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Real women (and men!) have always been the heartbeat of Truth In Aging, and back in 2010, we conducted a huge survey of the TIA community. One of things we learned was that women really wanted a treatment for hair loss and thinning hair that they could trust would work. I knew the feeling, as my own hair had been thinning since my late 40s and Minoxidil didn’t work for me — it actually burned my scalp. Then I came across copper peptides, which seemed to offer a potentially safer and effective solution, so I had the audacious thought, why not?
This was a bold idea. I had no background in cosmetic formulations or chemistry and quickly learned that copper peptides are not an easy ingredient to work with. It can be smelly (think copper pennies), change color, oxidize, and stain the skin or hair. Yet, I liked that this is a natural active — we have trace copper in our bodies — and its impressive research pedigree dating back to the 1970s.
I went to someone whose formulas I knew and trusted, Darrell Owens, the founder and chief formulator of Your Best Face. I’m a huge fan of his skin care range and have always been impressed by the thoughtful way he approached the business of potions and lotions. When I asked Darrell if he could come up with a prototype hair growth serum based on copper peptides, he readily agreed. Truly, without him, I might never have started this.
We dubbed that first version Hair Vitality and sent it out to a few hundred members of the Truth In Aging community for a three-month trial. I was hoping for very specific feedback on whether the product could be easily applied, which hair types it would suit (or not) and, of course, whether hair would grow. I had also been testing it for months and had a renewed hairline to show for it, but I waited anxiously for the interim survey results at eight weeks. The feedback was encouraging: When we got to the end of the 12 week trial period, 70 percent of users saw hair growth and said they would buy this product. They also noted that they didn’t like the smell and suggested a few other potential tweaks. So we tweaked and tested, tested and tweaked, and I launched my first product.
Since the original launch, I added a serum for eyebrow growth, a shampoo and a conditioner, all of which are based on copper peptides. With an emerging line, I got the branding in shape under Truth Vitality and started to scale up production. This makes it all sound very easy but what I’ve learned, which everyone in the beauty business already knew, is that manufacturing is not for the faint-hearted. There were some missteps along the way, but we got through them.
Truth Vitality Advanced Complex quickly became — and still is — the number one best seller on Truth In Aging. Now I’m on to the second iteration of Advanced Complex with an enhanced formula that is boosted by red clover, a peptide, zinc and magnesium. Plus, an additional value size at 50ml has been added. The new and improved version of Advanced Complex ($59-$79 in the shop) performs really well and is also more aesthetically appealing in the form of a clear, odorless gel.
We almost sold out on launch day last week, and I’m looking forward to everyone’s feedback. I’m also thinking about the next thing — perhaps a weekly hair mask or treatment. Any other ideas? Let me know in the comments below!