July 28, 2023

OLAPLEX’S Bold Transformation: Bridging the Gap Between an In-Salon Experience and Online Shopping

Olaplex launched in 2014 with patented hair care products designed to reinvigorate and rejuvenate all hair colors and styles. Today Olaplex is one of the largest independent hair care brands in the world with over 100 worldwide patents. Through a grassroots approach, the brand quickly became a global sensation, paving the way for a completely new category of haircare called “bond-building."

Olaplex’s explosive growth could also be attributed to the in-salon experience and option to purchase products. Products were sold as a way to extend hair salon care and quality into the home. There was comfort, ease, authenticity, when hair stylists made a recommendation for at-home care. 

Word of mouth from happy customers and professionals alike is what made Olaplex the brand that it is today. 

Challenge - Transition the salon experience online


With COVID, the periodic shut down of salons, and the explosion of eCommerce in the last 2 years, Olaplex has naturally transitioned more of their sales online. With the increase, came the challenge of maintaining and recreating the “in the salon chair” experience – the personalization, authority, and authenticity when making recommendations for product and product combinations in-salon, now had to be done online. 


It was important to the Olaplex team that there was a balance between the personal touch and scale as they brought the in-store experience online. As a brand that sees high website volume, the ability to appropriately manage customers in the queue and work with multiple visitors and customers at once was critical. 

Experience Enhancing

Generally enhancing and elevating the onsite CX was very important. Product descriptions can only tell so much about what a customer could expect from the product. The team at Olaplex was looking for a solution to complement product descriptions and elevate the process in a way where customers could engage, ask questions, send photos of their hair, and interact regarding the products. 

Standout from competition

Today, eCommerce is a formulaic DIY shopping experience and building brand loyalty online is getting harder and harder. Olaplex saw an opportunity to bring back a stronger personal and more trustworthy touch which would help them stand out amongst competitors. That, coupled with wanting to empower customers to shop in the most comfortable way, had all signs pointing to an SMS approach as an ideal fit. When brands truly meet customers where they are in the buying process, early adopters [on the brand side] create seamless, unique experiences that stand out from their competitors.

Solution - Use Humankind Virtual Concierge to empower shoppers in the buyer’s journey

The team at Olaplex started a vetting process of different providers for chat, SMS, quizzes and surveys, and other customer experience enhancing platforms. Then they came across Humankind, which ties all of the above elements together, all while being complemented with a Human Concierge Expert. In the case of Olaplex, all of the human experts are actually licensed stylists who work to create the perfect personalized recommendation. If you’re considering a program with Humankind, just know that we can use your internal team, or we can help you build one! We have plenty of resources to help you find these experts. 

Having partnered together now for over a year, the Olaplex team is excited to see this program continue to grow. Feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive and Humankind has helped to garner a 4.94 CSAT rating in 2022. 

The Olaplex team started small, with a single expert. Today they currently have 8 experts with the intent to double over the coming year. Olaplex has also opted to expand the Humankind program to their Ola-Pro business and is looking forward to watching growth on that side of the house. 

This transformation has been a game-changer for their bottom line as well. Lifetime revenue (LTR) for shoppers who engage with the Concierge Commerce program is more than 22% higher than those who do not.

While standard eCommerce conversion rates usually float around 2-5%, for shoppers who are engaging with Humankind, we’re seeing upwards of 50% conversion. All of this success leads to a 3:1X ROI on their program.

Olaplex has successfully went beyond the the salon chair experience to an eCommerce experience that not only boosts revenue, but it also gives Olaplex access to zero-party data from quizzes, surveys, and real conversations with customers. 

With this data, Olaplex can develop new products and services that target their customers’ needs with unprecedented accuracy. As more brands turn to chatbots that are confusing and frustrating to customers, Olaplex turned to human connection—and it’s paid off. 

Pamela Hall, Olaplex educator sees the power of that human connection every day:


Olaplex's journey shines a light on how human connection can drive eCommerce today. Instead of frustrating bots and workflow logic, Olaplex successfully made a strategic shift from salon chairs to online concierge.

And their customers love it!

This underscores that it's the depth of engagement and meaningful relationships that truly resonates with customers. They buy products not just for what they do, but because of how it makes them feel - and it requires a bit of creativity, intuition, and empathy to truly understand customer needs and deliver on them in a meaningful way.

If you’d like to create a similar shopping experience, marked by a 1:1 human connection, book your demo of Humankind today, to chat with someone from our team!

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