French multinational L'Oréal has signed an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of Swiss startup Gjosa, a company that it had previously made a minority investment in in 2021, when it collaborated with the startup to launch the L'Oréal Professionnel Water Saver shower head.
The water-saving invention uses patented water micronisation technology and allows hair salons to save up to 69% of water without affecting the customer experience. It was named one of the ‘100 Best Inventions of the Year’ in 2021 by TIME magazine.
Since 2023, the eco-friendly hand shower has been deployed in more than 10,000 professional hair salons in Europe and the Middle East, and according to L'Oréal, has helped to save more than 182 million litres of water: equivalent to 72 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
L'Oréal said it now aims to continue this momentum and deploy it in more than 200,000 salons across the globe in the upcoming years.
The French multinational had already made a minority investment in Gjosa in 2021 via its venture capital fund, BOLD (Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development) and said that this acquisition “reinforces the Group's commitments under its L'Oréal for the Future program, including a global and scientific approach to water management, ensuring compliance with planetary boundaries as defined by the scientific community.”
It now aims to innovate and expand the multiple beauty applications of Gjosa’s technology, while protecting water resources.
L'Oréal Groupe CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said the acquisition of Gjosa “strengthens our ability to introduce sustainability directly into our products and services, seamlessly integrating water-saving technology into new formulations and Beauty Tech innovations.”
He continued: “Together, we can rapidly develop sustainable, better-performing, and less resource-intensive beauty solutions and introduce them to the wider beauty ecosystem."
While Executive VP for Research, Innovation and Technology at L'Oréal, Barbara Lavernos, stated that by 2030, nearly 60% of the world's population is expected to be exposed to water stress. “The combination of science and technology will play a key role in our efforts to protect this precious resource,” she said.
Lavernos also shared that by integrating of Gjosa into the L'Oréal Group, the business will be able to “accelerate its Research & Innovation and the commercialisation of more innovative and sustainable Beauty Tech solutions for the professional and consumer markets.”
Co-founder and member of the board of directors of Gjosa, Amin Abdulla, said that joining L'Oréal was a logical continuation of the company’s ambition to build on the initial success of the Water Saver and expand it to new uses, markets and other forms.
While Gjosa’s CEO Laurent Manca stated: "The combination of L'Oréal's leadership in the beauty market and Gjosa's expertise in water-saving technologies will help transform the industry, through the deployment of new sustainable beauty tech innovations at scale."
The acquisition is expected to close in the coming weeks, subject to customary conditions.
New eco-friendly, high-tech hair dryer AirLight Pro launched at CES 2024
At the CES 2024 show in Las Vegas, L'Oréal has also just unveiled its AirLight Pro – a more eco-friendly hair dryer for professionals and consumers that uses a combination of infrared light and airflow technology.
The company said the new launch, which was created in collaboration with Chinese startup Zuvi using its patented LightCare™ technology, leaves hair visibly smoother and more hydrated while speeding up drying time thanks to optimised heat distribution. It also said it reduces energy consumption by up to 31%.
A team of more than 100 engineers, designers, hairdressers and scientists from L'Oréal's Research and Innovation Division and Zuvi collaborated on the design. It was tested by L'Oréal on more than 500 people with different hair types and is designed to adapt to the needs of each user.
Rather than be heated by electric heating elements like conventional hair dryers, AirLight Pro features a motor that drives 17 blades at high speed and patented infrared technology. It uses tungsten halogen bulbs that allow hair to dry quickly without excess heat, which it said gives hair a smoother, shinier appearance.
L'Oréal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said of the new launch: “we are proving that technology can increase beauty performance, meet multiple hair needs and reduce environmental impact. This is the future of beauty that we want to create.”