The Link, Issue 14

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The Link The Voice of the AHLC

ISSUE 14• 2014 CONTENTS: 4 Message from the Board 7 The World Has Gone Mobile 10 HLCC Clinical Study 13 New Members 13 Hair Replacement Bloopers 14 What Makes a “Medical Wig?”




16 2015 AHLC Conference Review 19 AHLC Industry Leadership Award: Leigh Gardner 21 The Making of a Great Wig Company 23 Hair Charities: What you Need to Know 25 Transitioning from Beauty Salon to Medical Hair Restoration Center 26 Adding Hair Transplantation Services to your Salon Offerings 29 Member Spotlight, Dawn Harrison 31 Howard Margolin Inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame

Subscription Information: Subscriptions to The Link, The Voice of the American Hair Loss Council are mailed FREE to members of the AHLC within the continental United States. International members are provided digital copies free. Please contact us for additional shipping rates if you are an AHLC member outside the US and wish to receive a printed edition. Non-member subscription price: $60 annually within the continental United States, $85 International. To become a member, renew your membership, or subscribe to The Link as a non-member, please contact Betty Ann Bugden, Membership Director, 570-462-1101 or log on to

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The Link The Voice of the AHLC

MESSAGE FROM THE AHLC BOARD Let’s Keep the Momentum!

by Joseph Ellis, AHLC Board Member

It was so great to see everyone this year at, Momentum, our annual conference celebrating our 30-year anniversary. (See our Conference Review starting on page 16.) I am so proud of the undeniable progress we have made primarily because of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have been on the board for over 7 years and the reason I volunteer so much of my time to this organization is that I believe that there needs to be a professional, non-biased group that can catapult my business to the highest level. That is partly done collectively when a large group of professionals come together in unison with the same goals. The more members the larger voice we have over this wonderful industry. Together we can grow stronger. Make sure your voice is heard. We have wonderful plans for our 2016 conference and have already begun our work to assure that you, the member, continue to be informed, educated and inspired to make 2016 the best year ever. Stay tuned for further details. The earlier you lock in to return in 2016, the more money you’ll save. The 2016 conference will be bigger and better, we have listened to your suggestions and are so excited to make 2016 remarkable. As you know, we have a great website which is visited over 3000 times every month by individuals seeking help with their hair loss. We are proud to offer the expanded member page that highlights your business - contact us for more details. We work diligently to insure that our members are found first. Please log in and check your member profile at and make sure that your business information is current. It your responsibility to make sure your contact information is accurate and current. Don’t let this great tool for your business go unused. I look forward in seeing you all in 2016 if not before. I have to go now and work on my dancing outfit for next year.

Membership Information:

The Link, The Voice of the American Hair Loss Council is the official, quarterly publication of the American Hair Loss Council. For information on advertising or contributing to content, please contact us: The American Hair Loss Council 30 South Main, Shenandoah, PA 17976 855.445.9509 or

The Link Staff:

Managing Editor: Janine Thornhill Design and Layout: Thornhill Creative, Creative Director: Terrell Thornhill

Thanks to Our Contributors: Shelly Beatty, Owner, Hair Restoration Institute of DFW,

Fort Worth, TX Willam C. Blatter, President & CEO, HLCC, Latham, NY Dawn Harrison, Founder and National Educator, Invisible Hair Grafting, Vista, CA Susan Jernigan, Owner, Jernigan’s Hair Replacement Clinic,

Raleigh, NC Michael Leigh, Founder & CEO Joli Caméléon, Los Angeles, CA Terrell Thornhill, AHLC Creative Director, Franklin, TN James Todd, Hair Extraordinaire, Dimples USA, Los Angeles, CA

AHLC Board of Directors: Peggy Thornhill, President Marsha Scott, Vice President Susan Kettering, Executive Director Betty Ann Bugden, Treasurer/Membership Director Joseph Ellis, Board Member Laura Cole, Board Member

For more information call toll-free 855.445.9509 or visit

For a membership form visit or email The opinions expressed in The Link, The Voice of the American Hair Loss Council are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Hair Loss Council. The advertisements in The Link do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, opinions or attitudes of the AHLC and does not imply product or service endorsement.

