Sheila Wilson, owner of Master Design and Wellness Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and ﬁrst vice president of Intercoiffure America/Canada, has always been intrigued by the science behind hair loss.
About ﬁve years ago, when she began to see more of her patients dealing with hair loss due to cancer and its treatment, Wilson began to research remedies and track progress using a scope.
“We started to see results, and if you see even one little hair coming through, that gives clients hope,” Wilson says.
Having access to tools such as those used in trichology analysis lends credibility to stylists, according to Wilson.
In her salon, she focuses on scalp and hair health by using products with natural ingredients, offering scalp massages to improve circulation, and teaching clients how to properly blowdry their hair.
Two years ago, in the midst of focusing her energies on preventing and treating hair loss, Wilson was distressed to observe that she was experiencing some of the same symptoms as her clients. She went to the doctor and learned she had breast cancer.
Completing her treatment in January of this year, Wilson is in remission. Battling cancer only strengthened Wilson’s resolve to educate her clientele on hair and scalp health.
“There has to be some entity that forms a bridge between cosmetologists and doctors,” Wilson says. “Trichology is that bridge.”
Citing an increase in medi-spas, Wilson has known many salons to partner with a doctor to offer the services that stylists aren’t licensed to, such as blood work or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
“We’re going to see an increase in hair loss, and I’m praying that we don’t give the business away; treating it should stay in our industry,” Wilson says. But she says cosmetologists have a long way to go.
“As we saw with haircolor years ago, we need to be speaking a common language when it comes to hair loss,” she says. “When I say ’20 volume,’ for example, people know what I’m talking about.”
The different forms of alopecia and terminology surrounding hair loss are still foreign to many. When everyone is speaking the same language, proﬁtability increases and progress can be made, Wilson says.