Dr. Wolff Group achieves impressive 12 per cent growth in the beginning of 2024

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Breakthrough in research after 20 years: New shampoo against hair loss with even stronger effects

After an annual turnover of 391.5 million euros in the fiscal year 2023 and a growth of 7.5 per cent compared to the previous year (363.8 million euros in 2022), the Bielefeld-based Dr Wolff Group – with 875 employees worldwide – continues its growth in the first months of 2024. The cosmetics and pharmaceutical company has grown by 12 per cent in the first four months. Drivers of sales growth in cosmetics are particularly the brands Alpecin and oral care brand Bioniq®, and in the pharmaceutical sector, the gynaecological Vagisan range for a healthy intimate area.

In Germany, the company recorded a growth of approximately 14 per cent in the first four months of 2024. The largest and fastest-growing foreign market is the United Kingdom, followed by Austria. Hong Kong is currently showing strong growth in the Asian region. Here, the company successfully introduced its fluoride-free dental care brands last year.

New Active Ingredient Combinations Boost Sales of Caffeine Shampoos

The men’s shampoo Alpecin Grey Attack is currently one of Dr Wolff’s flagship products. The new shampoo for gradually darker hair was the most successful product launch in its category in drugstores in 2023 and also led the online ranking of bestsellers last year. The patented ingredient-complex of 5,6-DHI and caffeine permanently repigments grey hair. This innovation has been available for women since the beginning of June. The new Plantur 39 Anti-Grey Effect Shampoo is widely in stock in drugstores and retail stores. For the first time, the company as launched a product simultaneously in 14 countries. The market entries are supported by an extensive international marketing campaign starting in July. The product launch of the innovative shampoo is met with great optimism by the Bielefeld-based company for its potential market impact, survey data indicates that a majority of women – 60 per cent – dye their hair to conceal grey strands.

After years of research, consumers are now able to test another milestone while combating hereditary hair loss since. About 20 years after the start of the Alpecin caffeine success story, the patented active ingredient combination of caffeine and dimethylglycine (DMG) is being used in a shampoo for the first time. “This active complex is a groundbreaking novelty from Dr Wolff’s research and the result of intensive research and development. The anti-hair loss shampoo offers an extended and highly innovative approach with a two-fold effect that efficiently reduces hair loss and simultaneously stimulates hair growth,” says Eduard R. Dörrenberg, managing partner.

In vitro studies[1] have shown synergistic impacts of the combined treatment with caffeine and DMG: while caffeine is known for its growth-stimulating effect on the hair root, DMG can increase the nutrient supply to the hair roots (microcirculation). The way of finding this exclusive active ingredient combination has recently been spotlighted in a documentary by the media company OMR. The documentary titled “Doping für die Marke: Die Alpecin Story” has been available on YouTube since the end of May. A film team spent a year behind the scenes of the family business, accompanying research and development.

Toothpaste Range Without Fluoride Grows

In addition to hair care, the company announces further innovations in oral care for the second quarter of the year: The toothpaste brand Karex with BioHAP instead of fluoride for modern caries protection will expand its range. At the world’s largest dental congress in New Orleans, Dr. Wolff was recently able to present several convincing clinical data on Bioniq® Repair toothpaste with hydroxyapatite.
The company expanded its research area for the oral care division at its headquarters in Bielefeld. 

Due to the market launches of strong new products and further internationalisation, Dr. Wolff Group forecasts double-digit growth for the current fiscal year.

Dr. Wolff in figures:

391,5 Mio EUR turnover

875 employees worldwide

Active in 67 countries

[1] submitted for publication

Bei Rückfragen

Nina Lauterbach

Leiterin Marken- & Produkt-PR Tel.: +49 (0) 521-8808-634 write e-mail

Alpecin has selected football Player Kim Minjae as its first brand model in Korea

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Alpecin, a German cosmeceutical company with over 100-years heritage, has announced that it has selected football player Kim Minjae as its first brand model in Korea and will launch a new brand campaign with unprecedented scale.

