Follicular-challenged men and women are growing sales of hair products to remedy thinning tresses. While once the only major choices were hair transplants or Rogaine, over the past few years there has been an explosion of brands entering the market. The timing has been fortuitous with estimates that at least 40 million men and another 40 million women report some degree of hair thinning. In August, many brands will support Hair Loss Awareness Month, which puts a spotlight on the issue.
Best industry estimates are that between mass market retail, DTC and professional, the category produces sales approaching $1 billion and is rising in the high double-digits.
“There’s an epidemic hair thinning and loss,” said Melisse Shaban, founder and chief executive officer of Virtue which is designed to help produce fuller hair. Although there are few hard facts to support the theory, Shaban has feedback that hair loss is occurring at younger ages.
Alan Stockman, president of Bosley Professional Strength added, “Our existence is not hair-friendly. You have genetic considerations and then you layer on all of life’s stresses.” He added that when addressing the challenges, it is important to remember men and women are very different in terms of the root of hair loss or thinning.
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“We are seeing a higher rate of men and women who are expressing concerns with thinning hair and receding hairlines. There are many factors that can contribute to hair loss including hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, stress and diet,” said David Michaels, founder and managing director at HairMax, a laser treatment. “Hair styling may also be contributing to hair loss. Excessive bleaching, pulling and prolonged use of hair dryers and irons can seriously damage hair. The growing popularity of hair extensions can also weaken hair follicles and contribute to hair loss.” According to Michaels, losing 50 to 100 hairs a day is considered normal, but anyone with excessive hair loss should see a dermatologist. “Depending on the cause, there are medical, nutritional, and other interventions that can help,” he said.
Here is a synopsis of many of the latest brand innovations and campaigns to meet demand for the hair loss remedies.
Nutrafol: Giorgos Tsetis was a Wilhemina model and an engineer when he started losing his hair in his early 20s. When the side effects of Finasteride, a common pharmaceutical prescribed for hair loss, produced negative side effects, he sought to create an option. In 2014, he cofounded Nutrafol, a nutraceutical solution, that has grown organically. Recently, Nutrafol unleashed a digital campaign showing personal stories of how hair loss impacts lives called “Love Is in the Hair.” According to Tsetis, stories will unfold over the next few months. “We’re building a brand that has meaning beyond just a physical product that you offer,” he said. “To build a brand that makes an impact and helps people, you need to go beyond that and connect with people on an emotional level. It has sparked conversations people typically don’t have about hair loss. This type of messaging makes you memorable, rather than using scare tactics to profit from people’s loss.”
Bosley Professional Strength: “We’re not trying to sell a bottle of shampoo,” said Stockman, who joined Bosley Professional Strength just over a year ago. “We’re trying to connect with you about the issues. There are too many people saying ‘fine, thinning hair.’ There’s a lot of noise, which isn’t always meaningful,” he said, noting that Bosley Professional Strength’s focus is on comprehensive quality of hair solutions. Among the newest items in its arsenal are the Bosley Professional Strength BosVoluminze BamBoom Volumizing & Cleansing Powder and Bosley Professional Strength New Mom Hair Recovery Kit.
BamBoom helps to absorb oil, sebum and environmental pollutants to refresh and rejuvenate hair, while providing volume and a clean, weightless feel. Made from renewable bamboo charcoal, it helps to remove impurities, toxins and other harmful pollutants from the scalp and hair, helping to clear the hair follicle of surface build-up for uninhibited healthy hair growth.
The New Mom Hair Recovery Kit helps mirror the thicker and lustrous tresses women often experience during pregnancy. It is recommended for new moms who experience hair shedding post-pregnancy and includes BosDefense Nourishing Shampoo, BosDefense Volumizing Conditioner, a Healthy Hair Follicle Energizer and free bonus items.
HairMax:The HairMax collection includes laser hair growth devices and a full line of thinning hair-care products that address the multiple causes of hair loss. With HairMax’s LaserBand 82, a lightweight and portable device, women and men can reverse and restore thinning hair with a 90-second treatment that delivers therapeutic light energy through medical-grade lasers to stimulate hair, according to Michaels, the company’s founder. The brand is broadening its distribution in the U.S. and is now sold on its own web site and Amazon, along with physical stores including Bed, Bath and Beyond, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, CVS and Ulta Beauty. The company is readying a newly designed LaserBand devices and a new thinning hair-care line set to bow later this year.
EverTrue Microblading Salon: Microblading isn’t only for brows. “We started offering hairline microblading after one of our brow clients requested it. I thought we were just doing her a favor, but now it is one of our most popular treatments,” said Ramon Padilla, founder of EverTrue. He said there are many hair loss options for men, but not as many natural choices for women. “Our clients especially value that microblading gives them a solution that looks like individual hair strands, and we can control placement, density and orientation. You can’t get that from supplements or minoxidil.”