I became interested in trichology after I saw a lot of clients in hair systems. And I was wondering what I could do before they got to that point. My interest in trichology started with my daughter Carli. She lost over 50 percent of her hair due to alopecia areata when she was 9 (she is now 27). It was something that not only was hard for her but it affected the whole family.
I was used to fixing anything and I couldn’t fix this. It was unbearable at times to watch my child withdraw and try to become invisible because of the teasing and looks she would get. And this wasn’t just from mean classmates – it was adults too. I will never forget the time while she was in middle school and I took her to get her ears pierced. She and I picked out a cute pair of pink stone earrings hoping that it would stop people from thinking she was a boy since her hair was very short. The top would fall out and then grow back, it was a vicious cycle. After she got them pierced we went to show her Grammy at work. Carli was so proud to show her. Then this man came up and mistook her for a boy. You expect that sort of thing when they are babies, sometimes it’s hard to tell, but here she was with her cute PINK earrings and someone just assumed she was a boy because of her hair.
My heart broke for her; she didn’t fit in with any of the other girls at school. They all had long beautiful hair and hung out in their clicks. I was happy that she became her own person and didn’t follow the pack, but it wasn’t easy for either of us at the time. I had to apply for a special exception from her school so she could wear hats. She would always wear a cute beanie. Thank goodness they were popular and I could find cute girl ones at the Gap. After few more comments she began to wear big baggy sweat shirts and baggy jeans and ball caps. It became hard to tell if she was a girl or boy. It was her way of hiding. We were at Target one day and she went to the restroom, when she found me she was in tears. I looked into those big blue teary eyes and asked her what was wrong and she proceeded to tell me a woman stopped her before entering the restroom and said, “Young man, the men’s restroom is over there this is the lady’s restroom.” She told her, “I am a lady.” I was proud of her for speaking up.
I became very involved with NAAF. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation. I raised money having 5K runs two years in a row. Both were very successful and were during September which is the alopecia areata’s awareness month. We had great coverage from the press and TV. I was a mom on a mission. I was also involved as a support person answering phone calls that would come into NAAF from people looking for help. When a mother would call I could hear the pain in her voice as they described what their child was going through. Every story was different, but the same. It didn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl it was just as hard on the child and their families. It was then I became interested in trichology and more natural treatments.
At the time I was looking for an online course I only saw the school in London for a 2 year course When I looked again a year later I found Dr. David Kingsley had an online course. I personally chose World Trichology Society with David Kingsley. His certificate took me about 8 months but I finished and graduated in 2013. I had 3 other people in my clinical with WTS Two of them I still keep in touch with, the third one moved back to Spain. My second certificate was with USTI. I use d and still use Xtc products along with others to treat my hair loss clients.
I have owned a salon from the early days of my cosmetology career. I think I was too darn suborn to work for someone else. I did try it for a few years but it didn’t work out. I have built 4 salons and managed up to 25 people with two salons at the same time. In 1991 I had had enough and was ready to just work alone in a small cottage behind my home. I really enjoyed spending time with my clients and not being torn between my family and the staff. If I could have afforded not to work behind the chair and just managed the salon staff, that would have been perfect, but the truth of the matter was I couldn’t afford not to work behind the chair and I enjoyed doing hair. My salon was a commission-based salon and required a lot of management.
To get back to the point of this story, I feel that trichology needs to be licensed in each state. Right now, anyone can claim they are trichologist. Those of us that are properly trained and certified know how much money and time it takes. The states should regulate and license it under cosmetologist and barbering. Each person’s scalp is different and different ethnicities face different challenges. In the long run the emotional loss is so traumatic for everyone.
Trichology is the scientific study of hair and scalp, and is becoming a very popular study in the cosmetology industry. Trichology is a certification that a student receives after a lot of money and time of study. It’s time for each state to recognize it under the professional Regulation of cosmetology. Like the internet it’s like the wild wild West. It’s become such a money maker that everyone wants in on the business of hair loss business. We are not medical Doctors and sometimes the conversation I see are way out of our expertise.