Alpecin has shared that the brand has chosen Kim Minjae as brand model as his confidence, coming from unmet tenacity and continuous self-challenges, as a world-class football player well matches Alpecin brand’s core value, which lies in providing bold solutions for men’s hair care concerns for a long time. With Kim Minjae as brand model, Alpecin looks forward to strengthen brand’s touchpoints with Korean male consumers and to convey brands’ value as ‘the-brand-for-me’ to unlock hair care needs.

Along with the new brand model selection, Alpecin will also launch a new brand campaign with key tagline ‘Defense for your hair’, starting from 15th of May. Through the campaign, Alpecin will genuinely deliver its differentiated brand and product identity which adds vitality to the scalp and hair with its unique ingredient, caffeine complex.

Alpecin’s hero product, “Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo C1,” is a specialized product for men’s scalp and hair care, and it is a steady seller beloved by consumers all over the world. With daily usage, Alpecin’s caffeine complex, containing caffeine, zinc, and niacin, strengthens hair. “Alpecin Caffeine Liquid,” which can be conveniently used anywhere at anytime, is a scalp specialized tonic that does not need to be rinsed off and cares for sensitive scalp and weakened hair, creating a rich styling effect when used together with Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo.

“We believe that Kim Minjae, who is a world-renowned football player, well-known for his passion and tenacity, can represent Alpecin’s brand philosophy and confidence as a brand that has been presenting solution for men’s hair concerns for a long time.” Said Alpecin brand representative. They added, “Hope Korean consumers look forward to various marketing activities that Alpecin will carry out with Kim Minjae in Korea moving forward.”

Meanwhile, Alpecin will unveil a new campaign ad featuring Kim Minjae on various on/offline touchpoints, including TV, brand social platforms, digital platforms, and OOH from 15th of May.

Dr. Wolff continues to grow and targets 400 million euros turnover with new health products

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  • Preliminary balance sheet 2022 shows 363.2 million euros turnover for 2022
  • Normalisation of business after three years of pandemic and high sales of hygiene products
  • Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo grows seven times faster than the market, receives another patent and presents latest research results in January
  • R&D pipeline also in the core areas of dermatology, gynaecology, and oral care leads to expectation of extraordinary growth in the coming years – sales of over 400 million euros targeted for the first time in 2023

Despite generally difficult global conditions and a noticeable decline in the hygiene and disinfection market, Dr. Wolff Group again increased sales in the past year. The Bielefeld-based family business achieved preliminary sales of 363.2 million euros in 2022 (357.2 million in 2021). In addition to the recovery in the hairdressing sector, in particular Alpecin managed to further expand its clear market leadership in male hair care against the competition (seven times stronger than the market according to the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association IKW, as of 8 December 22), while the highly innovative dental care brands Karex and Bioniq® were successfully launched in the first foreign markets.

Despite the general conditions, the company is very optimistic for 2023 and beyond. “For the first time, we aim to achieve more than 400 million euros in turnover in 2023. The basis for this is a veritable fireworks of innovations and new scientific data,” says the managing partner, Eduard R. Dörrenberg, looking positively into the new year. In a research study conducted in 2022 on male hair loss with a new caffeine formulation, the results were extraordinary. Thus, even a drug development and a corresponding approval are conceivable. The first data will be presented as early as in January 2023 at a congress in Rome. In the field of oral care, there were also numerous new findings on the alternative active ingredient hydroxyapatite used by Dr. Wolff. For example, independent international researchers proved that this substance, which originates from nature, is the best active ingredient for sensitive teeth and is also effective against chalky teeth in children, while fluorosis and chalky teeth are increasing worldwide.

Product pipeline

The pipeline for 2023 includes new products and the latest research findings will be incorporated immediately. For example, Dörrenberg announces a new Alpecin shampoo against grey hair with a long-term effect, a new cream against itchy skin and neurodermatitis, an expansion of the existing gynaecological line and the international rollout of a drug as a topical cream against severe axillary hyperhidrosis (heavy sweating in the armpits).

