In conversation with Sanket Shah, CEO & Managing Director, Advanced Hair Studio (India Sub Continent & Middle East).
Professional Beauty India spoke to Sanket Shah, CEO & Managing Director of Advanced Hair Studio (AHS), on the market for the hair transplant in India. Edited excerpts from an interview.
What do you have to say about the hair transplant market in India? How has the industry changed over the years?
India, in the last 10-15 years, has massively evolved. Consumers have understood that hair plays an extremely critical role in their overall appearance, which is directly related to their self-confidence, which in turn has an impact on their personal and professional lives. Having said that, India still has a long way to go, there is an urgent need for honest companies and right education through awareness. This is exactly what AHS has been trying to do ever since we got into this industry through our press conferences and campaigns. Lot of myths prevail in India like some churan, babas and golis who claim to perform any magic for hair to grow back. This is totally untrue.
Additionally, a lot of medical practitioners, trichologists, dermatologists and even plastic surgeons do not provide credible and truthful information to their patients and this is precisely what we are trying to change.
You have been in the Indian market for over 10 years now? Any case studies that you would like to share.
We have got plenty of case studies. Unfortunately, most of the people in India are under this impression that if you are facing hair loss, you have to visit a doctor. However, people have not realised that in the last 75 years of medical science history, there hasn’t been any invention of a formula, drug or treatment, which can revive your dead follicles and at the same time stop your hair loss, once and for all. This is why a lot of people are trying all sorts of things, like home remedies, heading to pharmacies and then waiting endlessly, by which time the damage is already done. In the meantime, chances are that the individual has silently fallen prey to depression.
We, at Advanced Hair Studio, are trying to change that and give every individual accurate information and facts. We develop combinations of few procedures, which we describe as ‘concepts’. So, AHS has developed some fabulous concepts like supernatural and complete, which produce full hair in the head. We also have a few cases where well-versed individuals of India were fooled by top doctors who give them incorrect treatment and information.
What would you like to suggest to the clients who are looking for a hair transplant? Any specific dos and don’ts?
First suggestion will be – do not think that hair transplant as the ultimate answer! Getting hair back is not an easy thing, clients need to understand that there are certain people who are trying to sell allopathic and homeopathic drugs but there is no such drug that can revive your dead follicles.
Plastic surgeons fool people by promising full head of the hair but that is just not possible in one session as not more than 4000-5000 hair can be planted in one go.
For a male, it requires 35,000-40,000 hair strands to get a good density in a specific area.
It is highly recommended that you go to a reliable source. And, if you plan to visit a homeopathy or allopathy practitioner, challenge them for success stories for at least one individual who was able to grow his hair back completely. The answer is NO, as it is neither seen or nor heard of.
Opt for something that has a standing track record, justified with evidences with before and after results. This is where I think Indian audiences need to question themselves before choosing their hair consultants.
What do you have to say on your collaboration with cricketers as brand ambassadors?
AHS is not just for cricket players, we have half a million clients across the world and more than 10,000 celebrities ranging from Hollywood and Bollywood to sportstars, pop stars, politicians and industrialists, among others. We have more than 200 brand ambassadors that are endorsing us and they are not paid-ambassadors.
We use more cricketers in India as we all know that in India cricket is no less than a religion. Whether we talk about Sourav Ganguly, we talk about Gautam Gambhir or international players like Jacques Kallis, Shane Warne, and AB de Villiers, everybody in India knows them well.
When we choose actors to be the brand ambassadors who are paid, they have numerous takes and retakes and a one out of several shots is picked. On the other hand, if you have sports personalities, they are seen openly like if Jacques Kallis is playing in Eden Gardens in front of hundred thousand people, he is perspiring and his hair is getting ruffled in the wind.
In this scenario, if we have done hair restoration for him, he does not have to worry about all these factors. As a brand, we are targeting certain set of people and for that we have to make sure that we have enough brand ambassadors for our clients to relate to.