Where To Go When Your Hair Starts To Go

At Great Many, everything from over-the-counter treatments to high-tech interventions are on offer.

The interior of Great Many, which showcases the brand's proprietary products.
Courtesy of Great Many

Generally, I’m not one to indulge my vanity. Injections, cutting-edge skin treatments, plastic surgery — just not my thing! In part, I attribute my ability to be normal about aging and whatnot to my chronic health issues. When your body shows its fallibility, you realize what a privilege it is to see who you’ll become, even if what you become is a wrinkly prune.

But around six months ago, I discovered one thing I absolutely couldn’t be normal about: hair loss. I left a trail of dishwater blond strands around my apartment; in the shower, small clumps fell out in concert. My dog started eating the hair, and then he struggled to poop it out, so I had to pull it out of his butt, and he’d look at me like “What did you do to me?!” I thought I could see the thinning around my hairline in the mirror, and I started to believe I could feel where it was less full.

In a few weeks, I went from smugly self-secure to absently wondering if I should go full witch and harvest the blood of a virgin to prolong my youth.

So imagine my delight when I learned there might be a way to address my concerns, sans witchcraft. This is the promise of Great Many, a new venture entirely devoted to hair growth. Created by Michael Pollak, the co-founder of facial studio Heyday, and Steve Klebanow, the co-founder of Haar & Co. Barbershop, the clinic offers a range of treatments for the hair and scalp.

Courtesy of Great Many

The offerings were explained to me by a friendly clinician during my visit to Great Many’s NoHo flagship. As I sat in an examination chair, sipping my free can of sparkling water and thinking happily about the free mini bag of Tate’s cookies I’d stashed in my bag for later, she ran me through the menu. At the low-intervention end, they can advise clients on the use of hair oils and supplements. (They’re partial to Votesse, not the better-known Nutrafol.) If that’s not enough, they can prescribe something stronger. And then there’s plasma hair restoration (PRP), a treatment that uses your own plasma to rejuvenate your scalp, which starts at $650 per session if you book a three-month series. As it turns out, I was kind of on the mark with the virgin blood thing — though, thanks to modern science, I can harvest my own blood instead.

But first, the assessment. The clinician pulled out one of those pen-like cameras that connects to an iPad, to show me what was happening up there. It wasn’t what I expected: With two or three hairs growing out of many follicles, there wasn’t anything to betray recent loss. My hair looked... great.

Admittedly, my hair loss had slowed to a stop in recent months — much to my and my dog’s relief — but I was convinced that it had left significant damage in its wake. Not the case. Maybe I had so much hair to start with that the loss was negligible; maybe it had already regrown. Either way, the kind clinician was looking at me a little like, Why are you here? We chatted a bit more, speculated that my issues might be seasonal, in which case it could come back and be addressed at a later date. For now, she recommended taking supplements and using hair oils, but it’d be largely be on a preventative basis.

Courtesy of Great Many
Courtesy of Great Many
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In shock, I exited the treatment room, and was soon greeted by the men of the hour: Pollak and Klebanow. Dressed in the same cream chore coats that seemed to be a uniform here, the pair were effusive about what they’ve started at Great Many and eager to hear my experience. (“Loved it!” I tell them. Later, I find the right words for my time in the clinic: I feel like I’ve been patted on the head and told to go home, in a good way.)

“We’re trying to break down stigmas, break down barriers, and really have this warm open environment where both men and women can feel comfortable and have a plan and a roadmap to actually getting the growth results that they want,” Klebanow says.

Naturally, they believe there’s a lot of untapped potential in the hair and scalp space. “Hair growth reminds me of where skin care was maybe 12 or 15 years ago, where people didn’t have full skin care routines, 10-step routines, and Botox was kind of like happening in dermatologist corners,” Pollak says. “Now you can get it around the corner anywhere.” In Great Many’s brave new world, we’ll all be aware of preventative measures that guard against hair loss, much as skin care pros have taught us the merits of SPF and retinol.

Because everyone has hair, and hair is important! It’s intimately tied up with our conception of ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world. As Fleabag once said, “Hair is everything. We wish it wasn’t, so we could think about something else occasionally, but it is.” As I recently learned the hard way, it’s true.