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INTERVIEW: Greek-Born Engineer, Entrepreneur, Model and Co-Founder of Nutrafol, Giorgos Tsetis, Talks Holistic Approach to Save Your Hair

Sydney A. Braat

Amsterdam-born engineer turned male model turned co-founder and CEO, Giorgos Tsetis. (Courtesy Photo)

Thousands of people fall subject to genetic predisposition and suffer from hair loss and thinning no matter how well they have taken care of themselves throughout their lives. Fortunately, Greek-born engineer turned male model turned co-founder and CEO, Giorgos Tsetis, was inspired to create a solution after his own struggles in his 20s. That's where Nutrafol comes into Tsetis' dynamic career. Nutrafol is the pioneer behind efficacious, natural hair supplements that target the root causes of hair loss.

Tsetis was tired of products with dubious claims, side effects, and pricey prescription drugs. Tsetis and his two co-founders who all struggled with hair loss were committed to taking the holistic approach. The team developed a natural, effective alternative to what was already available on the market and founded a new category of self-care products along the way: hair wellness supplements.

Sound like something you've needed all this time? Well, you'll be glad to hear that Nutrafol pioneered the nutraceutical hair supplement sector. Its formula pharmaceutical grade botanicals and standardized ingredients work naturally in the body to combat the underlying causes of hair loss that include stress, hormones, diet, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Customers interested in starting their Nutrafol journey take a Hair Wellness Quiz to determine their individual and specific needs. The important thing to know is that Nutrafol's efficacy is backed by clinical studies, not marketing dollars.

I spoke with Tsetis to learn more about this business venture that has helped thousands and thousands of people around the world.

Consumers love holistic solutions to their problems. Can you speak to the early stages of this idea and why a holistic approach with Nutrafol was important to you?

GT: When I was working as a model in my early 20s, I began to notice that my hair was starting to thin, likely due to genetics and the stress of my demanding, on-the-go lifestyle. I was nervous that it would affect my career -- one that is so closely tied to health, beauty and wellness -- so I started to take a prescription hair drug. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical option that worked the best for me had a negative impact on my libido, which you can imagine, isn't ideal for a 20-year-old man. My frustrations finally pushed me to speak to two of my friends, and now business partners, Roland Peralta and Dr. Sophia Kogan, who both had their own personal experiences with hair thinning. We launched Nutrafol in 2015 really for ourselves and our family, but were quickly overwhelmed by the number of other people who were also looking for a natural, efficacious solution that just wasn't really available in the marketplace.

When we founded Nutrafol, we also established an entirely new category of self-care products: hair wellness. Hair wellness is a drug-free, holistic alternative to the hair care and hair loss solutions that exist in the market. We understand that our hair is affected by five root causes: stress, hormones, environment, metabolism and nutrition. In order to effectively and proactively manage hair thinning, Nutrafol's products directly target these root causes from within using the power of medical grade, bioactive botanicals. My co-founders and I are passionate about providing a natural alternative because we wanted to offer a product that actually works without any of the negative side effects associated that can come with prescription drugs.

Can you speak to the core principles of your business and what makes your business unique in the marketplace?

GT: At Nutrafol, we're committed to providing efficacious and natural hair supplements that directly target the root causes of hair thinning. Unlike other products, Nutrafol has been clinically shown to promote hair growth and reduce hair shedding in four clinical studies. Since our inception, we've been dedicated to moving hair science forward by proving the efficacy of our proprietary formula.

Nutrafol is also passionate about educating and destigmatizing hair loss and thinning for both men and women. The experience of thinning hair is not only a physical journey, but an emotional one. Many people, especially women, suffer from hair loss and thinning without support or understanding of why it is happening. This is an incredibly common experience for both men and women, and something that affects hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. alone. Because of this, we've integrated personalized support throughout our users' experience. It starts with our Hair Wellness Quiz, which allows us to gather information on a user's hair and lifestyle, in order to recommend products that will best address their specific needs and life stage. We also have a team of certified naturopathic doctors who are available for consultations with our users. Our naturopaths can answer any questions along a users' hair journey and provide additional recommendations and lifestyle tips to support hair health. Nutrafol is also backed by a network of over 1,500+ physicians, which speaks to the trust in our clinically-tested products and is a significant differentiator to other offerings on the market.

Nutrafol Women's Balance and Women. (Courtesy Photo)

Nutrafol serves both men and women which is a fantastic approach! Was it always important to you to serve both audiences in the marketplace?

GT: Ironically, I initially wanted to start the company to create a solution for men based on my personal experience. But it quickly became very clear that there was a gap in the market for natural hair solutions for both men and women, which now make up the majority of Nutrafol users. Since Nutrafol's inception, we've aimed to fully identify the needs and desires of men and women on their hair journeys. One of the main drivers for our success is truly knowing our customers and their unique characteristics. When you're in an industry like wellness, where efficacious products and customer service are key, it's paramount to take the time to get to know your users and gather feedback at every point of the process.

It is through this meticulous process that we learned menopausal women are often overlooked within wellness. According to a recent survey from the AARP, women 50+ roughly spend $22 billion a year on beauty products. However, 70% of women over the age of 40 said they want to see more beauty and personal care products, specifically for perimenopausal and menopausal women like them. This vital demographic is being left out of the beauty and wellness conversation and we at Nutrafol are trying to change that.

Last year, we launched our Women's Balance product, one of the first and only hair wellness solutions available on the market specifically made for perimenopausal and menopausal women. The Women's Balance formula uses powerful botanicals including Saw Palmetto, Maca and Ashwagandha to address the hormonal changes of menopause, which can contribute to hair thinning.

What is next for the Nutrafol brand? Has COVID-19 forced the business to change in a positive way?

GT: While DTC makes up the majority of our business, our relationships with our physician and stylists partners who recommend our products to their patients and clients are hugely important. One positive change we made at the beginning of the pandemic was quickly pivoting to use our existing e-commerce capabilities to build and launch a direct-to-door platform for physicians and stylists in just three weeks. This new platform enables product sales in the professional channel while salons and offices are closed - or offering limited appointments - all while respecting their ownership of the existing client relationships.

As a brand, we are really focused on increasing awareness of the effects of stress on the hair growth cycle. The year of 2020 has been arguably one of the most stressful times of most people's lives. And chronic stress can directly affect the health of our hair, which ultimately adds additional stress and anxiety. As we enter the second half of the year, we're determined to add value into people's lives by educating them on the root causes of hair thinning, especially how stress plays a role, and empowering them to take on a more holistic approach to hair wellness.

Fortunately, as a company, we've continued to grow as a business, even through a pandemic. This growth is partially due to an increasing demand for natural hair wellness products and people's increased desire to invest in their wellness routines as a way to take back control during an uncertain time. We feel abundantly blessed to have weathered the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC, and look forward to continuing to add value into people's lives.

You visit the Hamptons frequently. What are some of your favorite things to do in the area?

GT: For me, the best thing about being in the Hamptons is all the natural beauty surrounding you - so I try to spend as much time outside as possible when I'm not working. I love to bike over to the Northwest Woods area or Cedar Point near East Hampton, and explore the trails. After a long day, there is also nothing better than going down the beach and watching the sun set to clear my mind.

To learn more about Nutrafol, visit nutrafol.com.

Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she's not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping. https://www.sosydneyny.com/ sydneybraat

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