Digitalisation and internationalisation

This is another reason why digitalisation is being driven forward at Dr. Wolff’s. The digital unit “e-Wolff” has been in existence for more than six years. Since, the unit has grown to almost 50 employees. Internationalisation is another important pillar: The office in Singapore will celebrate its 10th anniversary in a few days and the Asian business will also be further expanded. Another regional office is being built in Madrid for Southern Europe and, in the medium term, for South America, too. The location in Chicago and the efforts in the USA will come even more into focus. “There is absolutely no alternative to further consistent digitalisation and internationalisation in view of the local and global framework conditions,” says Dörrenberg.

Many vacancies

At the Bielefeld location, too, employees are still being looked for in all areas. Currently, the company has advertised as many as 51 positions there. In addition to many additional benefits, Dr. Wolff also offered monetary support in difficult times last year. “In addition to collectively agreed bonuses and salary increases, we already paid out a voluntary special payment to all employees in October 2022,” states the entrepreneur.

“The time with Corona has made us even stronger and has also clearly shown how significant health continues to be as one of the megatrends of the future, especially in an ageing population. This is where we are very well positioned and have exceptional and evidence-based brands and products available, while many of our major competitors are weakening slightly right now,” says Dörrenberg.

Research for dental health of the future

In the field of dental health, further studies on hydroxyapatite are ongoing with scientists and research groups from various international universities.

The new widespread disease is called “chalky teeth” – MIH for short. It now affects about one third of all 12-year-old children. In this disease of the permanent teeth, there is a lack of mineralisation. As a result, teeth are often porous, they hurt, and are non-functional. This mainly affects cheek teeth and incisors. A published study [1] already proved a pain reduction in chalky teeth by means of the active ingredient hydroxylapatite, which is used by Dr. Wolff in dental care. Another study [2] came to the conclusion: a toothpaste containing hydroxyapatite mineralises MIH teeth better than maximum doses of adult toothpaste containing fluoride. Research into the causes is currently still in early stages. “We will intensify research hereof in the new year. In addition, we want to inform more target groups about the clear strengths and the width of the effective fields of hydroxyapatite,” says Dörrenberg.

The launch of another toothpaste “Junior Karex” for children from 6 years of age, which is designed for the tooth change phase, has already been successfully on the market since summer 2022. Internationally, conquering further markets is on the agenda. In the USA, for example, there are many fluoride-free dental care products also from manufacturers who have relied exclusively on fluoride in Germany for many years.

Caffeine in anti-hair loss research

For almost 20 years, Bielefeld-based Dr. Wolff Group has been considered the market leader, know-how carrier and innovation driver in anti-hair loss research with caffeine. In the meantime, caffeine has gained a reputation as the best-researched herbal active ingredient against hair loss due to extensive studies [3]. It is all the more remarkable that the scientific team led by Dr. Erik Schulze zur Wiesche succeeded in obtaining another patent for hair growth through caffeine. This again impressively underpins the strong effectiveness of caffeine for hair physiology. Dr. Wolff’s research and development has proven that the daily, topical application of caffeine counteracts the decrease in hair thickness in winter and can thus cancel out the seasonal differences in hair diameter. The patent demonstrates the high efficacy potential of caffeine in the treatment of thinning hair and is further evidence of the value of this natural active ingredient in hair care. “The patent confirms our previous research efforts on caffeine. It shows once again that we have an active ingredient that is highly potent and offers added value for human hair,” says Dr. Erik Schulze zur Wiesche, Head of Research and Development at Dr. Wolff Group.

Researchers in Italy have recently presented study results according to which not only hair loss can be reduced, but even significantly more hair could be detected when using caffeine in the growth phase. Currently, the research and development department at Dr. Wolff’s is working on a formulation for the use of a substance previously unknown in hair care that can further enhance the effect of caffeine. The product developers expect results in the new year.

