|Flashback To 1954
It's always fascinating to find a little piece of your
own history floating out there. A customer saw this
kit at an estate sale and sent it back to us after
around 63 years. This kit was the form the
Loesch Hair Growth System took between 1951
and 1954. Before the days of plastics, glass and
metal were the only options available. If you look
closely at the label on the top, you'll see the original
company name Hair Experts inside the Loesch logo.
This was at a time when the Loesch Hair Growth System
was being spun off of the Hair Experts Hair Removal
System as two separate companies.
Over 65 Years Of History
In 1947, the company's founder was hired as a tall, charismatic young man by Mueller Hair Experts. William (Bill) Thomas Loesch, Sr., was an expert in hair and scalp cleansing therapies in a time when frequent bathing was not common practice. Mueller hair experts specialized in both hair removal and hair growth. Since something similar to a cosmetology license was required in those days, Bill Loesch, Sr. was licensed in Texas, Louisiana, and several other states to practice Trichology (study of the biology of hair). Mueller decided to concentrate on the hair removal side of their business and Bill decided to open Loesch Laboratory Consultants as a spin-off of Mueller studying and developing treatments for hair growth. In those early days the company performed clinical trials with estrogen and estradiol in their hair growth products to see if hormone adjustment really did have the major impact that the medical industry said it had. Loesch Labs performed pioneered blind studies in the field by tattooing subjects’ scalps and counting the rates of hair growth between one group which was using hormones, another using only the Loesch Hair Maintenance System (a subset of the Loesch Hair Growth System), and a third group using hormones plus the Loesch Hair Growth System. The studies revealed that the Loesch Hair Maintenance System alone did as well as the hormone plus the cleaning products with only a slight difference among the group. The company's founder knew he had a winning system. Over the next 10 years they performed several clinical trials proving that the Loesch Hair Growth System worked better than hormones alone and began collecting images of customers who have benefited from using his systems. Only a small number of those vintage photographs survive to this day in the company’s archives along with packaging and artwork from that era.
In 1964 when the Federal Food and Drug Administration was mandated by Congress and began a review of potentially risky products, Loesch Labs faced with the dilemma that without their hormone product they could not make the “Hair Growth” claim. The FDA was presented with all of the clinical trial data but decided not to accept the hair growth claim despite the evidence that the products did as well or better than hormones. The company immediately set to work creating an FDA-approved Minoxidil formula that was added to their system in order to maintain the newly regulated “Hair Growth” claim.
In those early days it was just as important to stay in contact with customers as it is today, but there were no computers back then. Instead, an office full of consultants, secretaries, and mail order clerks worked tirelessly to type letters to each and every customer. Each case was handled individually so that each customer would get the best results. Many customers were asked to enter clinical trials and by doing so the company would maintain its ongoing data and the customers in the clinical trials would receive free treatment.
From 1949 through 1974 the company published ads and articles in the Farmer's Almanac, newspapers and magazines all around the country, and by direct mail in order to reach new customers. Bill Loesch, Sr. was one of the first people to invest his own money in purchasing product and storing it in the warehouse for immediate shipment upon receipt of an order. That is common practice today but back then most companies operated with an 8-10 week lead time while they collected customer’s money but did not manufacture the product until they had collected enough to pay for the manufacturing. Bill decided that this was unacceptable and his customers deserved better service so he made Loesch Lab one of the first mail order companies that shipped orders on the same day. It was a little more expensive to run the company in this way but customer satisfaction rose so quickly that this practice is now the standard in all industries that ship to retail customers.
As you can see by the attached testimonial from James a paint dated 1949 , customers back then were very serious about holding companies accountable for their claims and performance. You can hardly even tell that this letter is a testimonial because of its serious tone but that is how people dealt with retailers back then. We continue to stay in contact with each of our customers and allow them to speak directly with the company's vice president of quality control regarding serious treatment issues.
