Profit and LossMay 1, 2009 By: Lori Morris American Salon
Helping clients deal with thinning hair and hair loss can drastically improve their self esteem—and your salon's bottom line.
There are many different factors that can cause people to start losing their hair, but the one thing we know for sure is that it's a widespread problem that's affecting many of your clients. Studies have shown that approximately 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States are experiencing some sort of hair loss.
For men, the most common cause of hair loss is genetics, and while this can also affect women, female thinning and baldness are more often associated with environmental and medical issues. "If the body has to deal with critical issues, hair production gets pushed aside and the process is slowed," says Trevor Attenborough, vice president of marketing for Nioxin, which specializes in products for thinning hair. Hormone fluctuations related to pregnancy and menopause, health problems like thyroid conditions, certain deficiencies in one's diet, high levels of stress, environmental damage and the simple process of aging can all significantly impact the hair's growth cycle. This cycle comprises three stages that repeat themselves over and over again: anagen (the growing phase), catagen (the resting phase) and telogen (the shedding phase). As hair starts to thin, it comes back weaker and shorter with each anagen phase until eventually there is no hair at all.
Attenborough points out that maintaining a healthy scalp is critical since that's where hair loss begins. "Prevention is worth so much more than fixing the problem," he says. "You need to help the skin so that it, in turn, can help the follicle. Nioxin recently introduced Scalp Renew, a resurfacing treatment that aims to speed up the cell renewal process and increase the production of collagen and elastin to improve the quality of the hair follicle.
Along with topical products to slow the process, studies have shown that low-level laser light can stimulate cellular activity in the scalp to produce the growth of thicker hair. While this procedure has yielded great results in doctors' offices, Spencer Forrest has created the portable X5 Hair Laser for daily at-home use. Spencer Forrest is in the process of getting FDA clearance for the X5; the only other hair loss technologies with FDA clearance are Propecia and Rogaine.
Mark Kress, CEO of Spencer Forrest, points out that the X5 is a particularly good solution for women. "Female hair loss seems to be notably increasing," he says. "Women can't use Propecia and can only use the low-strength version of Rogaine, so this is an ideal way to help them combat hair loss." The X5 Laser can yield results in as little as eight to 12 weeks, and is generating a great deal of interest among salons, which are using it to create client loyalty and an entirely new revenue stream. —LORI MORRIS
INTO THIN HAIR
When Elline Surianello, founder of LeMetric Hair Centers, started losing her hair, she noticed that there weren't many options for women who weren't into wearing wigs but didn't have enough hair on top for extensions. That's when she began creating high-quality bands of real hair from Italy that can be customized for each client based on the area of thinning and density of hair. The bands are sewn into existing hair, where they can remain for up to three years with the proper upkeep. "These clients are not going away," Surianello says, "so stylists need to start a dialog with them." lemetric.com