Patti Wood WTS, USTI
Wigs can be a great way to give yourself a new look, or to cover your hair if it is thinning. There are so many different types of wigs to choose from. Do you want a human hair wig or a synthetic wig? Do you want a wig that is short or long? What texture or color? The questions are long and varied.
However, the number one question is invariably, “Will the wig look natural?” Well, that will depend on whether you go with synthetic or natural human hair.
A synthetic wig worn daily will last about three months. Yes, you can opt to wear it longer than that, but I am sure you can imagine what it will look like. Your wig is going to start to look “wiggy.” That is not what you want.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have natural hair. Human hair wigs look realistic and have many other benefits like:
It is important that you choose a wig that fits properly. There are a few different sizes and most wigs come with adjustable straps so that you can cinch up the cap to get the best fit.
If you have never worn a wig before, it is a good idea to get professionally measured by someone with years of experience like Off 5th Avenue. Going to an expert can give you peace of mind and confidence that the wigs you buy will fit. You do not simply measure 'around the head,' but from the front hairline, behind the ears, to the nape of the neck.
It is important that you get those measurements right so that your wig fits comfortably and securely, and it looks as natural as possible too. An oversized wig will be just as uncomfortable as one that is too tight.
It is emotional to buy a wig when your hair is falling out. If that is the case, do yourself a favor and get a wig consultation. When done right, no one will ever know you are wearing one.
About the Author: Sherry Harris is the solopreneur of Sherry’s Life. On the blog she writes about any and everything related to hair care and hairstyles.
I wanted to give my wonderful readers an update on my nomination of Small Business of the Year. I was so humbled to have been a part of this nomination this year! I was interviewed by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and then attended the awards luncheon. I did not win, but I was so honored to be categorized with so many other amazing businesses. Here are some photos from the event:
The American Hair Loss Council has asked me to write an article on skin conditions. As a melanoma survivor, I am more than happy to share my experience. Cosmetologists, trichologists and even dermatologists often miss spots on the scalp, which are harder to detect because they are covered by hair. Other areas of concern are the ears, shoulders, back and face.
I live in Florida so I have had my fair share of basal cells and squamous cells burned off or cut out. What really surprised me was a dark spot (of which I have many all over my body) that turned out to be a . It was cut out and 60 stitches later I was cancer free.
I initially went once a year and now go every six months for a body scan. Fortunately, this melanoma was caught in the early stages. The most frightening part of this story is that I was at the plastic surgeon’s office for a routine appointment with the lady who does my hair laser removal. I showed her the dark spot on the front of my shoulder and she said “Oh my, laser can get rid of that.” She zapped it hard a few times. It never went away and actually got a little bigger. To make a long story short, she missed the fact that it was melanoma and tried to laser it off. That is why it is so important for us as cosmetologists, trichologists or hair replacement experts to recognize skin cancer. I have clients with half an ear or a big hole in the neck or terrible facial scars due to different skin cancers. Here is a look at different skin cancers and the ABCD of melanoma. Take the time to do some research, print this and put it in your salon so you can be more aware of skin cancers. It may be a matter of life or death.
Patti wood recently visited our Nation's Capital Washington DC for the
International Association of Trichologist annual conference.
"It was more than I expected" said Patti. "I learned so much about different
hair loss conditions, but more than that, I met Doctors and Trichologist
from all over the world. It is Apparent that hair loss is a worldwide
Patti spend time with 3 Trichologist from Tel Aviv Israel. They have three
thriving clinics. They invited Wood to come to their home county and speak
at an event in January. Patti also met Dr. Riffat H Lucy MBBS, DCM, FCGP,
MPH, from Bangladesh. She gave Patti a lovely hand stitched bag that she
buys from single women on the street trying to support their children
Every day there was a different speaker discussing a wide range of topics
concerning hair loss and the psychological impact it has for patients. Glenn
Lyons FIT FRSPH MAE, from London, had a wonderful presentation. He was very
interesting and has been in the Trichology field for over 30 years. Glenn
Lyons works for Phillip Kingsley, a world famous Trichologist from the UK.