Photo Correction

It has come to our attention that the photo used for AHLC Past President, Penny Bell from Issue 13, page 18, American Hair Loss Council Timeline graphic, was incorrectly inserted. The photo (pictured right) is in-fact Patricia Bell, a former AHLC board member. We regret the error. 4  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

Patricia Bell, former AHLC board member

The American Hair Loss Council © All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Published for the AHLC by Thornhill Creative.

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The Link The Voice of the AHLC

The World Has Gone Mobile Google shakes up search results (again) - Penalizes websites that are not mobile friendly by Terrell Thornhill, AHLC Creative Director n April 21, 2015, Google began implementing significant changes in how it ranks websites in search results based on whether they found them to be mobile-friendly or not.

In a move that has been widely described as “Mobilegeddon,” if Google sees your website as mobile-friendly, you are doing fine. But if Google sees your website as not being mobilefriendly, it is now penalizing it by moving it further down in search results when people are looking for your products and services. In some cases, the mobile-unfriendly penalty has dropped many websites from page one of search results to page two or three. And since most people don’t go past page one, that is a very major penalty. Of course all of this is not just targeted at websites own by small businesses. Corporate America is in the same situation as an average studio website. In a test conducted earlier this year, TechCrunch, a news website focused on information technologies, found that only 52% of Fortune 500 companies had mobile-friendly websites. For example, when they did a search for “Eddie Bauer sale” on both a laptop computer and a smartphone, one large retailer came up in seventh position (on page one) on the laptop, while on a smartphone, they were in 16th position for the exact same search (with their competitors garnering the coveted spots on page one). The only difference was desktop search vs. mobile search. With potentially almost half of all website visitors coming from smartphones (more on this later), this can clearly mean a significant loss in potential business and revenue.

Internet Searches Made From Desktop Computers vs. Mobile Devices Desktop Search Volume in Billions



Mobile 85.9 77.1 69.2



61.6 46



30 7 30.7 19.7







relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

“We Really Want You To Do This.” Unlike previous Google updates, Google has been sending clear, persistent signals about this since as early as 2012. And earlier this year, Google announced on it’s webmaster forum that that: “Starting April 21, 2015, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get

Google has been hinting and nudging website owners to become mobilefriendly for at least three years. But now they have basically forced the issue, saying, “be mobile-friendly or else.” Clearly what this means is that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, the number of visitors to your website (and sales leads) can be hurt significantly. It is important to note that this mobile penalty only affects searches performed on smartphones. It does not affect searches performed on desktop or laptop computers or tablets (for now). And in an indication that none of this is going away, in early May Bing announced that they too will be implementing similar changes in their search ranking results in the very near future. Article continued...

The Link Issue 11, Fall 2014  7

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

The 24-7 Mobile Consumer The reason for this not-so-gentle push for mobile compatibility is clear. Mobile internet usage has been steadily increasing year after year, with mobile search forecast to surpass desktop search in 2015. Over the past 36 months, the forecasted points in the above chart have proven to be remarkably accurate. So to no one’s surprise, on May 5, 2015, Google announced that mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches in ten countries, including the United States.

So What Does “Mobile Friendly” Actually Mean? It is important to note first that when Google talks about mobile, it is really talking about “smartphones.” Traditional computers, laptops, and even tablets are all grouped together in the “desktop” category. So when Google announced that mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches, what they are saying is that more people are searching for your products or services on their smartphones than on any other device. A mobile-friendly website is simply one that is designed with smartphone users in mind. Among other features:

• It is fast loading and easy to read on a very small screen. • It is easy to navigate with thumbs and fingers (instead of a mouse). • It includes easily playable, quick loading videos. • It has fingertip-friendly contact forms. • If you tap the telephone number with your finger, it will call the number. 8  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

You can usually determine if a website is mobile-friendly based on your personal experience. If your website looks exactly the same on a smartphone as it does on a desktop computer (only very much smaller), there is a very good chance that it is mobile unfriendly. if the main photo or slideshow at the top of your home page doesn’t show at all, it’s definitely not mobile compatible.

