Summit Partners backs Hairstory

Summit Partners has made an investment in Hairstory, a haircare brand.

Summit Partners has made an investment in Hairstory, a haircare brand. No financial terms were disclosed.


NEW YORK, NY; October 27, 2021 – Hairstory, the unconventional haircare brand that helped to create the sustainable, non-detergent cleansing category, today announced a minority investment from global growth equity investor Summit Partners. The partnership will enable the company to accelerate investments in sustainable formulations and packaging, expand its hairdresser community and help more consumers understand that shampoo is the enemy of good hair.

Hairstory was founded in 2015 by a team of haircare industry veterans dedicated to helping people rethink everything about hair. Hairstory’s core product, New Wash, cleans hair without any detergent, ending what the company sees as a vicious cycle of over-cleansing created by shampoo. The company’s foundational belief is that cleansing without shampoo is healthier for the hair and scalp while also safer for the environment. The cult brand has built a loyal following of enthusiasts as New Wash has helped to change their relationship with their hair.

“Switching from shampoo to New Wash helps you get the hair you were always meant to have,” said Hairstory CEO, Eli Halliwell. “Our customers are consistently telling us that they suddenly start getting unsolicited compliments on their hair when they switch. It is hard to believe removing shampoo from the equation can make such a difference, but it does.”

Sustainability and the environment are core to the brand’s DNA. Hairstory products are delivered in recyclable, refill pouches, and the company’s subscription platform, the Refill Club, enables customers to consume nearly 90% less plastic and produce 80%+ fewer CO2 emissions during cleansing as compared with traditional haircare products. Not only is New Wash biodegradable, but the company donates 1% of the proceeds from every 8-ounce pouch sale to water-related causes.

“We are passionate about the environment and challenged ourselves to think differently about our environmental footprint from the start,” said Halliwell. “One of the biggest opportunities we identified was our ability to reduce plastic consumption. We launched with refill pouches for our subscriptions at the outset and quickly realized people were ok abandoning their plastic bottles, so we switched everything over to refill pouches. We are just starting to apply the same strategy to our styling products and our goal is to be the first beauty company to be 100% refillable.”

Hairstory launched a new “direct-through-stylist” business model that enables hairdressers to participate in e-commerce in a way designed to respect their relationship with their clients. Once a hairdresser introduces Hairstory to their clients, they can earn commissions on all future purchases, regardless of where the client buys. This perpetual affiliate model is designed to enable local entrepreneurs to compete in a world increasingly dominated by global giants.

“Our most successful hairdressers can double their monthly income,” added Halliwell. “This has the potential to be a life-changing opportunity for them but also an incredible opportunity for us. People build trusted relationships with their hairdressers. When we realized how much New Wash could change people’s hair, we knew we needed to introduce it through hairdressers.”

Melanie Whelan, a Managing Director with Summit Partners who has joined the company’s board of directors, added, “We believe Hairstory’s differentiated and effective products, customer loyalty, profitability, and consistently smart and deliberate growth decisions make them a rare brand. We are delighted to partner with Eli and this passionate team to support the company’s next chapter: working to deploy a more expansive growth strategy while furthering sustainability-focused product innovation.”

Under Eli’s leadership, Hairstory will carry on with its mission to rethink everything about hair, enable sustainable hair cleansing and empower hairstylists from its NYC headquarters.

About Hairstory
Launched in 2015, Hairstory was founded on the universal truth that traditional haircare is bad for your hair, bad for the environment and bad for hairdressers. Our mission is to rethink everything about hair, and we do this in two ways: first, by creating healthier, more sustainable haircare products that respect the environment and your hair’s ecosystem; and second, by enabling hairdressers to participate in e-commerce and profit from their influence. Switching from traditional shampoo and conditioner to our core product, New Wash, helps consumers get the hair they were always meant to have. We have changed the way hundreds of thousands clean their hair on three continents and have been self-sustaining since our first year of launching. We are well on our way toward ending shampoo as we know it. For more information, please visit: