Its 12 years ago, on my wedding day, and my Best Man is making his speech. This is the first time that anyone mentions my thinning hair. It was a throwaway line made in good humour and one I took little notice of as I was under the miscomprehension that I had a thick head of hair that was unlikely to change.
Over the next few years it became apparent that I was indeed losing my hair on the crown of my head and this not only came as a big surprise but also with a great deal of disappointment and dread.
As time went by the bald spot and receding hair became more and more obvious and I became very self-conscious, not through vanity but just a sense of awkwardness and lack of confidence. Shaving my head was not an option; I don’t have the head shape or face shape to pull that off.
I had to consider my options but what were they? Hair loss clinics?
I did my research and through the minefield of information I condensed everything down to 2 main groups of treatment; surgical and non-surgical hair replacement.
The surgical option, despite the reality and attraction of real hair, looked painful. Also this option, in my opinion, can only be considered if you are 100% sure that your baldness is not going to spread any further otherwise you are back to square one months later with thinning hair elsewhere on your head.
The non-surgical hair replacement option seemed to suit me better but again there seemed to be many treatments available. I had to determine which would give me the best results and in some cases which would deliver absolute results rather than this might work, it might not. Chemical supplements and laser treatments seemed a little hit and miss for me (especially given the financial commitment) and after reading testaments of people who had tried both options, invested a lot of money and come away with very little or no improvement I was nervous of going down this route.
Hair systems or wigs was another option but cruel jokes and open mocking throughout the 80s and 90s where celebs were ridiculed for obvious, ill-fitting and ludicrous wigs sent shivers down my spine.
After months and months of research, weighing up the options and finally rejecting all hair replacement treatments I resigned myself to my fate and prepared myself for the reality that I was going to have to go bald as gracefully as I could. My personal embarrassment and insecurities would have to be endured.
It was around this time that I had to change hairdressers. Craig Hubert had opened a new salon on my commuting route so I thought I would give it a go. Several haircuts later Craig and I were discussing style options (which were limited given my ever expanding bald spot and receding hairline) and I joked that given my current hair loss it didn’t really matter what style I chose my hair would always look bad. Craig said that did not have to be the case. He went on to explain that for several years he had run a successful hair solutions business (Craig Hubert Hair Replacement) where he provided hair systems for both men and women who had lost or were losing their hair.
I had known Craig for years and had no idea he had this business or offered this solution to his clients. After several calls made in the past to the many, many different hair replacement treatment centres about it was refreshing not to be bombarded by hard sell techniques.
A couple of weeks later I plucked up the courage to approach Craig on the subject again and he listened and when I was done off loading, rather than going in for the sales pitch, asked me what I wanted to do next. I had no idea because I was so conflicted over hair systems. Craig suggested that I meet with one of his current clients that was wearing a hair system so that I understood what it was and how simple the process could be.
I can’t thank this person enough for agreeing to meet with me. I am not sure that I would have been so brave as to meet a total stranger and discuss hair loss and even more so to allow a stranger to watch whilst a hair system was styled on my head, exposing not only my baldness but my need to wear a wig. Tremendously courageous.
It was after meeting this client, asking the awkward and personal questions, receiving the answers and seeing for myself the quality and craftsmanship that Craig showed in blending the system that I was sold on the idea of wearing a hair system. In addition I was not bamboozled by pricing but given a simple one stop price that was both reasonable and affordable.
For the last 2 years I been have wearing a hair system and no-one has questioned or even realised a change. Like a magicians slight of hand people thought they noticed a difference but just couldnt quite put their finger on exactly what it was. No-one has questioned my hair.
I can say without a doubt that this was the best single decision I have made in terms of self-confidence, appearance and self-assurance. I can honestly say I no longer think of myself as someone that is losing my hair – in fact I don’t think about it at all and that is saying a lot! A hell of a lot!!