50% of users said they would use that business less if their site wasn’t mobile friendly. Clearly, it’s all about making a good first impression and making potential clients feel welcome.

“So, How Do I Fix This?”

Taking (Good) Care of Business: What is driving all of this, of course, is the underlying goal of providing website visitors and potential new customers with a good experience and positive impression of your company when they visit your website. A website that is easy to find, easy to navigate, positive and informative is the bottom line. Add to that the ability for visitors to contact you easily (tap to call) and get quick, easy, concise directions to your business, then you will be in a very strong, winning position. As far back as 2012, Google and Nielsen Media Research surveyed smartphone users about their mobile internet experiences and preferences. Some of the results of the 2012 survey were very revealing: 74% of users said they were more likely to return to a website in the future if it was mobile friendly. This is particularly significant since a large majority of people start their research and purchasing journey on their smartphone, then follow up on their laptop or desktop. First impressions count! Similarly, 79% of users who don’t like what they find on a mobile website will look for the information they want on another website. And even if they really like a business,

If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website (or aren’t sure), don’t panic. A large number of local businesses get found through directory listings and other services such as Yelp and Google Local. These listings are always at the very top of page one of Google search results. Check and see if you are there. Check your online listings for accuracy. Make sure they are up to date. If not, log into Yelp or Google MyBusiness and update your information. Make sure you have a Facebook business page and that your location and contact information is current. Next, update your LinkedIn profile and make sure everything links back to your website. You will still need to get your website updated, but at least this will give you some breathing room until you can get it done. Talk with your webmaster and develop a plan, timeline and budget to get your website up to date. There are several ways to make your website mobile-friendly, but the method that will yield the best and most cost-effective results in the long run is what is called a “responsive website design.” Put simply, this means that a web page will automatically scale to fit on any size screen: desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Having a “responsive website” means that your entire website is searchable, scalable and viewable on any size device. The key word here is “entire.” So when you make a change anywhere on your website, it is updated for everybody, not just desktop users. This also happens to be what Google likes to see. And we all know what that means.



©20 2 15 Hai HairUW rUW U ear e In Inc. c c.



The Link The Voice of the AHLC

HLCC Conducts Clinical Study

Year-long study confirms a multi-therapeutic approach works.


by Willam C. Blatter, President & CEO HLCC

s hair loss professionals, we understand that hair loss is a delicate, personal subject matter. The day a client reaches out to seek help is filled with anxiety. We also know that offering scientifically proven treatments will ease their minds and calm their nerves.

The Hair Loss Control Clinic (HLCC®) has been in the hair restoration business for over 27 years, in 30 countries. Having very successfully used laser light therapy for over twenty years in 200+ location, they’ve seen the results it can achieve. HLCC has always encouraged a multi-therapeutic treatment approach, combining laser light therapy and their HLCC Scripts product line. They commissioned a study, performed by a board of medical professionals specializing in hair loss, to further document the benefits of such approach. The more proof they had to offer their clients, the better. There have been many studies performed on the benefits of laser light therapy to grow hair, all show more than 90 percent of people growing hair. In January 2007, top hair restoration physicians published a paper on Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). In the paper, the physicians agreed that laser light devices are safe and effective. The majority of physicians also believe that there has been a positive impact in most of their hereditary hair loss patients who have used LLLT as a stand-alone or adjunctive treatment. HLCC has always encouraged a multitherapeutic treatment program: One that combines laser and hair loss products. Using the most scientific and latest measurements of study, HLCC sought out to offer their clients additional proof that their treatment programs were safe and very effective. Their study evaluated the safety 10  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

