JOE Meets... Gary Lawler & Dane Holland of Lux Marketing to talk about the 'iGrow'
Recently, JOE sat down with the budding Irish entrepreneurs behind Lux Marketing to find out what their iGrow hair regeneration treatment is all about…
Starting up a company in this day and age isn’t easy, but as you’ll learn from Gary Lawler and Dane Holland of Ireland’s Lux Marketing, it certainly is possible.
We recently sat down to find out how Lux Marketing came about, what exactly it is that they’re selling and how they plan on growing in the business of re-growing hair…
JOE: So lads… You’re all in your 20s, fair play, so how did Lux Marketing all come about when other people of the same age are usually off doing other things?
Gary Lawler: Basically I was a medical sales rep in a former life and I was at a medical conference in Germany back in October when I ran into this company doing the iGrow product. Honestly, I thought it looked like a gimmick and thought it just looked funny, so I decided to go over and have a chat with them. I thought, ‘no way this can work’, but once I started talking to them about the technical things behind the product I realised what a good idea it was. I said to them that the most important thing was clinical data, because I can pick a random number out of the sky as well and say it works for A), B) and C), but once they showed me everything I wanted to see I decided to take a punt on the iGrow.
So I got back to Ireland and I spoke to Dane [Holland] about it saying, ‘would you like to come on board, I found a cool product that could do really well and that would be interesting to work with’. Once I explained everything to Dane he was more than happy to come on board and he’d have a lot more experience and qualities that I just don’t have in certain areas, so four months later, here we are.
JOE: That’s amazing… So it’s really only the last five or six months since the entire operation started from the ground then?
Gary: Yeah, we started a contract the week before Christmas, launched the company itself in January and have slowly been building it up since then because we want to get the brand out in the right way. So yeah, we’ve been growing slowly but trying to do it the right way. We also have Andrew on board as well, he’s a older brother of mine, and he does all the boring stuff - as he’ll say himself. He sits behind a desk and keeps track of all the promises we make and makes sure that we can follow through with them. So it’s the three of us really that are the main three in Lux Marketing.
JOE: So how many of you are involved in the company in total?
Gary: We have five altogether, we have Chris, our admin along with another partner who wants to remain nameless for now, who is looking after a particular market that we cater for.
JOE: So how exactly does the iGrow work? I know a lot of people who have tried out creams, shampoos and sprays, only to find that you have to use them religiously or else you won’t notice any effects?
Gary: Yeah, well it’s actually a very simple piece of technology. Basically, it’s very like how they grow the grass in Croke Park after a concert using ultraviolet light, but our technology uses a red-light spectrum that focuses the light at 650nm wave lengths, which have been proved to be the most effect to re-stimulate hair.
So we want to get across to people that this doesn’t work if you’re completely bald, once the hair is dead it’s gone. So it’s not a miracle regrowth treatment. It’s actually a product that will stop you from losing your hair. When you start to see yourself receding or if you’ve got a father who’s gone bald at a certain age then it’s time to start thinking about iGrow.
It’s to put a pause on losing the hair you have already. Now, some people will see a 39 per cent increase in new count of hair, but we’re really marketing it as a product that it will stop hair loss. The more hair you have the better it works.
JOE: So how often do you have to use the iGrow to see the benefits?
Gary: Well you have to use it every second day for 25 minutes for 6-9 months based on where your hair is at the time you buy the device and then we recommend that you use it once a week, to once a month afterwards, in order to keep stimulating it.
Again, one thing we don’t want is for people to start thinking that you’ll have an amazing head of hair if you’re bald. They might see a bit of light stubble, but it’s not going to give you a nice luscious head of hair…
JOE: So you won’t go from Patrick Stewart to Fabio overnight?
Gary: Exactly! Yeah, we don’t want people to think this is like one of those adverts where they throw some seeds on the ground and the grass shoots up out of nowhere. We think it’s a genius piece of technology, but we don’t want people thinking it’s a miracle technology.
"We think it’s a genius piece of technology, but we don’t want people thinking it’s a miracle technology."
JOE: So how long is the product around?
Gary: It’s been in the States for about 4-years and it went into he UK in the summer of last year, so really it’s brand new to Europe. The guys in the States sort of thought that England was Europe. They didn’t really realise there are a few other markets here too, so the guys in the UK are setting up distribution channels around the rest of Europe which we’re helping them with now. But we’re the first ones along with the UK that would be up and running with this product in these parts.
As I was saying, the iGrow has been used in the States for the past 4-years now and the company who make it actually created the ‘Revage System’, which was one of the first hair removal by laser systems. So if you have too much hair they can show you how to get rid of it and if you don’t have enough they can help you to grow more. So they have a lot of credibility in the market because they’ve been working with this low-level laser therapy treatment for the past 17-years or so.
