Hair Direct. What happened to it ? COVID happened, of course – but that really wasn’t all. We were as shocked as anyone at Hairpiece Warehouse to see Hair Direct go out of business. There were probably a number of reasons for this, not just COVID.
Hair Direct Background
Hair Direct was one of the earliest internet based online toupee for men ordering companies on the web, established in the late 1990s, not long after the internet boom. At the time, companies such as Hair Club for Men (HCM, as it was known at the time) and Apollo Hair Systems for Men were the most well known and the few options available for women and men with thinning hair. At the height of its popularity, Hair Direct reported gross sales in excess of $10M annually and had dozens of employees.
COVID Hits the Hair Industry
When COVID hit, it hit the hair industry like it hit the airlines – but not like the airlines in the sense that customers no longer demanded the product, but because the supply line for the toupee for men dried up. For reasons too lengthy to go into, it was impossible to get products. The larger the company, the worse the situation. With at least dozens of employees and no product, Hair Direct was forced to close its doors.
Crumbling Business Model
At the same time, we at Hairpiece Warehouse believe the Hair Direct business model was crumbling. Born at a time when the Hair Club toupee for men was costing a mortgage payment each month, Hair Direct was able to charge exhorbitant fees. These fees were in excess of $350 per mens toupee as the most inexpensive option, which included a “program” whereby clients were forced into purchasing a toupee monthly, and more per mens toupee if their program required purchasing less units. When much less expensive options began appearing in the early 2000s, such as Hairpiece Warehouse, Hair Direct knew their business was threatened. They began running ads proclaiming “Don’t Settle for Bogus Hair”, while knowing Hairpiece Warehouse, and frankly others, offered the same or better quality mens toupees at a fraction of the cost. For knowledgeable hair wearers, there was really no reason to continue with Hair Direct.
Hairpiece Warehouse Survived
Hairpiece Warehouse survived COVID. It has been a trying time for anyone involved in the hair industry, and we are still adjusting to the changes in our business the COVID and inflation have caused. We are still here, and our business in healthy. We did not let go a single employee because of COVID and since we do not have a crumbling business model, we expect to serve our clients will into the future. If you haven’t tried Hairpiece Warehouse, we hope you’ll give us a try.