and efficacy of the HLCC Scripts Laser treatment and a multi-therapeutic hair loss program. The goal, of course, was to stop hair loss and re-grow as much hair as possible. HLCC worked with Dr. Michael Fuhrman, D.O. and Registered Nurse Paula McArdle to directly oversee the study. Ms. McArdle has over 15 years of experience, completing tens of thousands of hair loss consultation and checkups. In addition, she has training and numerous certifications. She exclusively recorded and provided documentation of all hair counts, on all subjects. There were 55 subjects, between the ages of 23 and 75 (both male and female) who had Hamilton-Norwood classifications between stages II and V and Fitzpatrick skin types 1 through 5. All subjects received treatment in a single center for 52 weeks, under the care of the clinic’s medical staff (Consisting of a Physician, RN, Clinical Research Coordinators and a Trial Investigator). Subjects in this study presented themselves to the clinic hoping to improve their hair quality. Ultimately, they wanted to stop their hair loss and re-grow as much lost hair as possible. Although there were more than 77 total subjects enrolled for this study, only 55 had adequate documentation for performing accurate hair analysis (that attended their checkups) and utilizing a capillascope for hair growth observation and proper compliancy. This was done with capillascope photos at the completion of week 13 and follow up examinations in 3-month intervals. Patients were observed over a course of one year. Additionally, the study documentation was further substantiated with digital photographs before and after. As the patients began the multitherapeutic approach of scheduled LLLT

treatments, consumption of the supplements and utilization of the HLCC Scripts hair care products and cleansers, the RN and patients alike observed that the hair loss stopped and new growth began to appear. The tools involved were an Ultimate 160 diode laser unit (Laser Class 2/ Device Class 3R), being used for a series of 30-minute treatments, twice a week for 52 weeks. The Ultimate 160 Laser device includes 160 continuous wave diodes at 650nM. Subjects combined their laser treatment with HLCC Scripts Scalp Therapy topical scalp cleanser, DHT inhibiting Shampoo and MGT Scalp Stimulator. Additionally, a nutritional supplement with DHT inhibitors, vitamins, minerals and a marine concentrate, HLCC Scripts Complete, was administered to the patients and taken orally twice a day. HLCC Scripts Complete includes a hair nutritional with biotin, zinc, vitamin B6, foliate, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese and a marine concentrate. After a year-long treatment program, the final study evaluation yielded that 53 out 54 patients - 98 percent of participants - demonstrated clinically significant hair growth, with the vast majority showing continuous hair growth and density throughout all intervals. Of the areas studied, the top of the head showed the best results, with 84 percent of patients showing growth on top. The crown showed 80 percent clinically significant growth. Finally, the front showed 65 percent increase in hair growth. Additionally, 95 percent of patients saw growth as soon as three months. Experiencing positive results this quickly, helped keep patients interested in continuing treatment and staying compliant. There were a small

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

Patient Before & After Photos




Demonstrated a clinically significant increase in hair growth during the study.


The area of the scalp known to be the most difficult to achieve re-growth is the frontal hairline. However, with HLCC’s multi-therapeutic approach, 90% of those in need demonstrated a clinically significant increase in hair growth in the frontal hairline during the study.


Saw growth in more than two areas. Nearly all subjects saw growth in more than one area. 28% saw growth in two areas, while a 70% saw growth in three or more areas.

percentage of participants who were not totally compliant in their program. Although they still saw hair growth, greater results were achieved in those with total compliancy. During the first three months, all the women involved in the study demonstrated a clinically significant increase in hair growth in at least one area. During that time, 95 percent of men also saw a substantial amount of growth. The HLCC Scripts Laser Treatment & Multi-Therapeutic Treatment Approach has demonstrated efficacy for the cessation of hair loss

and stimulation of hair growth. This resulted in increased thickness, new growth and density for the vast majority of subjects. The anecdotal data indicates that with a multi-therapeutic approach, in this randomized, clinical study, demonstrates that the HLCC Scripts Complete results may vary, however, there was consistent improvement seen in the majority of patients who maintained compliancy. It’s important to note that some clients saw growth in multiple areas. There were also certain areas that didn’t apply to all participants (for example, most females do not experience frontal hair loss).