There was one particular problem that the company kept running into. In the 1960’s company's manufacturer was unable to deliver consistently high-quality products and packaging. In 1971 it was decided that production would be brought in-house. That was the birth of Bio-Medical & Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation. A new manufacturing plant was constructed on the outskirts of Houston, now just outside 610 and 59, and staffed with experts in hair biology (formerly called trichinology), hormone therapies, and FDA-compliant manufacturing. Suddenly customers could expect to have precisely the same product batch after batch…another industry norm in the present. This was an enormous benefit to customer satisfaction and retention and customers responded by becoming even more loyal.
Since manufacturing products only for Loesch Labs would not be enough to keep Bio-Medical & Pharm. Mfg. Corp. operational full- time, William Thomas Loesch, Jr., Ph. D. (Dr. Loesch) decided to open the company to the public and begin manufacturing private label products for other companies. Bio-Medical began working with companies to create burn creams for seriously injured patients, products to test the placebo effect in drug trials, and other clinical skin and hair growth products for the open market. Since beginning its research phase, Bio-Medical has created thousands of formulas and brought many of those products to market under several brands.
Just before Bio-Medical opened in 1974, Loesch Labs purchased its first computer, the Texas Instruments 990 for over $60,000. There was no such thing as a Microsoft Windows at the time so they hired a programmers to write the software that would run the computer system. The TI 990 was huge and costly to operate but it helped the company stay in contact with its increasing customer base by printing hundreds of letters per hour. Now that the company had the ability to rapidly and efficiently stay in contact with customers, they were able to handle a much larger caseload with greater customer satisfaction than before. Loesch Lab’s first computer ran continuously from 1973 through 1992 when it was finally replaced by the common desktop PC and free email communications.
When the Internet began to emerge in the late 80s, the company began to build its first websites and email systems. Since very few people had personal computers at the time growth in this area was very slow but eventually the company began to rely heavily on this new technology. Since the Internet first emerged within universities and the scientific community, Bio-Medical was already connected with other research companies and college campuses by computerized connections…what we now call the Internet. Many researchers came to Bio-Medical looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of their products beyond and to then design clinical trials to quantify their product’s effectiveness. Dr. Loesch designed and monitored these programs helping many companies bring their products to market with full FDA approval.
Through the years, the two original locations of the company were absorbed into the heart of Houston and what is now one of the most congested traffic interchanges in the country. Today, both companies operate under the same roof south of Houston manufacturing other companies products as well as its own.
Bio-Medical still manufactures nearly all of the products sold by Loesch Laboratory Consultants and we continue to create new and unusual products for demanding retailers and their customers. Our researchers enjoy nothing more than the challenge of creating a product that people think is too difficult or impossible.
In 1992, William Thomas (Tom) Loesch III joined Bio-Medical sweeping floors and packing boxes. He had grown up in the company and apprenticed under his father studying product formulation technology while also studying service industry management at the University of Houston’s Hilton College. As he worked his way up, learning each job as he went, Tom began to see the need for faster technology advancement and a more competitive approach to manufacturing. He installed the company’s first computer network allowing everyone at the company to participate and analyze the manufacturing process in real time. He also carried on the founder’s tradition of keeping in contact with Loesch Lab’s customers and keeping the manufacturing operation here in the USA. While there are great savings to be had in moving operations overseas, the company had already tried long-distance manufacturing before at it did not live up to the quality standards that customers demand. Bio-Medical also makes some types of products that can’t be transported around the world effectively like high-strength tooth whitening gels and color-balanced sunless tanners.
Recently, Bio-Medical has decided to back away from private label manufacturing and focus instead on its own brands and market position. Joining social media platforms and participating in conversations directly with customers allows people to feel invested in the brands they buy. As Vice President of Quality Control and the FDA’s Quality Control Unit at Bio-Medical, customers are often surprised that their inquiries are seen by a third-generation family member at the company instead of an operator in a far away phone bank. By taking customer’s questions, Tom Loesch III has been able to put many of their ideas into practice making products not only better, but ensuring that the formulas correspond well with prevailing market trends, not just in the USA but internationally with all of the manufacturing centered in Houston, Texas.
As Bio-Medical expands its global reach, the company continues to build its extensive product R&D and intellectual property as it creates new products, new methods, and new ways to provide unique products to the retail marketplace. By maintaining consistency and high-quality and by interacting directly with customers, the company is able to increase loyalty and quality of life for those it employs and serves.