Nobody likes to lose hair. It is a circumstance that generates anxiety and can trigger self-esteem issues. That’s what the film Por los pelos is all about, coming to Spanish cinemas in February 2022, a comedy that tells the journey of three friends to Turkey to solve their problem of early balding.
The film is an example of the interest the subject inspires, but reality transcends fiction. Before the pandemic, around 15,000 Spaniards traveled to Turkey every year for hair transplants. The merit of the Middle Eastern country is to have made available a treatment that until then was reserved for the richest, without for this reason giving up the lack of professionalism.
The problem is that the “Turkey” brand is already too much, which has led to the emergence of similar companies based in the country but with very low standards of quality and professionalism. The proportion of hair clinics in Turkey that you can now find on the internet is split between 700 legal and 1,000 illegal.
At least that’s what it takes Oscar MendozaCEO and Founder of hair hospital. He doesn’t want to badmouth Turkish professionals, because he got his hair there in 2017 and is satisfied with the result. But not only did he return great, but he also came out convinced that Spain could do better, taking advantage of the corruption in Turkey’s industry and the international prestige of the national healthcare system in addition to strong demand.
The market capillary
After the Czech Republic, Spain is the country with the largest population in Europe with alopecia baldness problems, with a barely significant difference. It is currently estimated that around 50% of the population in Spain suffers from alopecia. On the other hand, there is China with an incidence of just over 19%.
Experts seem to disagree as to whether the problem affects both sexes equally or is more prevalent in men. While some speak of fifty-fifty, others like Mendoza attribute 90% of the cases to men. Among the different types of alopecia, the one known as the androgenic type is one of the most common. The good news is that it works.
Baldness does not affect everyone equally. According to Mendoza, about 20% of people who suffer from alopecia understand alopecia as a problem and something traumatic, so they decide to find a solution. Most of them are men between the ages of 25 and 45, the age at which the demand for treatments and surgeries begins to decline.
Considering the average cost of these patients, the cost of the operation, which is currently between 3,000 and 4,000 euros, must be supplemented by maintenance and care costs of between 800 and 1,200 euros throughout the year. According to figures from the founder of Hospital Capilar, the market in Spain moved 250 million euros last year.
“From Madrid to hair”
Taking advantage of the mobility restrictions caused by the pandemic, Spanish entrepreneurs are rushing to launch projects aimed not only at satisfying strong local demand, but also wresting Turkey’s title of preferred capillary tourism destination with equally competitive prices.
One of them is Óscar Mendoza himself, who decided to take part in a capillary medicine project in 2018. Problems with partners made him distance himself from it, but without giving up his goal of becoming a major player in the market.
In 2021 he founded the Hospital Capilar with an investment of 2.5 million euros and the financial support of the Thae groupleading brand in the hairdressing and beauty sector.
Mendoza launched the brand with the simultaneous opening of three clinics, two small ones in Murcia and Pontevedra, each with two operating rooms, and a third in Madrid, the latter already with an area of 2,000 m2 and 20 operating rooms. The motto chosen for this is “De Madrid al pelo”.
With the two little ones, the occupancy rate is 100% and there are waiting lists until February. The occupation in Madrid barely reaches 20%, also because the competition is much greater. “When I founded the first hair clinic in 2018, we were 10 in Madrid, now we are 70,” he points out relevant data that gives an idea of the magnitude of the market is gaining in our country.
Hair transplant price starts from €2,945 and also includes a hair transplant service for beards, eyebrows and other hair treatments. The company has a team of 82 professionals and hopes to go from the €2m forecast for completing this year’s settlement to €7m in 2022.
“Our goal is to grow by 70% every year. It’s not a chimera, rather I’m conservative in my forecasts. We know that while the supply is greater, the demand is also growing and our business model is very scalable,” says Mendoza.
Agreements with travel agencies and tour operators
With the aim of strengthening the hair company’s international expansion plans and advancing its intention to make Spain the European epicenter for transplants and hair treatments, a strategy being pursued at Hospital Capilar is the signing of agreements with tour operators and travel agencies. The last announced is with determination. Both institutions are committed to increasing health tourism in the country and strengthening their ties in order to add value to the experience of foreign patients and provide them with an even more personalized, intimate and comfortable service.
This collaboration is based on the integration of a Destinia search engine on the Capilar Hospital website, through which international patients will have the possibility to book both flights and hotels, becoming a way of simplifying the procedures to be followed in this process.
In the words of Oscar Mendoza: “the agreement we came ton one of the largest tourism groups in the world, Destinia, is another step forward in the international expansion of the Capilar Hospital following the creation of our international department, headed by Pablo Loredo, as well as our own multilingual call center department at our Madrid headquarters”. In addition, the CEO of the Capilar Hospital emphasizes that “this is an important commitment and a declaration of intent that reflects our firm goal of making Spain the capital of hair transplantation in Europe”.