Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- According to a recent study, over 1.2 billion Saudi Riyals (SR) ($320 US million) is spent annually in Saudi Arabia as part of the battle against hair loss that affects both men and women due to various factors.
The fight against hair loss in Saudi Arabia is an expensive yet lucrative business. Main causes of hair loss include not allowing the hair to breathe due to covering the head for long hours as well as the incorrect use of hair products.
The study, carried out by the research center of Unilever, looked at a number of countries and Saudi Arabia in particular and stated that one in two people suffer from hair loss or dandruff, that is half of the world’s population face this problem in comparison to 60% of Saudis.
Rana Attiya, a healthcare specialist, told Asharq Al Awsat that the large amounts of spending [on products tackling hair loss] are attributed to the increase in hair loss and dandruff. The reasons behind the rise in number include stress (due to the fast pace of life) and a negative reaction to hair products that have been publicized by advertising companies, for example.
Attiya stated that what is notable is the number of female patients who attend cosmetic clinics in order to undergo hair transplantation despite the high costs of this treatment in comparison to alternative methods that have good results but require more time. Pharmacists in Jeddah have also noted the high demand of anti-dandruff treatments.
As well as surgical treatment for hair loss, which in Saudi Arabia would cost 20,000SR ($5,300 US), a spray treatment is available from the cost of 75SR. The average price for tablets that aim to reduce hair loss is 200SR.
Traditional Saudi head-covering has been rivaled by the athletic skull-cap as a way to protect the head from sun exposure and dust, or to cover bald spots.
Medical authorities in Saudi Arabia have estimated that the number of Saudi men suffering from hair loss stands at 20% of the population whereas the number of women is 5%. There are a number of traditional mixtures that are publicized via the internet for treating dandruff and hair loss. These websites capitalize on the lack of confidence in various treatments perhaps following unsuccessful experiences, especially in light of numerous forged products.