The numbers don’t lie – there was a significant amount of hair growth. Although both the laser and the products have proven effective on their own, it’s clear that superior growth occurs with a combination treatment. If you’re a hair loss professional, you would benefit from understanding the technology and efficiency of laser light therapy. With studies like the one provided by HLCC, you can help your clients feel confident in their choice to use laser light therapy and a multi-therapeutic approach to re-grow their own hair.

The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  11


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Congratulations to the Latest Recipients of the AHLC Masters Certification Award The American Hair Loss Council’s Board certified accreditation for higher education in the field of hair replacement is an elite accomplishment. The following have earned the esteemed Master’s

Ertaç Şensoy, AHLC Certified Master Nova Hair Systems International Istanbul, Turkey

Certification. This accreditation comes with many years of work and extended educational accomplishments in the hair loss industry. Whoever earns this degree of higher education has truly paid the price to be called the “best of the best.”

Regina Villemure, AHLC Certified Master Children With Hair Loss South Rockwood, Michigan

Kristin Webb, AHLC Certified Master Profiles by Kristin Syracuse, New York

Welcome New Members! Dr. Douglas Senderoff, New York, New York Dr. Douglas Senderoff completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Emory University and his master’s degree in Human Nutrition, at Columbia University. After he received his medical degree from State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Senderoff trained in general surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. The Manhattan-based plastic surgeon completed his residency in plastic surgery and a Microsurgery Research Fellowship at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. He is the author of numerous publications relating to wound healing and has received local and national recognition for his research in the field of microsurgery. He has lectured both nationally and internationally on the various areas of his expertise, and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the National Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Senderoff performs the majority of his surgical procedures in his fully accredited outpatient surgical facility located on Park Avenue South in Manhattan, New York. He offers surgical hair restoration using follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) using the NeoGraft device. In addition, Dr Senderoff uses the Harvest system to collect platelet rich plasma (PRP) which he injects into the scalp to increase hair growth. To become a member or renew contact Betty Ann Bugden, Membership Director, 570-462-1101 or log on to

Amy Gibson is an author, an Emmy-nominated Soap Opera star, “The Voice of Hair Loss,” and one of the leading Personal Hair Loss Consultants and innovative Wig Designers for women in the U.S. She is Founder of, an online community providing elegant stylish solutions, guidance and support to women suffering from hair loss. Her unique designs have been seen on the red carpet, served Royalty and brought peace of mind to thousands of women living with hair loss. Amy’s exclusive private wig studio in Westwood, CA specializes in offering caring education and beautiful solutions for women and children with alopecia and cancer hair loss for over a decade, including over 12-years with cancer patients at Cedar Sinai hospital. Ms. Gibson’s personal experience with alopecia resulted in the creation of an international wig line: Amy’s Presence™ and the First Women’s Swim Wig with Cyberhair. She continues to place her focus on offering light weight, user friendly solutions for the ‘active woman’ with The Water Wig™ and Private Issue with Cyberhair. Amy’s newest innovative contribution is The ResQ Bag™ ( patent pending) the First and Only Carry-All for Wigs and Extensions with 12 essential care & comfort accessory tools for any wig maintenance or emergency. Amy’s new book, Sex, Wigs and Whispers is a clear-cut, how-to guide for living with hair loss, wigs, dating and sex while staying connected to your confidence and self-esteem to live a fulfilling, active life as a vital woman. It is available in June, through

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The Link The Voice of the AHLC

What Makes a “Medical Wig?” By: James Todd, Dimples


n the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the ancient Egyptians wore wigs to shield their bald or shaved heads from the sun. They were also one of the first to try bonding beeswax!

