How Balding Became Big Business | WSJ


(upbeat music) – [Narrator] For decades,
there were really only two men’s hair loss brands. – When my hair gets wet,
you can tell I’m losing it. But I’m gonna regrow it with Rogaine. – [Announcer] Propecia. Helping make hair loss history. – [Narrator] But over the past few years, new companies have popped up, flooding the zone with
marketing campaigns. – [Announcer] We help you
stay looking like this. Not like this. – [Narrator] These new
brands are coming to life in a different world, one
with growing acceptance of male personal care and social media putting pressure on men. Those factors, combined
with the expiration of a drug patent, are driving
the industry to new heights. The global market for hair loss treatment was worth over $7 billion in 2015, according to Global Market Insights. And it’s growing so
fast that it’s projected to pass $11 billion by 2024. – The hair loss market
and the explosive growth of that market is exceptionally reflective of what’s happening
across the men’s market, which is that you have a
new demographic of men, a younger group of men, who are encouraged to now be well and to
be their best selves. – [Narrator] Andrew Dudum is
the founder and CEO of Hims, one of the newer brands on the market. His San Francisco-based
company is marketing in a different way than
Rogaine and Propecia. – We’re going after men in their 20s who are starting to
experience while sitting in a college classroom,
who are starting to see hair loss while applying
for their first job. Dudum offers a variety of
hair loss treatment drugs, including generic versions
of Propecia and Rogaine. – Merck created a drug called
Propecia a very long time ago. Today, if you go to a Walgreens or a CVS, that drug could cost you
$100 or $200 per month. We now, at Hims and other
players in the space, can offer generic options of finasteride for $20 or $25 per month. And so, what you see is a huge
proportion of the population who is scared of hair loss
or experiencing hair loss but unable to afford
it for a very long time now be able to move into the market. – [Narrator] Dudum’s company is emblematic of a group of hair growth startups that have sprung up in
the last couple of years. Hims, Roman, Keeps and
others all demonstrate how a market can shift when a patent for a popular brand-name drug expires. – The combination of Rogaine,
which went off patent first, and Propecia, which
went off patent in 2014, together with some other
things that are going on in the industry, that’s
caused a dramatic increase in the availability, in the cost, and in the success of
using these products. – [Narrator] Gary Stibel is the CEO of New England Consulting Group. He does a lot of research
in the men’s health space. He says there are only two
main drugs on the market that are scientifically
proven to help stop hair loss in some men: minoxidil and finasteride. In 1988, the FDA approved minoxidil under the trade name Rogaine. Then, in 1997, Merck obtained
an FDA-approved patent for finasteride, which
they marketed as Propecia. After both patents expired, new companies started
crowding into the space. Extra-strength minoxidil is
expected to see 4.5% growth between 2018 and 2024. And finasteride may also see market gains in the coming years. The Propecia patent expired in 2013, an opportune moment for these brands. – Social media is creating
a huge behavioral shift. So is dating apps. When you’re always on social media, all you see is beautiful
things, beautiful people, beautiful places, beautiful
food, beautiful fashion. It creates a desire to be part of that, and you want to be just as
pretty, just as handsome, just as good looking. Part of that is the way you look. So, it’s competitive. There’s a lot of pressure today. – [Narrator] The men’s
personal care industry was worth around $121 billion in 2016. By 2022, it’s expected
to reach $166 billion. That’s a 37% increase in just six years. – Psychologically, men were
concerned about looking like they were too fashion conscious. That day has passed. Men are into looking their best. They are buying all kinds of toiletries. They are using cosmetics
and pharmaceuticals. And they’re even experiencing and paying a lot of money
for procedures like Botox. – [Narrator] The men’s hair loss industry is part of this sea change. Experts say that, as
men grow more concerned with their looks, the hair growth industry has an opportunity to expand
their market and cash in. So it’s no surprise that
companies are looking for the next drug or procedure, one that could stop balding for good. The forefront of the research has to do with hair transplants, which take hair follicles
from a part of the scalp that’s still growing and
plants them where it’s not. Doctors have performed these for years, but the procedure has some
supply and demand problems. Some men don’t have
enough healthy follicles to replace all their bald spots. Scientists in California,
funded by Allergan, are trying to solve this
problem by using stem cells to create an infinite
number of hair follicles, which could theoretically
give completely bald men the ability to regrow a full mane. In June of 2019, the
team managed to get hair to grow through the skin of a mouse. Some experts have described this as a revolutionary achievement
for the hair growth industry. But there’s still a
final hurdle to overcome before the team can present
their findings to the FDA. They have to find a way
to use only human cells to create hair growth,
rather than the combination of human and mouse cells
they’ve used so far. The team think they’re
roughly seven years away from bringing their product to market, but other experts predict it
could take a decade or longer. If and when this does become an option, Hamilton says it could cost
tens of thousands of dollars, and consumers may still
have to use minoxidil and finasteride to keep the new hair. They may also have to get
additional transplants later in life. Whether or not researchers come
up with a cure for baldness, Stibel and Dudum think this
is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the
explosion of male grooming. – Hair loss is a microcosm
of what’s going on in male grooming. – I think what’s happening
in the hair loss market is reflective of what’s happening
across the men’s market, which is a general activation
of men to go and be well. (bright music)

