Changing The Conversation Around Hair Loss: Saloni Anand Talks About Building Her Brand Traya


In her quest to find a therapy for her husband’s untimely hair loss, Saloni Anand, co-founder of Traya, a young techie-marketer, uncovered a novel treatment strategy supported by the strength of three sciences: Ayurveda, Nutrition, and Dermatology. Traya is India’s first health-tech company to offer solutions for hair loss that have been approved by doctors and are supported by extensive research. 

Additionally, over the last three years, her education-driven marketing strategy has helped establish a national footprint and a strong distribution network that serves over 2.5 lakh people with a workforce of 250 employees. Team ELLE spoke to the entrepreneur and here’s what she had to say about her brand’s rise to success.

ELLE: What are some of the commonly held beliefs about hair fall?

Saloni Anand (SA): Hair fall is a condition where hair sheds from your scalp at a faster rate than the growth of newer hair strands. A large number of people across the globe are suffering from the condition of hair loss and its severity varies from person to person. To combat this common problem of hair loss, individuals often turn to a variety of remedies based on the information they encounter. Much of this information may or may not be accurate. It’s very common to see so many people buy into myths and misinformation when it comes to hair loss. There are a bunch of reasons behind it like people hoping for a magic solution or not having easy access to the right information.

There are quite a few myths floating around about hair loss. One of the most common misconceptions is that hair fall is always permanent and not treatable. However, that’s not entirely true. Depending on the stage of hair fall, it can be treated.

Hair fall is influenced by various factors and some of which include genetics, hormones, diet, and medication. Many people tend to see it as more of a cosmetic issue rather than a possible symptom of a deeper problem/ underlying issue. You know, they often reach for shampoos and hair masks, hoping for a quick fix. But in reality, the solution lies in addressing the root cause. These myths about hair loss can lead to people administering the wrong solutions to their problems, which will not be of any help in tackling hair loss.

ELLE: Tell us a little about the story of how you came to start Traya.

Saloni Anand (SA): I used to hold a steady position at a SaaS company, while my husband, Altaf, was fully immersed in the world of startups. His dedication to his startup was unquestionable, but as the demands continued to rise, he began to prioritize his work over his health. A balanced nutritional diet and adequate sleep became distant memories for him. It took a toll on his health, and his thyroid and uric acid levels increased. He began gaining weight and facing hairfall as well. Witnessing him struggle with hair loss and the emotional stress it brought was very tough. We were determined to find a solution to treat this issue and started trying every possible solution – from Ayurvedic remedies to dermatological treatments and even chemical therapies. Unfortunately, none of them delivered the results we were hoping for. Then, we stumbled upon an Ayurvedic practitioner who suggested some alternative solutions. Although we were initially skeptical given our background in Allopathy, Altaf decided to give it a try. Slowly but steadily after incorporating allopathy, dermatology and maintaining a nutritious diet, Altaf’s health started to transform. He began shedding the extra pounds, his thyroid and uric acid levels normalized, and his hair began to grow back. It felt like a big relief.

Seeing these remarkable changes in Altaf, our friends in the same age group started inquiring about his hair journey. We willingly shared all the recommendations we had gathered. However, something became evident – not everyone experienced the same results. Reversing hair fall is a journey that demands time and consistency, often spanning 4-5 months or more, which can be challenging for many.

This realization sparked an idea for Altaf and me. We decided to run a digital ad to kickstart our own brand. Our ad brought in 50 customers initially, and after that, we put a halt to advertising and concentrated solely on helping them. We stepped into the role of hair coaches for these customers, working closely with a team of experts, including a dermatologist, an Ayurvedic practitioner, and a nutritionist. Within just 5 months, 36 of these customers witnessed substantial improvements. This progress led to the birth of Traya.

ELLE: What are some learnings (from your mother or grandmother) that you’ve incorporated into Traya?

Saloni Anand (SA): I was born in a service class family and entrepreneurship required me to completely change my attitude and approach. I was able to do that because of my in-laws who have been entrepreneurs for generations. My mother-in-law is extremely ambitious and optimistic – two traits that one must have to become an entrepreneur. During our initial days of building Traya, she would always support us and never ask questions. Now that she knows we are doing well, every time we enter the house, she asks ‘how much did you make?’ (in terms of revenue) and I greet her with my shopify dashboard. She cheers for us and pushes us to be a better brand.

ELLE: What are some of your biggest learnings from starting a business?

Saloni Anand (SA): As a startup founder, I receive a ton of advice from all directions. But one piece of wisdom that really resonated with me is this: “Being overly busy is the last thing you want for yourself.” However, what’s truly been my guiding light is the importance of being adaptable and embracing change in the ever-shifting world of entrepreneurship.

My journey as an entrepreneur has been quite the rollercoaster ride, with unexpected demands, market twists, and evolving customer needs. It became clear to me that resisting these changes would only slow down my brand’s progress. So, I made a conscious decision to view change as an opportunity to get creative and make things even better. The shift in mindset has also made me realize that taking care of myself is important. Maintaining a calm and clear mind surprisingly boosts my productivity and allows me to handle challenges more effectively.

Plus, surrounding yourself with a team that shares your vision and values is key. Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with both ups and downs. It’s during those tough times that your self-confidence and the lessons you’ve learned become your saving grace, motivating you to keep making a significant impact in your industry.

ELLE: How do you deal with the psychological aspects of hair loss when it comes to clients?

Saloni Anand (SA): Hair loss can really take a toll on people’s emotions, causing a lot of distress. It can affect not only how you feel about yourself but also how you interact with others in your personal life and at work. When hair loss is severe, it tends to hit people even harder emotionally compared to when it’s not as visible. Losing your hair can affect an individual’s self-esteem, confidence, and just how they feel overall.

When people are trying hair treatments, including Traya, they can sometimes get impatient or lose motivation if they don’t see instant results. That’s where Traya’s dedicated hair coaches come in. They tend to serve as our customers’ personal guides during the course of the treatment. Our customers are given the option of scheduling a call with the coaches at their convenience. These coaches are available to customers to deal with any anxious feelings or thoughts they have during their hair loss treatment journey. But that’s not all they do, they ensure customers are consistent with the course of the treatment and don’t stop midway due to lack of motivation.

As a brand, we continue creating relatable social media campaigns designed to reassure people that hair loss is a space where we will help them find both, hope as well as long-term solutions.

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