The search for a solution to baldness and thinning hair is as old as time (or so it seems), spawning a global industry worth billions of dollars annually. Now aesthetic businesses are being given the chance to cut a slice of this highly lucrative pie chart. INTRO TEXT An influx of new hair restoration and hair loss management treatments ideal for use in salons and spas are offering huge growth potential, pardon the poor pun, not only for follicularly-challenged clients but beauty business bottom lines. Topical formulas using active ingredients such as growth factors and potent botanicals renowned for their hair regeneration properties are being systematically rolled out to Australian salons and spas for use on both men and women. These are designed as a series of weekly treatments for around six to eight weeks, in some cases with compatible take home products. Costs quoted to Spa Australasia were very affordable, certainly by comparison with heavily marketed hair studios. GROW, BABY, GROW Avention Global has introduced a formula whose breakthrough active ingredient is a bacterially derived growth factor found naturally in human skin cells. Scientists in the US found this growth factor helped hair follicles form and regenerate during the wound healing process. This is why the topical formula is combined in treatments with the use of Avention’s Eclipse Micropen. Tiny needles are used to create controlled micro-injuries to the skin in order to produce collagen and elastin. The skin’s repair process results in a thicker, healthier dermis. In this case, the ‘wounds’ the pen creates facilitates the perfect environment for the growth factor formula to do its work. (aventionglobal.com) One of the first business in Australia to trial the system is the Hair Free chain of hair removal clinics. It might seem a contradiction in terms, but as we all know, many people have too much hair where they don’t want it or little or none in areas they do. So what better venue to capture this market. Owner David Ginges has been overseeing trials in his clinics for the past four weeks (at the time of writing) and says results have been ‘extremely promising’. ‘Our first client began treatment four weeks ago and photos taken progressively over that time show distinct regrowth. He is very excited, as are we. ‘We have several other people undergoing the procedure, so we will have a lot more data in the next couple of months. ‘But if things keep going the way we have seen so far, I think we may have a major breakthrough in the hair restoration industry.’ David says taking on a hair regrowth treatment in a hair removal clinic was a ‘totally logical progression. Our business is all about understanding the functions of the hair follicle.’ (hairfreeplus.com.au) Salon owner Hugh Wilkinson has been using the treatment at Skin+ in Sydney’s Pymble, agreeing to trial it in the first instance because of his own newly receding hairline. ‘I’m in my early 30s and I have only to look and my father and older to brothers to see the future,’ he says. ‘I decided to take action now because, if treated early enough, further pattern hair loss can be slowed, even prevented, and some hair can regrow.’ He has about a dozen customers under treatment, with very positive results so far. Hugh says the treatment takes about 30 minutes. Clients must arrive with their hair freshly washed and dried. The topical formula is massaged into the scalp and then the Eclipse Micropen is used to allow the formula to penetrate deeper into the skin. The tiny wounds have closed almost as soon as a client leaves, so there is no after-treatment required and their normal shampoos and conditioners cab be used as usual between visits. (skinplus.net.au) Suigo, a salon-only, Australian developed hair care brand formulated in Japan, has just introduced a system for thinning hair, coupled with compatible home-use products to actively control hair loss, receding hairlines and localised alopecia. ‘Hair Loss Treatment begins with a deep-cleanse and thorough detox of the scalp and hair,’ says managing director Joe Zucchiatti. ‘This will remove follicle-clogging sebum, fatty acids and other environmental residues that often prevent healthy hair growth.’ After rinsing and towel-dry, the Follicle Revitalising Lotion is massaged into the scalp until fully absorbed. This leave-in preparation is formulated with botanicals such as saw palmetto, arginine and grape glycolipids to stimulate the scalp and nourish hair follicles. Potent antioxidants, Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin K clarify and stimulate hair growth. Joe says for maximum results, Hair Loss Treatment is recommended weekly six to eight weeks, with compatible home care products used in between. ‘People just love going to the hairdresser, so this provides an ideal environment for hair loss treatments,’ says Joe. ‘in an environment like a hair salon people can relax and enjoy themselves while having their concerns addressed, whereas they might find it extremely daunting – and a lot more expensive – a sterile-looking hair clinic. Suigo’s philosophy is to care for both scalp and hair during this process, whereas many treatments that address hair loss leave the existing hair in a bad state.’ (Visit suigoaustralia.com.au) Soon to arrive in Australia is Bochery’s Tuffne Energique, developed and Greece and popular in Europe and the Middle East for a number of years. The use of the new CAPIXYL PRO contributes to the improvement of hair texture. CAPIXYL PRO is comprised of Liposomal Biomimetic Peptides which can enhance the growth of hair by stimulating collagen production. It’s combined with a red clover and ginger extract to increase circulation, reduce inflammation in the scalp and regulate the production of an enzyme that contributes to androgenic alopecia. The vitamins Biotin and Vitamin PP nourish and strengthen the hair. IT’S IN THE BLOOD Platetet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been popular in Australia for the past few years to rejuvenate skin using a patient’s own blood plasma. It has also been shown to promote hair growth. Taking PRP to a new level is the Silfradent Medifuge machine from Italy. According to Australian distributor Bruno Nicoletti, it has a new-generation protocol which allows for another, more active layer of concentrated growth factors and CD34+ stem cells to be extracted than currently available with existing PRP systems. The hair regrowth side of the business (the core business provides PRP for the dental industry) kicked off when Perth cosmetic physician Dr Serene Lim used the Sifradent Medifuge machine on herself to see if she could regenerate hair on one eyebrow, which had been missing for 22 years as a result of a scar from an accident. She was so impressed by the results she began offering the treatment to her own patients suffering hair loss. (dentalpractice.com.au) DO YOUR HOMEWORK To avoid disappointment on either side, or backlash from a client if a treatment doesn’t reap the desired results, it is best the cause of the hair loss is first assessed by a medical professional. Hair loss can result from myriad factors – genetics, illness, medication, hormone imbalance, poor diet, extreme stress, alopecia, traction alopecia (caused by too-tight hair extensions or weaves, even ponytails). This list goes on. In this treatment genre, consumers tend to be very vulnerable, as hair loss can have a massive impact on a person’s self esteem. As a result they are susceptible to being ‘ripped off’ and you certainly don’t want to fall into that category. If someone is simply not going to respond to your treatment – if their pattern baldness has progressed to the point of no return, for instance – then it’s better you both know that from the start. BOXOUT Until now there have been essentially three treatment options for those experiencing balding or other forms of hair loss: ‘ Surgical hair transplantation is the only ‘cure’ for genetic pattern baldness in either men or women where it has progressed to an extent the hair follicles are no longer capable of regenerating. ‘ Prescription-only topical medications (different for men and women), which can be effective in those whose condition is appropriate for that treatment. It must first be diagnosed by a medical professional. ‘ Heavily promoted hair studios, where clients are usually required to commit to long and expensive contracts and whose treatments have come under scrutiny re their efficacy in light of the investment. Among the most advertised services they provide are what, in reality, are sophisticated hair weaves. These can look very natural and weather all name of wear and tear but is not the option if a client wants to regrow his or her own hair.