Leeds-based studio Kiss Branding has revealed the identity for hair loss specialists Dense Hair Experts, featuring a logo, packaging and 3D animations that tap into notion of strength – to indicate the quality of hair its products hope to bestow on men.
Kiss partners Poonam Saini and Matt Kilb explain that the client came to them in 2021 as a startup developing preventative hair-loss products. The Dense range has now grown to include both a pharmaceutical line as well as styling products with active ingredients – which Kilb says is a first in the field.
The client was already a specialist in hair-loss, as the team behind leading hair transplant clinic Juvida. After seeing “really upset men from the ages of 20 upwards coming in, asking for a transplant”, the Juvida team wanted to offer them preventative products instead, with transplants being “the last resort”, Saini says.
The emotional importance of the issue and the client’s mission “to reduce the impact on men’s mental wellbeing”, was attractive to Kiss, she says.
She adds that like herself, Dense’s founders Ash Hashmi and Mo Ahmed are from a South Asian background, where hair has great importance and “symbolises health and vitality”. “Hair loss has affected so many men that I’ve known”, she says.
After to speaking to “around 50 men”, Saini explains, the studio found that “men felt that their power, their confidence, their sex appeal – was all in their hair”.
The main creative line became “Get a head start on hair loss” to express Dense’s “proactive” approach to hair loss – “not something you suffer, but something you take control of”, Kilb says.
Whereas competitors used black and grey, and “depressing shots of men looking forlorn”, he adds, the design for Dense sought to lean into the idea of Samson-like power that its products look to preserve in its “Gen Z and Millennial” target audience.
Kiss used design cues such as “bright colours, like white and yellow, and having a more confident typeface that’s strong and heavy – that would not only allude to thick hair, but also show the product’s potency”, Saini explains.
She says that when sketching the shape for the D of the logo, she wanted “to create a mark that felt solid”. But the shape of the D also represents a head turned proudly to the side, Kilb adds, after research revealed that men who were self-conscious of thinning hair would often keep the backs of their heads to the wall.
From this shape, the “robust” bespoke packaging was developed with freelance designer Jordan Scott. “The sprays and the shampoos follow the D in profile and then the vitamins and wax follow it from the top down”, Saini adds.
Kiss also worked with freelance designer Ben Holden on 3D animations of “hair ropes”, which interact with the products to emphasise the notion of strength, Kilb says.
Lifestyle photography, in collaboration with Tungsten Media, included “young guys swimming in the water”, Kilb says. “It’s about showing that this is what your life can be if you are proactive with haircare”.
Saini adds that all the men in the shoot “were either Dense customers or had experienced hair loss at some point in their life”, in contrast to Dense’s earlier use of influencers.
Although the team wanted to avoid the products looking overtly medical, the product still needed to appear authoritative and emphasis its scientific basis. An abundance of “white space” and line-pattern work in illustrations on the packaging, made it “feel more premium, but also scientific”, Kilb adds.
“Floating head” illustrations by Chris Redford, provide advice and help to “uplift the science side of things and make it more personal and less daunting”, he adds.
Kiss also worked on the Dense Clubhouse, a community platform as part of the that seeks to be a “safe space” for men “to read about hair loss and the reasons behind it and hear from people that they look up to”, says Saini. Like menstruation for women, “it’s not something to shy away from or hide”, she adds.
The Dense branding has rolled out across its products, advertising and online. According to Kiss, Dense intends to tackle female hair loss in the future too.