When a woman is experiencing hair loss, it is oftentimes a painful and private battle. It may start small like noticing more hair gathered at the shower drain, more shedding than usual in her hairbrush or maybe she felt the density of her ponytail shrink. Sometimes hair loss is more rapid or visible, including patchy baldness, receding at the hairline or temples, or visible scalp at the part or crown.
Yet, according to Christina Jones, Education and Product Development Manager for HairUWear, one thing is almost always certain: The woman is unsure of what to do, where to go and is desperate to camouflage her thinning.
“I’ve spent more than half my life learning everything I can about hair loss and wigs, and the information and education out there is fragmented and, oftentimes, very outdated,” Jones says.
Yet, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40 percent of women will have visible hair loss by the time they are 40 years old.
“Post-partum, diet-related, stress, medications, the environment—these are all things most of us encounter at some point in our lives,” Jones says. “For so long, hairstylists haven’t had the information or resources to be able to address the problem directly with their client.”
Jones’ role on HairUWear’s Transformations Top Pieces by Raquel Welch brand is all about educating the stylist to have solutions for their clients, and to help them navigate consultative dialogue and ongoing education. But it was a combination of serendipity and an inner drive to connect with clients on a deeper level that landed her in this dream role.
After graduating cosmetology school, Jones specialized in hair color for several years at a highend salon holding very long, very tough hours, all while dreaming about her next step for her career—one that tapped into her love of helping women look and feel their best, while also giving her the opportunity to connect with them on a personal and emotional level. When she eventually decided to take a career leap, she accepted a job in a call center for an online wig company answering customer service inquiries.
“I was blown away at the amount of people who were buying wigs online—this was in 2005, people were barely shopping online for clothes—let alone wigs!” she says. “This was foreign to me because, in cosmetology school, the wig education portion is the smallest section in the curriculum. But once I started talking to these women who would call in with their questions and their hope that we could help them, I was hooked. I loved it. I loved helping people, just like I did in the salon, but in a different way.”
Jones says, for the salon professional, it can be uncomfortable to address a client’s thinning out of fear of offending the client, especially if the client doesn’t say anything.
“What I learned over the years of talking with women who would phone into the call center is that they desperately want their hairdresser to be able to provide solutions for them,” Jones says. “They already feel comfortable with that stylist, usually they’ve been seeing them for years, they don’t want to get sent elsewhere for help which, unfortunately, is what happens all too often.”
Jones stayed with the call center for more than a decade, working closely with the HairUWear family of brands, recommending different wigs and hair loss solutions. She found herself frequently recommending HairUWear’s Transformations Top Pieces by Raquel Welch line, a curated collection of toppers and top-of-head hairpieces, best known for its high-quality, readyto-wear solutions that are designed to be comfortable, secure and, above all, natural-looking.
“I participated in all of the training sessions offered by HairUWear, I loved the variety of options and, especially, the transformative results,” Jones says.
A global leader for more than 50 years, HairUWear provides the industry’s most highly regarded, fashion forward, quality wigs, hairpieces, hair extensions, hair accessories and hair replacement programs to businesses worldwide.
“We take tremendous pride in every product we produce—our dedication to quality starts with the hair we source and extends through our manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes,” says Michael Napolitano, CEO of HairUWear. “Nothing is more important to us than the quality of our products.”
Lightweight and available in a full range of lengths, styles and colors that blend beautifully with clients’ shades, Transformations Top Pieces by Raquel Welch offers options for every budget, including premium features such as a hand-tied base and lace-front options that gives the natural appearance of hair growing directly from the scalp.
With a goal of empowering and educating the salon professional to be able to best service the guests in their chair—beyond cut and color—Jones decided to join HairUWear. “When you see a woman who’s self-conscious about her hair loss put on a hair piece, that light that comes out when she looks in the mirror is life-changing,” Jones says. “You see something change in her immediately—it’s like hope. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it but that’s why we do what we do. Some people think of hair as just about vanity but, especially for women, it is so important to us and our self-esteem. There are many women who go out into the world and rock a bald head, but it can be very painful for others who compare themselves to society’s beauty standards. It’s another reason I love that the collection is called Transformations.”
One of the first projects Jones worked on after joining HairUWear was developing a visual that outlines the various stages of hair loss to help take the guesswork out of solutions—for both the stylist and the client.
“All that existed prior to these illustrations was a dated, black-and-white image that was confusing to the consumer and didn’t provide value to the stylist,” Jones says. “This visual, which shows seven stages of hair loss, is really helpful for stylists to know how to best provide camouflaging solutions for clients. They can look at the image and say, ‘My client looks like a Stage 5,’ and then go to the page in the Transformations catalogue and see what pieces will work.”
Jones recommends salon professionals have a visual like this on the mirror at the station, or simply place the Transformations catalogue in the reception area, as a conversation starter with the client.
“The hardest part about the process is getting the conversation started, and this visual helps to get the conversation going,” Jones says.
Aging, stress, hormonal changes, there are a number of reasons that may cause women to experience changes in the texture, thickness and amount of their natural hair.
“Just like all women are not the same, all hair loss is not the same,” says Michael Ferrara, Chief Marketing Officer for HairUWear. “Because the variety of hair loss needs are diverse, so are the product offerings within the Transformations line.”
For a receding front hairline or thinning at the temples, Transformations Top Pieces by Raquel Welch offers a clip-in bang or fringe style. For hair loss along the part or crown area, a top piece is ideal.
“Our top pieces are small, lightweight and an excellent choice for women who don’t need the coverage of a full wig,” Ferrara says. “For the most natural effect and comfortable wear, stylists should select a style with a base size that is at least a half-inch larger than the area of hair loss. If the hair loss is more extensive, Raquel Welch offers a complete range of beautiful, full coverage wigs.”
Additionally, these helper pieces are perfect to add fullness and volume to naturally fine, limp hair.
“HairUWear is recognized internationally as the premier manufacturer of high quality, high fashionhair goods,” Napolitano says. “There really aren’t any regulatory agencies overseeing the industry. We oversee and regulate ourselves. All of our human hair is certified 100 percent. Quality is an area of great pride and we are thorough and meticulous when it comes to both sourcing product and our production process.”
Jones says she loves that the Transformations line allows clients to choose from 100-percent human hair for the most natural look and feel, or opt for synthetic.
“I joke that I’ve been working with synthetic hair since I was 5,” she says about her elaborate Barbie doll haircuts. “The further along we get with synthetic hair technology, the more I recommend it to stylists and clients. The industry has come so far—this is not your Grandma’s wig.”
Transformations pieces are available in Tru2Life technology—a heat-friendly synthetic fiber that can be curled, blow dried and even flat-ironed to create styling versatility that won’t react to humidity.
“Not only does the Tru2Life fiber look and feel like human hair, it is hand-blended, and is offered in a full range of in-demand color selections that give the look and highlights of natural hair,” Jones says.
Visit www.hairuwear.com/transformations and browse the wide range of offeringssolutions, as well as explore educational offerings that teach client consultation, wig sizing, color match, styling, washing, cutting and more. Or call 1-888-655-8900 to learn more.
“We’re really proud of how HairUWear continues to advance the quality and versatility of our products,” Napolitano says. “Our Transformations Top Pieces by Raquel Welch is a great example of where we’ve combined the latest technology with unsurpassed style. We call it ‘Innovation to Admire.’”
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