All in all Wood says it's one of the best trichology conferences she had
attended and looks forward to continuing a close contact with her new
colleges. The next convention is in Miami, FL this coming November.
If you or someone you know is suffering from hair loss call Patti Wood World
Trichology Society Trichologist. 941-356-2490
The American Hair Loss Council Conference
I recently returned from The Annual American Hair loss Council Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
I love this conference because The American Hair loss Council has a code of ethics that all members and venders must follow. The American Hair Loss Council promotes the highest standards of professionalism in the hair loss industry and ensures that this quality of professionalism is maintained.
I am also able to see all of the newest products on the market including low level light lasers, which are FDA approved for re-growing hair, beautiful virgin hair replacement systems, and the newest Trichology treatments to help promote hair growth and healthy hair.
My favorite part of the conference is having the time to see my colleges from all over the county that I have met at past conferences. The time we have to share is invaluable. Everyone is so helpful and knowable. These are friends I have made for life.
I love being a member of The American Hair Loss Council. It gives me credibility in the confusing world of hair replacement and Trichology.
Can’t wait until next year!
PS: Check out the new clip-on bangs I picked up. Don’t want to cut in bangs but want to wear them for fun? Now you can have the cake and eat it too!
The Scalp Need-To-Know
Taking care of your scalp is as important as washing your hair. And, I think I have said this before but it is so important I will say it again; your scalp is as important to your hair as your gums are to your teeth.
The medical terminology for hair loss is alopecia. There are many reasons why a person will begin to experience hair loss. The cause may be an inherited condition, hormonal, nutritional, physiological, autoimmune, psychological, or environmental, the taking of certain medication, or any combination of these.
Some hair loss problems may be temporary and self-correcting while others are corrected with nutritional/hormonal interventions. Conditions such as genetic thinning can be stabilized but not cured – while others cause permanent hair loss due to follicle destruction.
Hair is the very first thing people see when you walk into the room and it says a lot about you. Needless to say greasy, dirty, messy and unrefined hair doesn’t speak very highly of you. Here are some of my tips to having great hair:
1. Having great hair starts with keeping up with your personal hygiene up-to-speed and give your hair the fresh, clean and healthy look it deserves. Don’t forest your scalp. A healthy scalp is as important for healthy hair as healthy gums are for healthy teeth.
What Is Laser Hair Therapy?
Laser Hair Therapy (LHT) is a non-surgical, scientific approach in the cosmetic treatment of hair loss, thinning hair, and scalp problems. LHT has been tested for effectiveness and safety for over 30 years all around the world. Although we sell and offer Cosmetic lasers, several Medical devices have now cleared the US FDA.
The LHT non-surgical cosmetic treatments utilize a device containing 110-160 therapeutic soft low light level lasers. LHT delivers light energy directly from 110-160 laser diodes covering your head. LHT functions on the same scientific principle, as that of photo-bio-stimulation; laser light stimulates cell metabolism and helps damaged cells to repair themselves. This breakthrough technology has recently been featured on national newscasts across the country. Physicians are praising this new technology as an effective treatment of hair loss, when used in conjunction with proper scalp and hair hygiene products, such as HLCC Complete, the most potent natural DHT inhibitor and 5% Minoxidil w/ 5% Saw Palmetto.
Patti Wood WTS, Owner of Off 5th Avenue Salon, is a professionally trained hair stylist and a certified Trichologist specializing in Hair Replacement therapy and solutions. Patti has helped many clients solve hair loss problems ranging from cancer treatments, male or female pattern baldness, hair thinning, and Alopecia Areata. She works closely with Dermatologists and Physicians in treatment plans.