New product against heavy sweating in the armpits brings back quality of life

In the pharmaceutical division, the Bielefeld-based company also obtained the first and only drug approval in Europe for an anticholinergic cream against severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (abnormal sweating in the armpits). The cream with the active ingredient glycopyrronium bromide has been successfully available in several European markets since last summer. Since the preparation was introduced, numerous German dermatologists have called it the “first real innovation in dermatology in a long time”.

[1] Study on sensitive teeth (Ehlers et al. 2021): Professor J. Deschner, Mainz University Medical Centre.

[2] Study on remineralisation of MIH: Amaechi et al. 2022

[3] Daniels, G., Akram, S., Westgate, G.E., Tamburic, S. (2019). Can plant-derived phytochemicals provide symptom relief for hair loss? A critical review. In: Int. Journal of Cosmetic Science, 41, 332-345.

Dr. Wolff informs with platform “NervtDichDeinSchwitzen.de” about illness hyperhidrosis

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Sweating. A vital process, but when people feel they sweat too much, it becomes a burden. Most of all for those who suffer from so-called primary hyperhidrosis – a condition that is characterised by excessively sweating for no apparent reason. The heavy sweat production often significantly affects the emotional and mental health of those affected.

It is assumed that around 5 percent[1] of the German population suffer from this chronic disease. However, the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher, as many of those affected suffer silently and do not talk about their condition – neither to confidants nor to a doctor. It often takes several years before people affected reach out for help. Dr. Wolff, a pharmaceutical company based in Bielefeld, Germany, wants to lower exactly this inhibition threshold – with a new online service:

Disease awareness website aims to bring illness out of niche

To raise awareness of hyperhidrosis among the general public Dr. Wolff launched a digital information platform succinctly named nervtdichdeinschwitzen.de (= does your sweating annoy you). The main concern of the site is to provide detailed and interesting information about this comparatively unknown illness.

The initiative pursues the self-declared goal of making a broad public aware of the clinical picture and to simplify the communication between doctor and patient. The site encourages users to consult a trusted physician and discuss their symptoms. Site users can do an initial symptom check and get a first estimate on whether their sweating could be pathological. Furthermore, they may search online for a physician via our online service page. NervtDichDeinSchwitzen.de offers various offline and online options to search for a physician and to lower the inhibition threshold to get in contact. 

Plea: “Go see a doctor you trust and get help”.

“We want knowledge about the illness to increase, for hyperhidrosis to become a topic of conversation, and for those affected to lose their fear and seek help,” explains Eduard R. Dörrenberg, managing partner of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Dr. Wolff. Because the good news is: pathological sweating is usually treatable, the psychological strain can be reduced and the quality of life improved. However, people affected need to see a physician they trust in. Many people do not know that sweating may in some cases be pathological – after all, to a certain extent it is a normal and vital bodily function. PD Dr. Christoph Schick, founder of the German Hyperhidrosis Center in Munich says: “If you are affected by hyperhidrosis, I strongly recommend: Do something about it! The sooner you do something, the longer you well benefit from the treatment effect.”

About hyperhidrosis

Approximately 5 % of people worldwide suffer from permanent excessive sweating without an identifiable cause, so-called “primary hyperhidrosis”. This chronic disease is a great burden for patients and severely limits their quality of life. Primary hyperhidrosis ranges in severity from mild wetness to heavy dripping and can lead to a significant impact on quality of life. This may significantly affect work, social relationships, physical and leisure activities, as well as emotional and mental health. Patients with primary axillary hyperhidrosis suffer from excessive sweat production in the armpits beyond the amount required to regulate normal body temperature.

