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Henkel Acquires Cult-Favorite Curly Hair Brand DevaCurl

In the news Haircare
A photo of a smiling woman with short, curly hair.

Adding to the growing list of exciting beauty acquisitions in 2019, German chemical and consumer goods corporation Henkel announced its acquisition of influencer-beloved haircare brand DevaCurl on November 11. DevaCurl is known for its wide range of products tailored specifically for curly and wavy hair, as well as its cult-favorite “DevaCut” salon dry cut for curly hair. The brand has consistently strengthened its online presence by fostering a tight-knit team of curly-haired influencer fans, a passion reflected by DevaCurl’s Earned Media Value (EMV), which has steadily increased over the past few years. With this acquisition, DevaCurl joins Henkel’s diverse portfolio of haircare brands, which includes Pravana, Sexy Hair, Schwarzkopf, and Kenra Professional. 

To better understand the opportunity that DevaCurl presents for Henkel, Tribe Dynamics took a look at DevaCurl’s EMV trendline, its online squad of passionate content creators, and how the brand’s earned media performance stacks up against other popular curly hair brands in the space. Here’s what we found:

Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 1.18.01 PM-1


DevaCurl by the Numbers: Steady EMV Growth Indicates Long Term Success

DevaCurl’s yearly EMV totals are not only promising, but indicative of a solid and sustainable standing in the haircare space. DevaCurl collected $16.3M EMV in 2018, a 34% growth from the brand’s 2017 EMV total. From January to October 2019, the brand accrued $14.9M EMV, which represented an 11% year-over-year increase. 

For comparison, from January to October 2019, Tribe Dynamics’ Haircare EMV Index—a portfolio of 100 top-earning haircare brands—declined 6%, suggesting that though DevaCurl’s YoY growth from 2018 to 2019 was lower than its momentum from 2017 to 2018, the brand is still outperforming the haircare vertical as a whole. 

Additionally, DevaCurl’s 2019 earned media performance suggests that the brand will fit in well with Henkel’s strong portfolio of haircare brands: from January to October 2019, Pravana saw a 10% YoY EMV boost with $20.0M EMV, Sexy Hair enjoyed a 23% YoY surge with $14.2M EMV, and Schwarzkopf netted $11.0M EMV, a 14% YoY growth.

A chart showing the Earned Media Value (EMV) performance of several Henkel-owned haircare brands, including DevaCurl, Pravana, and Sexy Hair.

DevaCurl Harnesses Power of Passionate, Curly-Haired Community

DevaCurl’s online success stems largely from its resonance among a particularly passionate group of online influencers—namely, content creators who have built communities around their curly hair. By consistently supporting and activating this consumer population, DevaCurl has secured its standing as the go-to curly hair brand. 

DevaCurl’s preeminent status is reflected in its top EMV-driving hashtags: of the brand’s top 20 EMV-driving hashtags between January and October 2019, 14 were associated with the online curly hair community, including #CurlyHair ($3.6M EMV), #NaturalHair ($1.7M EMV), #CurlyHairRoutine ($893.7k EMV), and #CurlyGirlMethod ($688.9k EMV). Relatedly, 18 of DevaCurl’s top 25 EMV-generating influencers created content specifically focused around their curly hair. (This figure includes influencers who identify outright as “curly girls” in their social media bios, or simply post a significant portion of social content revolving around curly hair routines and tutorials.) Furthermore, all 18 content creators had also posted about DevaCurl in 2018, suggesting that their connection to the brand runs deep. With such a loyal influencer fanbase, it’s no wonder DevaCurl is considered a curly hair go-to.



DevaCurl Dominates Curly Hair Brand Market

While it’s clear that DevaCurl’s community rallies around the brand’s commitment to curly hair, DevaCurl’s status as a dominant force in the curly hair market is further underscored by a comparison to similarly aligned brands. While DevaCurl grew its year-to-date EMV by 11% YoY, several other curly hair brands posted YoY declines, including SheaMoisture (-22%), Curls (-40%), Carol’s Daughter (-49%), Ouidad (-25%), and MielleOrganics (-29%). 

Moreover, DevaCurl boasts a particularly prolific influencer community compared to its competitors. A total of 704 content creators collectively authored 4.6k posts mentioning DevaCurl from January to October 2019, which averages out to 6.5 posts per influencer. In comparison, SheaMoisture’s influencer posting frequency over the same period was 3.8 posts per influencer, while Curls came a bit closer with 5.2 posts per content creator. 

Clearly, influencers have spoken: DevaCurl reigns supreme, and this trend may now spell success for Henkel. As DevaCurl brings its curly-haired community to Henkel’s already-strong portfolio of haircare brands, Tribe Dynamics is excited to see what the future holds for haircare’s latest power couple.

To stay up-to-date on DevaCurl and other leaders in haircare, subscribe to our Haircare Tribe Top Ten series today. And to get to know the indie brands that might become tomorrow’s blockbuster acquisition targets, read our Q2 2019 Indie Beauty Debrief.



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