A growing celebrity influence, increasing awareness to take care of one’s appearance, societal pressure and higher awareness levels are all turning out to be potential drivers for the hair transplant market.

Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25-30 per cent in select metros and Tier-I cities like Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc, a new survey has found out that a large number of customers of hair transplant services are in the age group of 25-30 years when they are keen to tie the knot.

According to Ankit Goyal, programme manager, healthcare practice, Frost and Sullivan, "The size of the Indian hair transplant market was estimated at Rs 453 crore in FY 2012-13. International chains are seeing India as a potential market for hair restoration".

The hair transplant industry is at an interesting phase, according to Viral Desai, Promoter and Medical Director of Direct Hair Implants (DHI) India. "The industry witnessed the presence of large, organised players and single doctor managed clinics. This co-existence has fragmented the market into segments, each with unique price points. However, we have seen a growing awareness about difference in results across these segments".

Given that today's consumer appreciates 'value' more than 'cost', organised players, with standardised systems and evolved processes, are being sought to meet evolving consumer preferences, added Desai.

A survey by Frost and Sullivan has noted that the organised segment in hair transplant market is set to grow at a CAGR of more than 25 per cent in select metros.

Hair in India is a very sensitive issue among both men and women. Rapidly receding hairlines and hair fall due to factors like pollution, stress, rising work pressure, improper eating habits, usage of chemical shampoos, rising heredity and hormonal disorders leading to baldness are growing today, noted Goyal.

Given that it affects both the genders, the technique of hair transplant has come to the rescue. There are two techniques of hair transplant, one is called the follicular unit extraction (FUE) and the other is known as follicular unit transplant (FUT). The FUT technique is majorly adopted by doctors, but FUE is also seen to be gaining momentum with the advent of international chains and few trained FUE doctors.

The cost per graft in the market varies from Rs 50 to Rs 200 and more, depending on the technique used, the operating doctor and the clinic’s brand name, added Goyal.

The survey has noted that the hair transplant industry is dominated by doctor managed centres and stand alone centers, to the tune of 80 per cent. From 2009-10 onwards, various national and international chains like DHI, Berkowits, Richfeel Trichology Center, B Perfect, ADHI have set-up hair restoration clinics in key Indian cities.

Some of these players have aggressive plans over the next two to three years to strengthen their presence in the country, Goyal added.

> amritanair.ghaswalla@thehindu.co.in