Today, wigs are most commonly used for medical solutions. As a result, the manufacturing process, the materials used and the fit have become paramount. It’s not just about what’s on the outside. Style, hair quality and color aren’t enough. A great medical wig feels and looks great from the inside out. It is no longer just about making a beautiful wig on the outside. Top hair designers are capable of designing amazing styles and color combinations in both synthetic and natural hair wigs. But, the inside of the cap is another story. Even though doctors have been prescribing wigs, also known as hair prostheses or cranial prosthesis for insurance purposes since the 1950s, the technology for improved cap constructions only took off over the last several years. However, it wasn’t doctors that improved the industry’s wig cap constructions, it was YOU, the hair replacement specialist. From listening to your customers’ complaints and praises, you were able to tell us, the manufacturers, to make the improvements into realty.

During Victorian times, the English caught on. Kings, Queens and all the important people with their fancy dresses, stiff upper collars, snuff boxes and knickerbockers wore fancy, white, heavy density, enormous wigs. The fad went over to the House of Lords (U.K. version of the the U.S. Senate). White curly wigs were worn at shoulder length. And, still today, these wigs can be seen on some of the men and women in the House of Lords. Wigs remained as a fashion or status symbol for many more years. But, as fashion moved away from wigs, the positioning of the industry changed to the medical side. 14  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

The most common wig cap in the world is termed as machine made. This is also the most affordable type of wig, in both synthetic and natural hair. The entire wig is made with wefts or tracks of material with hair sewn in. The wefts are then sewn around a perimeter of material strips to form the shape of the wig. The wig serves its purpose as a head covering and a fashion statement, but for a medical patient or for someone with alopecia, wearing a machine made wig is a chore. Machine made wigs are often itchy, heavy and they sometimes have so much hair density that they do not allow air to circulate through to the scalp.

Victorian wigs such as these are still worn today in the House of Lords

Great medical wigs begin with great knotting. Instead of using machine made wefts the wigs are hand knotted. Each knot is individually sewn into the base with a needle. By hand knotting we dramatically reduce the weight of our wigs. Both natural hair and synthetic hair can be hand knotted. The knotting technique and strength of pull is different, when comparing a handmade synthetic wig and a handmade natural hair wig. The knots on handmade natural wigs must be pulled much tighter than with synthetic hair. (FYI: If you take a factory worker that has only hand knotted natural hair wigs, and you have him or her hand knot a synthetic wig, they will pull too tight when knotting and hairs will not stand naturally). Consequently, by hand knotting and by also not adding too much hair density, we can make our medical wig lighter, more breathable and more natural looking.

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

Getting the Answer From the Inside-Out If we turn the wig inside out we can focus on what’s going on inside. At Dimples we use hypoallergenic fabric with soft seams and internal stitching wherever possible. People having chemotherapy are usually very sensitive to any material and their scalp is prone to allergies. The most important area of the handmade wig (or monofilament top wig) is the monofilament top. This is the area from above the forehead to the crown. This is where we part and style our hair the most. As a result, there can be a lot more discomfort from the movement of knots against the wearer’s skin when styling. On most of our caps we add a double silk mono top, so that the knots and course monofilament material cannot be felt on the wearer’s scalp. Silicone has also become a popular material. For people with alopecia totalis, silicone works great. Silicone grips to skin without the need for glue or tape. When a wig cap fits snug with plenty of silicone around, it will stay on during most activities. Silicone works wonders, but with too much of it, we go back to the problem of limited breathability, as silicone doesn’t breath. Some wig caps have a balanced combination of silicone and polyurethane. The polyurethane areas are used for tape tabs or glue.

The Anatomy of a Medical Wig Dimples Full Wig Cap Bronze Cap: Feather Cap (21” and 19”) Silk Mono Top Non-slip Silicone

Scalloped Lace Front

Hand Tied Back


Silver Full Wig Cap Versa Fit (21”) Non-slip Silicone

French Top

Consequently, what makes a great medical wig is the process of hypoallergenic materials, hand knotting for lightness and breathability, silicone and polyurethane for grip and a natural density of hair. Dimples focuses on natural hair solutions in three different hair qualities: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. From Remy Hair to Virgin European Hair wigs and top pieces. Located in Los Angeles U.S.A and Manchester England.