42 thoughts on “How Balding Became Big Business | WSJ

  1. Considering how much the shaved head look is becoming more fashionable & so many women love the look, I don't really understand why guys are still bent out of shape over hair loss.

  2. Mark Zuckerberg is a terrorist. I do hope I spelled his filthy name wrong. Terror groups all over Facebook just like here on Youtube the porn is being sent to my husband's phone? Really? When do I have enough evidence for a court case? Working on it!

  3. With all this money and research you’d think they’d find a cure by now or at least have a viable alternative. Whoever does find a cure or at least dramatically improve the current state of treatment will be a bazillionaire

  4. Trump just announced they are sanctioning Iran's central bank.
    I don't think Iran will be around tomorrow.
    It's like the depression where closed will be on all banks.
    People won't be able to access money..
    Panic. Lots of riots. You name it.
    They will starve.

    And wsj is focused on baldness?
    Watch markets today..

  5. "After I remove the icepack, I use a deep

    pore-cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a

    water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body

    scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub.

    Then I apply an herb mint facial masque which

    I leave on for ten minutes while I prepare the rest of my

    routine." Patrick Bateman

  6. Get ovee your vanity and pay off those student loans, get married and have children. No one cares about your hair. Fight consumerism.

  7. Except for hair transplant, all other medication options are temporary and do not work well.
    It's genetic and will continue to happen. Just get over it.
    Some of the richest people in the world with all the money they can spend to get back their hair or even transplant to perfect hair but they still chose to stay bald because it does not affect their life in any way.
    Unless you want to look cool like other stupid people who spend their whole lives on Instagram.

  8. Don't believe a word WSJ is reporting about the President and Ukraine!!Joe Biden,His son Hunter and his Corruption with Ukraine is the Truth,The President NOTHING WRONG,ILLEGAL,The Corrupt Media is Making up lies again!

  9. I've been told more times than I care to count that with my head shaved, it's about equal with how I look with hair or better.

    In other words… what's the point in growing it out again?

  10. Yeah, many famous and rich people don't care about being bald and if you get really strong and shredded like the Rock, your hair would not matter. But those are the exceptions.
    Most people will never get rich and have no will power to hit the gym. It is much easier to spend time and money on cosmetics. Probably not the most cost-effect thing to do in the long term, but it is better than nothing.
    Plus the factor that young people are pretty shallow these days, exacerbated by social media.

  11. Dear brothers, during my 20s I have wasted lots of time and money on dermatologists, rogain, pills, and looking at the mirror. Nothing happened. I love my balding pattern, it's part of me and I won't hide it or shave my head. I don't anyone to like me or talk to me because I have full hair, but because of who I am and not what I look like. Don't believe that 'hims' dude when he says "look good". First, having full hair has nothing to do with looking good. Second, a person can have full hair and be trashy. Last but not least, YES you lose some confidence at first but you bring it back up by your personality and the way you present yourself. Brothers, don't get brainwashed by those companies who want nothing but your money.

  12. Just shave off ur head and save money for something worth in ur life
    Ever seen a hair on CEO of microsoft, Rock.
    They have enough money why do u think they have not done hair transplatation.
    They embraced it.
    Try to be happy with what u have and be proud about it.
    Dont damage ur skin with hair transplantation or unworthy pills that give side effects.

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