About Dr. Wolff

Dr. Wolff – since 1905, the name has stood for research that solves people’s skin-, hair-, and dental problems with innovative active ingredients. We focus our effort on scientifically proven benefits of the products. Since the company was founded, Dr. Wolff has maintained close cooperation with renowned scientists. From the first branded product, Hämatopan, to today’s internationally available products, in-house research provides the basis for innovative active ingredients and product developments. The company is managed by the fourth generation of the family and is growing with 780 employees worldwide. Dr. Wolff operates in 62 countries. For more information, please go to: Dr. Wolff Group

Press Contact Dr. Wolff-Group

Marcel Klöpping          Phone: +49 (0) 521 8808-243

E-mail: pr@drwolffgroup.com

[1] Doolittle J, et al., Arch Dermatol Res 2016; 308(10): 743-749.

Dr. Wolff Group increases turnover again in 2021 to a new record level – 2022 off to a good start despite global crises

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  • New drug “Axhidrox®” against pathological sweating in the armpits available in Germany as of August
  • New studies in caries- & hairloss research

Also, in the second Corona year Bielefeld-based Dr. Wolff Group accomplished stable growth. Strong brands, innovative products, ongoing internationalisation, and further digitalisation formed the foundation in turbulent times. As in the previous year, the focus in 2021 was on the following topics: employee health, supply chain, cash management as well as research and development of new products. Thus, in 2021, Bielefeld-based Dr. Wolff Group recorded the highest turnover to date in the company’s 117-year history at 357.2 million euros (2020: 341.1 million euros), achieved a plus of almost five percent and increased turnover despite Corona in the past two years.

Expansion of international locations

Exports also continued to grow worldwide despite Corona. Finland was added as a new international location, while the teams in the USA, in Singapore and in China were further expanded. In total, the company now globally operates 12 locations for marketing and sales in the regions. “We are focusing on further very dynamic growth. To achieve this, we will continue to expand our markets, consistently defy possible crisis scenarios in the coming years and actively invest in research and in our brands,” says Eduard R. Dörrenberg, Managing Partner of Dr. Wolff Group.

Potentials of innovative products and progressive digitalisation

Due to the outbreak of war in Europe, the consequences of emerging inflation, increasing cost pressure and a still unstable Corona situation, the challenges have grown significantly. Nevertheless: “We will remain optimistic for the long term, and we will continue to globalise our successful and evidence-based products, and further expand our team, too, which today consists of 785 employees. Furthermore, we have made great progress with our digitalisation strategy, which we started back in 2014, and will continue to expand it,” Dörrenberg stated at the annual balance press conference. In general, the company is focusing on research for new innovative products. At the top of the agenda are continuing internationalisation in the cosmetics sector, and expansion in the oral care division. In the pharmaceuticals sector Dr. Wolff Group has opened another business area with the EU-wide launch of the new “Axhidrox®” drug. 

Product from Bielefeld supports virus prophylaxis

From the beginning of the pandemic on Dr. Wolff’s maxim has been to complement existing Corona protection measures in the best possible way, and to make an effective contribution. In 2021, the oral care segment developed a concept to support virus prophylaxis based on an antiviral mouth and throat rinse. Most recently, a group of 13 scientists1 confirmed its effectiveness in reducing the SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the mouth and throat area. A special mention was made of the surfactant-based efficacy concept used by Dr. Wolff, while in particular antiseptic agents showed hardly any effects. “We do not replace any vaccination or any of the established hygiene measures. We complement them. It is remarkable that especially consumer protection centres publicly doubt the work of respected scientists and university clinics and sometimes even fight it legally,” describes the 54-year-old managing partner the current discussion about the antiviral mouth and throat rinse. 

Research success and new therapy option: drug against excessive sweating

After about ten years of research and development, Dr. Wolff launched a new drug against excessive sweating in the armpits in 2022. Following approval, the drug named “Axhidrox®” is already available in Austria. The launch in Germany is scheduled for August. In Germany, at least four million people suffer from so-called primary hyperhidrosis, a chronic disease with a high number of unreported cases. Those affected sweat excessively without any recognisable cause. With the development of the cream containing 1% glycopyrronium bromide (GPB), the dermatology division at Dr. August Wolff has succeeded in providing patients with so-called severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis with a new treatment option.