The iGrow product is actually a prescription product over in the States as it’s classed as a medical device, which again does a lot for our credence that it does work and it’s just a funny looking helmet that you throw on every other day.
JOE: So as you were saying, some people might see it as a gimmick, what would you say to people who see it as a funny looking helmet with headphones on it?
Gary: Well yeah, I mean that’s sort of the fun part of the job, convincing people otherwise, but we do have a section on our Facebook page that features all the clinical data and results to show it’s effective.
It’s actually filed in the American Medical Journal and Laser Journal, which proves its efficiency. You can’t get into these medical journals without being FDA approved, so if anyone says ‘we don’t believe you’ we’ve been saying ‘well there’s the data, we’re standing by it and if you don’t like it tough’.
Dane actually spoke to the guy who did the initial tests and we made sure to get the results he did because we wanted to find out, before we signed a contract, if it actually worked. Dane spoke directly with him and any sort of worries or questions we had he sorted everything out and gave us a really technical run down of exactly what he did, which obviously gave us a huge amount of confidence.
Dane is actually using it himself here, so he can tell you a little about his change over the past two months…
Dane Holland: I’ve only started using it for the past two months. I’m just receding on both sides of my temples, quite early on receding, and my dad went bald around 30-ish and so did his brothers, so it’s obviously hereditary and will eventually happen to myself. I’d be one of the top target markets – the young guy worried of going bald and who wants to pause his hair loss and keep what he has. I’ve actually noticed good results and it’s actually the people around me who have been noticing big differences.
JOE: So when you have the headset on, what do you be doing for the 25 minutes or however long you use it for?
Dane: Well myself, I plug it into the iPad at home so if I’m not reading something I’m listening to music.
Gary: There’s actually an AUX port on the headphones so you can connect to your Xbox, PlayStation, iPhone, iPad, everything you’d want, really. If you play a game of Battlefield online then you won’t even notice the time passing. That was one thing a lot of people were saying, that they might get bored sitting there for 25-minutes, but we don’t think 25-minutes every second day is too much to ask for.
JOE: Does the machine turn itself off after 25 minutes?
Gary: Yes, it does. There’s a little remote attached to the headset that has a timer, which tells you how long is left in the session. If you actually take the helmet off during the therapy the lights will switch off and the machine will pause itself. So the guys that created it pretty much thought of everything which is great because all those little things are a huge help, like just being able to plug it into an iPhone or Xbox Box instead of getting bored, walking off and never finishing the treatment.
JOE: Could you see people using this out on the street?
Gary: No, well we don’t know what the guys in the US are thinking down the lines in terms of a battery pack, but it actually needs to be plugged into the mains as it has a plug, but to be honest, from what people have said they wouldn’t be too interested in using it out and about.
It seems that a lot of people who need it seem to be embarrassed about it, one of our distributers who uses the iGrow says he uses it when his wife goes to bed, but then there are other guys who would be happy as Larry to wear it in front of anyone.
It seems to be that people love the fact that it’s home use. It’s still very taboo to talk about baldness with a man or woman who it’s happening, so it’s great to have that online presence too. That’s why it’s great to have Dane on board because he’s a lot stronger in online marketing than I am and a lot of it has been silent sales where people go onto the website and buy it instead of going into a shop to buy it.
JOE: So in terms of cost and maintenance, what is the cost of the device and are there any extra costs that you may incur in the long run?
Gary: No, there are no extra costs down the line. The product has a three-year warranty so it’s built to last. Now, it’s €800 to buy the iGrow off our website, but we’re working with at least one beauty salon or hair salon in each county around the country to help grow the business together with someone who’s also looking to expand. So we’re giving them a reduced price that they can sell in store. This way it encourages people to shop locally and it gives the salons the opportunity to pick a competitive price. So it would be anywhere between €750 and €800, and it’s €800 if you buy it off the website.
JOE: So what’s the plan for the future?
Gary: We have a few products coming down the line that I can’t really mention too much about, one from the same company as the iGrow and one from another company in Israel that we’re going to go out and meet in a couple of weeks. But we wanted to get the company set up first, get the brand out there and get our name out there as one that’s trustworthy, because the other products are similar to the iGrow in the sense that they will be tough to market.
But we’re holding off on those for a couple of weeks as we don’t want to grow too quick and shoot ourselves in the foot.
JOE: Well it all sounds like great work lads and it certainly sounds and looks like an interesting product. All the best with it.
Gary/Dane: Cheers guys. Thanks for the chat.
To find out more about Lux Marketing and the iGrow device head over to the Lux Marketing Facebook Page or check their website, www.luxmarketing.ie.