Hirsutism and unwanted hair growth

There are two distinct markets for the removal of unwanted hair, the medical market, as in the case of hirsutism and the non-medical market.

Each culture of human society has developed social norms relating to the presence or absence of body hair and the non-medical reasons can range from purely aesthetic to, sporting or religious demands for example.

Market potential

The demand for products that remove hair from various parts of the body in both men and women is huge and both depilation and epilation are commonly used. New markets are opening up in many areas of the world, as they become more affluent and adopt more western standards of beauty and fashion.

Hirsutism, a medical condition, is when a woman has excessive male pattern hair growth and in 2011 the US market was estimated at between 250 MUSD and 500 MUSD with 8-10% of American women affected.

The total market for all methods used for hair removal in the non-medical market is difficult to estimate but as long ago as 2004 it was estimated at 11 billionUSD in an article published on Genome Web.

In 2014 the NPD group published a report on the American market stating that ‘More women’s grooming appliances, like electric shavers and many other in-home personal grooming and hair removal devices, have sold over the past 12 months (July 2013 – June 2014) than in the previous two years’.


Sales figures for hair removal products

Sales in the US were 250-500 MUSD in 2011.

The total market for hair removal products was estimated at 11 billion USD in 2004.

The graph opposite shows the sales value of hygiene products in France 2013/14.

About Hirsutism

Hirsutism is caused by an excessive production or action of hormones called androgens, these are secreted by the ovaries or adrenal glands and also produced locally in the hair follicle. Several different conditions can lead to hirsutism, the two most common causes are polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and idiopathic hirsutism.

Hair loss

Huge potential

Potential commercial opportunities in the hair loss market are considerable as we believe the potential drugs being developed by Follicum promise to offer considerable benefits over currently available treatments; including improved effect and fewer side effects.

At the same time the demand for more efficacious products is growing and new markets are opening up in many areas of the world, such as China and India, as they become more affluent and westernized.

In the established market of America hair loss sufferers spend more than 3.5 billion USD a year in an attempt to treat their hair loss, and 99% of all the products being marketed are completely ineffective for the majority of those who use them, according to The Washington Post.

In the developing market of China, the use of western hair-loss treatments jumped by 90 percent to 100.7 million yuan (16.4 MUSD) in the five years through 2012, according to researcher Euromonitor International. That’s almost double the growth rate of China’s broader 33.6 billion yuan market for hair- care products. About 21 percent of adult males and 6 percent of females in China suffer from hormone- driven hair loss.

Sales figures hair loss products

In the US more than 3.5 billion USD a year is spent on products to treat hair loss.

In China, the total market for hair care products is valued to about 500 MUSD.

The American Hair Loss Association recommends that only approved products are used

The American Hair Loss Association recognizes that hair loss is an extremely emotionally distressing disease that can make those afflicted particularly vulnerable. For this reason, the AHLA recommends against purchasing any hair loss product that is not approved by the FDA or recommended by The American Hair Loss Association.