“Our preparation is the only anticholinergic cream in Europe to date that allows for the external treatment of severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis with the active ingredient GPB. We are convinced that with this drug we can also help patients who have not achieved satisfactory results with previous treatment options so far,” says the family businessman. Data from several clinical trials provided the basis for the approval in eleven European countries. The data of the phase 3a trial relevant for approval were already published in 2021 in the highly respected “British Journal of Dermatology”.2 The publication of the phase 3b research data is expected shortly. In Germany, the preparation will be presented to dermatologists for the first time in mid-July at a scientific congress. Dr. Wolff will gradually put the preparation on the market in the eleven EU countries directly or via partners.


“Hardly anyone could or wanted to imagine that the pandemic would be immediately followed by another crisis. We know that we need to adjust to a ‘life with crisis’ and therefore remain very flexible,” says Dörrenberg with regard to the current circumstances. Overall, the situation in the entire supply chain is tense. For Dr. Wolff as a manufacturer of high-performance products the challenges are increasing, too, but so are the opportunities. The management consultancy McKinsey, e.g., recently provided data3 on consumer attitudes and buying behaviour that confirmed the importance of developing innovative products with real benefits. In addition, further internationalisation is to ensure independence for the Bielefeld-based company. On this path, Bielefeld-based Dr. Wolff Group is planning on further growth in the current financial year. With the launch of the “Axhidrox®” drug against heavy sweating in the armpits, we want to add company locations throughout Europe and also bring this drug to Asia as quickly as possible,” Dörrenberg states. The shampoo manufacturer also takes advantage of the start of this year’s Tour de France in Denmark and the attention given to their own professional cycling team to actively enter the Danish market with Alpecin, and from there the entire Scandinavian market. In addition to strong brands and products with a great performance promise, Dr. Wolff continues to focus on digitalisation. The eWolff business unit currently employs more than 30 digital specialists and is expected to have grown to 50 employees by the end of the year. The office space of this unit got doubled within the Dr. Wolff headquarters and the internal exchange on digital topics has been significantly increased. “Overall, we are very well prepared to tackle the upcoming challenges as well as the upcoming opportunities,” says Dörrenberg. 

Business areas in detail

Pharmaceutical sector


One-off effects of the pandemic that occurred in 2020 and early 2021, especially due to the intensive corona-related use of hand disinfection as well as antiviral mouth and throat rinses, were not repeated due to the easing of measures in 2021. With a total of 57.5 million euros, turnover was nevertheless around 7 million above the “pre-Corona result”. In 2019, dermatics sales amounted to about 50 million euros.


There have never been more women in Germany going through menopause. Changing demographics also lead to changing communication. “We see a new openness to address things,” Dörrenberg says and identifies further potential in this division. Dr. Wolff’s gynaecological products have been making a major contribution for years, e.g., in hormone-free therapy, which is particularly important according to the guidelines of many international markets. In the past year, the Vagisan brand again grew by 4 percent in Germany and abroad. Sales amounted to 38.6 million euros. Apposite to the new openness, sexologist Ann-Marlene Henning, who openly addresses difficult issues such as vaginal dryness, continues to be the brand ambassador.


