Four years ago, Olaplex charged that L'Oréal swiped trade secrets when the two companies were in talks about a L'Oréal takeover. For its part, L'Oréal maintains that it developed the acid-based process on its own in 2014. Of course, L'Oréal is appealing the decision and a company spokesperson noted that the ruling only applies to the US market.
L'Oréal, with 2018 sales of $31.7 billion, is the biggest pure-play beauty company in the world and is ranked No. 2 in Happi's The International Top 30. In contrast, Olaplex has fewer than 30 employees and sales of about $70 million, according to sources.