Lace Front

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The Link The Voice of the AHLC





Dimples: We just returned from AHLC 2015. We couldn’t believe it, it was even bigger and better than AHLC 2014. Here’s how we found it to be the best show ever: 1. The show was twice as big as last year. 2. There was a great focus on education. There were so many classes. This was our first time teaching at the AHLC. We found that we were easily able to show and discuss our new hair solutions. It was great to address questions from one person that were also pertinent to many others. We even had several repeat visits from our class on the first day to our class on the final day. Asking around, I found that classes were greatly appreciated by everyone. One hour was just enough to give a good taste of what our company holds dear, for what hair solutions we have, for what type of hair works best for different markets and to answer questions. 3. The Energy was electrifying. There was so much camaraderie between both customers and vendors. I saw new friendships bloom all around. I met a couple of hair replacement specialists who just met, they live so far apart, but they were sharing a room to cut their costs. When we were out of classes and out of the vendor area, everyone was partying by the pool and at the bar. I couldn’t believe how much everyone let loose. 4. Meal times were a great opportunity to get to know everyone even better. 5. The dinner party and 70’s disco was great. The music was fantastic and almost everyone was on the dance floor most of the night. Even I danced, a rare sight, as I’m from England where we dance like bricks—oh, and I had my arm in a sling too, but I didn’t want to miss out on the fun. 6. The hotel was great, just a walk to the beach, with fantastic rooms and great A/C. 7. In 2014 everyone we talked to who attended the AHLC 2014, were blown away. Customers I spoke to, who didn’t make it, were sorry they were unable to go. 2015 was even better! We can’t wait for AHLC 2016

Patty Young, Young Hair, Inc., Springfield, Ohio I attended the AHLC conference’s 30th Anniversary. I was a member who let my membership lapse however, I had renewed my membership for this conference and very glad that I did. Of the conferences that I have attended in the past, this was by far the best. The workshops and presentations were very informative and full of new knowledge and techniques. The variety of workshops provided hair replacement professionals the opportunity to stay current with new techniques and approaches to hair replacement as well the ins and outs of owning and operating a business. On a more informal level, I valued the opportunity to engage in conversations with attendees from across the country who were at various stages in their own professional development. This often included the sharing of ideas and techniques, in addition to an awareness of available new products. I’m Happy To Be Back! Amy Gibson, The ResQ Bag: For my first visit to an AHLC event, I was impressed with both the family environment they successfully created, the organization, the level of education offered and the personal service shown at the event. After working diligently on my new products and book for the female hair loss market and purposely staying out of the press for the last few years, choosing to premiere the first creation of my future products coming out in the next few years: The ResQ Bag™ at the AHLC event was a wise choice. The welcome I received was refreshing and authentic. People were open and willing to share experiences, products and techniques. I very much enjoyed seeing old friends and making so many wonderful new ones - all whom are working hard to make a difference, which to me, was most the most inspiring element. 16  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

The Link The Voice of the AHLC Paul Reynolds – CEO easihair pro: The AHLC 2015 conference in Fort Lauderdale was an truly a great event. We found the energy of the attendees and the support of the Council’s Board refreshing and not what one might encounter at a typical show. The vendor floor and proximity to the classrooms kept all the attendees engaged and gave us a great exposure to everyone and the opportunity to educate and demonstrate our latest and greatest products. We hosted two classes which were well attended, with interest and enrollment in education that exceeded our expectations. The wealth of knowledge and experience of those in attendance proved valuable as it taught us a lot about our customers evolving needs and gave us some great insight into future innovations. We’re definitely signing up for next year!