Oral Care: 

With sales of over 33 million euros, Dr. Wolff’s fluoride-free products in the oral care category (+16 percent) are growing many times more dynamically than the market. According to the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (Industrieverband Körperpflege- und Waschmittel – IKW), the entire oral care sector is stagnating at around 1.6 percent. Dörrenberg also sees great future potential in the oral care segment. The company is expanding international activities with their Bioniq® brand. In addition, the Karex brand is extremely successful with children’s toothpaste and almost doubled in sales. In June 2022, the new Junior Karex toothpaste was added to the portfolio. As a consequence, investments in infrastructure and organisational structures at the Bielefeld company headquarters were made. In the oral care area, research with far-reaching studies on modern caries prophylaxis and education about European regulations on the dosage of fluoride-containing toothpaste is a focal point. For years, international scientists have been actively working on the evidence of the active ingredient complex around the ingredient hydroxyapatite. The Canadian organisation Health Canada officially listed Kinder Karex in 2022 and recommends the fluoride-free toothpaste from Germany to all Canadian dentists. In the past ten years, more intensive research on hydroxyapatite and its positive influence on dental health has been conducted worldwide than on any other oral care ingredient. Numerous studies and publications show that hydroxyapatite is a real alternative to fluoride4.   


Due to strong one-off effects caused by the lockdown measures, especially in the field of colour effect products, the Plantur range grew again by 19 percent in the previous year. With total sales of almost 85.5 million euros, the products of the female caffeine shampoo range almost reached the level of the men’s brand Alpecin. For many women as well as men, the decisive purchase criterion still is being able to actively do something about hair loss. Caffeine is the means of choice. The Bielefeld scientists have repeatedly been acknowledged by international experts, e.g., by the conclusion of a British research group led by Dr. Gil Westgate (University of Bradford), whose publication confirms that caffeine is the best-researched active ingredient of plant origin against hair loss.


About one in two men is affected by hair loss in the course of his life. The cause of hair loss is hereditary in 80 percent of cases. Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo stands for slowing down the process and providing effective prevention. Education and awareness, especially of young men, is important for the Bielefeld-based company. According to IKW, the entire market for hair care products lost 2.4 percent in 2021. Alpecin, however, is a driver in this segment. The brand grew by over 5 percent in Germany. Internationally, the caffeine shampoo from Bielefeld even gained 27 percent. The cumulative turnover thus amounts to 93.4 million euros.


With all in all two lockdowns, the hairdressing business was compromised by the pandemic until 2021. Alcina managed to respond to this due to company-wide digital activities. The new “diversity” collection and all corresponding seminar and workshop series were presented digitally, and the content was deepened in weekly online presentations. Nevertheless, personal engagement and advice in the B2B segment came up short. With sales of 37 million euros, Alcina did not reach the “pre-Corona level” with hair-, skin care- and decorative cosmetics. For the current year, the goal is to revive business with seasonal editions and especially with hair colours.

1Meister T. L. et al. Mouthrinses against SARS-CoV-2 – High antiviral effectivity by membrane disruption in vitro translates to mild effects in a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial”. Elsevier, 2022 July. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2022.198791

2Abels C, Soeberdt M, Kilic A, Reich H, Knie U, Jourdan C, Schramm K, Heimstaedt-Muskett S, Masur C, Szeimies RM. A 1% glycopyrronium bromide cream for the topical treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis: Efficacy and Safety Results from a Phase 3a Randomised Controlled Study. Br J Dermatol. 2021 Jan 14. doi: 10.1111/bjd.19810

3McKinsey & Company Europe Consumer Pulse Survey, 4/12-4/18/2022 n= 5.075 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) sampled to match European general population 18+ years

4among others: Meta-Analyse Limeback et al.2021: Limeback, H., Enax, J. & Meyer, F. Biomimetic hydroxyapatite and caries prevention: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Can J Dent Hyg 55, 148-159 (2021); v55n3.pdf (cdha.ca)

Alcina hair division and caring cosmetics ensure stable sales

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  • Restart after lockdown phases promising
  • Repackaging: basic professional line with new categories
  • Relaunch of website and shop in 2021

In 2020, Bielefeld-based Dr. Wolff Group recorded an increase of almost nine percent with sales of 341.1 million euros (2019: 313.4 million) and also strengthened their position in the first quarter of 2021 with more than three percent growth.

