The men who co-founded and developed Nutrafol, Roland Peralta and Giorgos Tsetis, wanted to find something that would combat the causes of thinning hair without creating unwanted side effects. Together, they formulated a nutraceutical supplement to address the triggers of hair loss. Peralta spoke with MODERN SALON about their search for a solution to a problem that has been plaguing men—and women—forever.
MS: Please share a bit more about your personal story and how it influenced the development of Nutrafol.
RP: In 2000, I had surgery for thyroid cancer and was experiencing a great deal of stress. This set in motion what might have been a predisposition to male pattern hair loss. I assumed there was nothing I could do to stop the downward spiral. I’d also been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was looking at natural therapies I could use that had anti-inflammatory properties. As my mobility was improving as I used these botanicals, I started to notice a change in my hair quality; an area of my scalp that was receding was now growing hair.
At the same time, my friend Giorgos was having issues with thinning hair. He was taking medication he hoped would help but began suffering side effects including loss of libido. We got together to share our stories with each other and what was supposed to be a dinner turned into a four and a half year project.
MS: What was your research process?
RP: We started by looking at the landscape and what was being done in the world of hair care around the issue of thinning hair. Soon, we recognized that most companies have been focused on finding a single miracle molecule, that single drug that will turn on a protein, grow a hair and change the world. Everyone was concentrating on Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a main cause of hair loss but we learned there are so many other factors that also contribute. We set out to identify the triggers that lead to poor hair health and to find ingredients that would help fight off free radicals, reduce stress, rebalance DHT, and address inflammation, which is at the root of all disease. We learned that biotech research was discovering powerful phytochemicals from plants and we identified four clinically patented botanicals that we incorporated into Nutrafol.
MS: How do you recommend hairdressers broach the subject of hair loss with their clients?
RP: The truth is they have an obligation to their client. They have a different perspective because stylists stand over their clients and it would be a disservice if they noticed something and didn’t address it. It is also an opportunity to build loyalty if you are properly informed on what products can be beneficial. If you can help your client, that client will be forever grateful.
MS: How do you educate the hairdresser on the product so that they are able to recommend it to their clients?
RP: Part of our job and our challenge is reeducating the salon industry on the real causes of hair loss and targeting those underlying triggers. Hair loss can be avoided.
This year we sponsored 901’s Beauty Coach Tour and tried to reach stylists all over the country. We’ve done webinars and we’re ramping those up. These are especially good for salon who have someone new on board and they want to become familiar with Nutrafol. We provide samples, we do one-on-one training and we always make ourselves available. Hairstylists are the first line of defense when it comes to hair loss so they need to be educated and well informed about the causes, the opportunities and the solutions that can work for their client.
MS: Are the causes of hair loss very different in men versus women?
RP: Yes, there are different triggers. Men have higher levels of testosterone, so higher levels of DHT. Women also have that androgen component but what we believe is that women are experiencing more hair loss today because of chronic stress. It compromises the immune function and disrupts the hair follicle.
MS: With the success of Nutrafol, what is next from the brand?
RP: We recently raised a substantial amount of money and we’ve been working on brand extensions and will be rolling them out in the coming months. Our very strong research and development team has a lot in the pipeline. We will continue debunking the myths about hair loss.