thankfully, the bond-building treatment brought hair back to life. Just as it has for millions of customers since, turning it into one of the world’s most successful luxury hair care brands.

And that success is thanks, in large part, to Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. The ingredient, which now has over 100 worldwide patents, is exclusive to Olaplex and single-handedly created the bond building hair care category. Unlike many of the cosmetic hair enhancers on the market, the ingredient actually builds a permanent bridge between the disulfide bonds, reducing and/or eliminating damage caused by molecules that eat protein from the hair (essentially, working faster than the damage can occur).

“When I first started, I realized this brand broke the mold,” says JuE Wong, CEO of Olaplex. “Everything that I had learned about successful companies in the past was not the case at Olaplex.

“For instance, they had a work from home culture since 2014—before WFH was even an acronym. They also had a diverse team of top talent made up of hair care professionals and operating talent from outside the beauty industry. This team built a foundation for a skyscraper and here we have a three-story building.

“This was where the light bulb went off in my head: I knew together we could make history.”

Before joining the brand in January 2020, Wong served as the CEO of Moroccanoil, the global leader in argan oil-infused beauty products, the President of Elizabeth Arden, CEO of Strivectin, and held numerous leadership roles across Murad Inc, NV Perricone MD Ltd, PepsiCo and more.

Mimicking her track record at Moroccanoil, Wong is now keen on expanding the OLAPLEX’s profile and product range.

Until now, the brand’s core product line consisted of Olaplex No. 1 (a hair color additive used during the application process), No. 2 (an active cream mix applied to hair post-color as a treatment), and No. 3 (a diluted version of No. 2 for clients to use as a take-home treatment).

Only, as of today, a brand new reparative mask is joining the best-selling family.

Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask launches today, marking the company’s very first at-home reparative hair mask—infused with Olaplex’s multi-patented revolutionary ingredient, as per.

“This is what separates us from the competition and we’ve successfully defended our patent which speaks to how strong and rigorous it is,” says Wong.

“Simply put, this first-of-its-kind ingredient works two-fold to protect the hair from damage whilst simultaneously being able to re-link the disulfide bonds back together. For all hair types, it provides immediate results to repair the five types of damage including chemical services, heat styling, mechanical damage, environmental damage and lifestyle or physiological changes.”

No. 8 has already been scientifically proven to add two times more shine, four times more hydration, and six times more smoothness for all hair types after just one use.

And the four years it took to perfect the formula already seem to be paying off, as industry experts Kelly Kovak of Beauty Matter and Larissa Jensen of NPD believe it will generate at least $100 million in retail sales at launch.

“We have both critical acclaim and box office successes with every one of our products,” says Wong, believing the brand’s two million-plus followers on Instagram have played a large part in the brand’s growth.

“It shows how we are able to connect with our community, engage with them, convert them and retain them as customers and advocates for the brand.”

In fact, the properties of the No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask have been the most-requested from the community for years.

In addition to Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, it’s filled with potent ingredients typically found in skincare products, including ceramides and hyaluronic acid, all of which are non-toxic, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free. 

“I want us to be a company that is socially, environmentally and professionally responsible. It is important that we do well and do good,” says Wong. “I believe that if we use this as our north star then we have limitless potential.”

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