With 40.9 million euros in revenue (2019: 44.1 million) Alcina contributed a 12 per cent share to the group’s total revenue in 2020. Despite two lockdowns, which led to hairdressers and beauty parlours being closed for a total of eight weeks, the hair and caring cosmetics divisions remained consistently stable. The decorative cosmetics division, on the other hand, decreased due to pandemic conditions.

As for 2020 promotions and new products, Alcina focused specifically on products that have been in consumer demand in the current situation or that simplified work in the salons, for example, in terms of hygiene and service. By means of videos and numerous digital offers, the brand took the opportunity to support B2B customers in the best possible way in areas such as salon management or further craft training. “We remained in intensive contact with our salon partners in 2020 and supported them as much as we could. Our digital offers have been well received by our customers and are constantly being expanded in the seminar sector,” says Eduard R. Dörrenberg, managing partner of Dr. Wolff Group. Also new digital formats for end consumers were created to promote customer loyalty.

Temporary colour refreshers in demand – haircare restart

Since many consumers demanded products that give their hair a new shade and nurture it at the same time, Alcina developed a new generation of glossing with the Color Gloss & Care series. In addition to colour treatments on site, hairdressers may offer their customers one of 20 special colour refreshers for home use as well as blend individual colours. With colour refreshers, clients may bridge the time in case their hairdresser appointment is cancelled and keep their colour intense for longer. This offer – as well as colour shampoos and colour rinses – generated sales during the pandemic.

After ten years with an unchanged look, Alcina started a successive repackaging of haircare in late summer. Haircare got divided into four categories, got a modern design and optimised packaging size. Thanks to new colour codes and names that highlight the main benefits, it will henceforth be easier to grasp which products are suitable for a particular hair need. The aspect of sustainability also plays an important role. Since the recyclable bottles do not require a folding box and instruction leaflet, packaging material is reduced. “We made sure that the changeover is done gradually. This way, it will put less strain on the hairdressers’ cost apparatus in these difficult times as they don’t have to keep a large depot on hand. The changeover will be completed in summer of 2021,” says Dörrenberg.  

Skin care has high priority

The skin underneath a facial mask needs more attention, so cleansing, soothing, moisturising and nourishing are more important than ever in pandemic times. Stressed by frequent washing, hands also need more care. A new hygiene hand cream nourishes the hands and at the same time fights bacteria and viruses. Alcina completed their hygiene range with a hand disinfectant gel that cleans hands without soap and water, as well as with the travel-size Handwunder (hand wonder) gel, which was also launched as a biocidal product with a new formula. In addition, the popular Cashmere range was complemented by a shower balm and a warming and soothing eye mask.

Lower consumption of decorative cosmetics – focus on eyes

With mouth and nose areas often covered by facial masks, especially the eyes are in focus. New eyeliner pencils, eye shadows and brow mascara turned the eye area into an eye-catcher. Lip and colour products have been struggling since 2020. As the care aspect is becoming more and more important, Alcina added rich caring lip balms and a lip oil to their range, in addition to new textures. A colour correcting (CC) cream for a delicately tinted, even complexion was added to the portfolio. For a target group that wants to make impure skin or visible blemishes disappear, the high covering make-up “Authentic Skin Foundation” in three shades was added at the end of the year. This make-up perfects the skin’s appearance, while vitamin E and pomegranate extract prevent premature skin ageing.

The first quarter of 2021 – good start after repeated lockdown

After salons closed due to Corona at the beginning of the year, hairdressers experienced an unprecedented appreciation from the public. In terms of sales, the brand remained, as expected, behind previous year’s result after the closures in the first two months. The restart was successful, so that March brought good results with the hair segment being the sales driver. “If there are no more severe impacts due to Corona, we expect business to be good and positive,” Dörrenberg said. “In the past months we prepared the relaunch of our website and online shop. Alcina Online Professional is a 24/7 companion that provides important and necessary information at any time. Our former B2B partner site has already been very popular; after the relaunch it will offer even greater benefits for our customers,” outlines Dörrenberg.