Inside the big business of hair loss

If you’re a hungry entrepreneur looking for the next big thing, the hair loss industry offers plenty of potential for you. Key findings from found that in 2018, the hair restoration market was worth $8.45 billion and is projected to grow to $12 billion by 2026. 

Every year, more than 800,000 patients look for hair loss treatments globally. 

In the UK, Alopecia Areata and Androgenic Alopecia are the common types of hair loss problems. Both are autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. 

In this article, we’ll briefly go over the business of hair loss and how you can take part.

Treatment options

You can still have a piece of the $8.45 billion pie without operating your own clinic. There are companies such as UK-based Manual that sell products aimed at treating hair loss such as Minoxidil and Finasteride tablets. 

Your business would benefit from a subscription-based model as your customers would take multiple treatments for this method, and will need to continue using them as when they stop using these products for prolonged periods, their hair starts shedding again.

These are products that have been proven to work and are usually the first steps people take to treat their hair loss before they opt for a permanent fix.

Of course, it’s also possible for you to run your own clinic. Common hair restoration techniques are the Follicular Extraction Unit (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUE has gained traction lately and demand is expected to increase with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% by 2025

In the UK, a patient is expected to pay between £3000-7000 depending on the technique used and how many follicles are transplanted.

Looking for doctors

If you’re going for the clinic route, look for quality rather than quantity. Hair restoration patients usually require 10-15 years of aftercare, and these will be your loyal customers. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous clinics hire nurses for whole procedures just to cut costs and this is something you must avoid.

To get the best doctors for the job, scout for surgeons that are on the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS) or the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS). Doctors registered on these boards hold the gold standard to hair restoration procedures, and these will convince the prospective patients that they are getting their money’s worth.

Penetrating the market

You can either start building your own brand from the ground up, buy an existing clinic, or buying into a franchise. 

Building your own brand

You have the ability and freedom to draft your own policies and apply your own business philosophy. However, you do not have a customer base and this is very risky, to say the least as your overheads and staff salaries will be expensive.

Buying an existing business

If you’re patient enough to look for the right opportunity, buying over an existing business is a great way to get instant access to a pool of patients who are already aware of your presence and are familiar with the current staff if you wish to keep them.

Buying a franchise

This is perhaps the best option for the risk-averse. You’re given proven-to-work guidelines on how to run the business and have the advantage of running an established business.