Shlomo Klein, VP OSY Inc., Georgie/Xtensify: At the AHLC Conference this year, I promised myself that I won’t waste any more time at shows such as IBS NY, ABS Chicago, or Premiere Orlando. As an exhibitor at those shows, only if you spend upwards of $100,000 to exhibit, can you stand out. Even then, the attendees are 95% just looking, and 5% legitimate buyers. HOWEVER, at the AHLC Conference, I have found that 100% of the attendees are there to be educated and informed about quality products and have a sincere interest in forming new relationships and strengthening old ones. My only complaint is that the Conference is once a year, when I believe that geographically, it can expand to many other venues! My company looks forwards to many more opportunities to move forward with the American Hair Loss Council!

Doug Spike, IHI Business Development & Education Manager The conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the American Hair Loss Council was absolutely wonderful. Kudos to the board for their unceasing efforts. Without their passion, the American Hair Loss Council would not exist. From a vendor point of view, the conference was a smashing success. The display area was well thought out. International Hairgoods display materials were waiting for us, making set-up efficient. The time period for retailers to explore vendors was more than adequate. The conference was an excellent opportunity to renew relationships with old friends and existing clients. Many unfamiliar retailers expressed an interest, and placed orders for IHI products. As a company, we met every sales goal and there is much follow-up still to be done. Overall, the AHLC 2015 conference was win-win for both vendors and attendees. It’s been a pleasure watching the council build to its current strength in the past few years. With the 2015 event having been the best conference in recent memory, what will 2016 bring? I’ll be there and you should too! Fantasia Salon: Very exciting and motivating conference. Our staff left excited, to implement new things. Glad we brought many staff employees and it was well worth it. Totally appreciated that the breakout classes, were NOT selling products and were simply educational and the fact that there was an AHLC leader in each class to monitor what was being taught. We liked the feedback cards and that all the vendors were together in one room. We did not appreciate the vendors packing up early. We still wanted to shop and they were packing cases up and were not able to take an order we wanted to place. All classes and events were nearby, easy to find and access. Loved the great food and entertainment. Would recommend the group exercise more restraint when someone is speaking. There was too much talking going on, and we could not hear the speakers. This showed disrespect to the AHLC. Great job! We will be there next year for sure!

Karla Hurtado, HairVisions: The concept of having all major hair distributors and manufactures under one roof was unheard of years ago. The AHLC has conquered that challenge with superior class and finesse. It works well for everyone, especially for our customers who now have the opportunity to leave their busy salons for a couple of days and become informed and educated by a variety of vendors. I believe it is a win-win situation. The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  17

The Link The Voice of the AHLC Kat Zahnow, Marketing Director, HairArt Products: The 2015 AHLC Annual Conference was undoubtedly the best yet. Due to the hard work and dedication of the Board of Directors, the 30 Year Anniversary celebration offered more education, more space, more networking and more time with vendors than ever before. The diversified vendor’s education sessions were filled with more knowledge, innovation, and expertise; they surely did not disappointment any attendee. And of course, the entertaining Sunday night Disco Party was an event to remember. HairArt Products will continue to be a proud supporter and participant of AHLC and we look forward to a colossal 2016!

Jay Benjamin, National Sales Manager, New Image Labs: New Image enjoyed participating at the recent AHLC conference. The educational and networking opportunities were great and it was good to see so many industry veterans, as well as newcomers. We were glad to be part of the conference.

Daryl Margolin, Vice President, Professional Hair Labs: We have partaken in this weekend event for a number of years now, a huge attraction for us is the positive energy brought by the vendors and members of the American Hair Loss Council. As a vendor it is great to see the level of awareness and dedication that studio owners and technicians have towards our products and the various application processes. This is very evident during our classes where we give live demonstrations and enter into group discussions which helps us to identify and forecast client needs within the industry. We particularly benefit from this face-to-face experience and use this opportunity to build on new and existing client relationships.

A Special Award for a Special Person Leigh Gardner is presented the AHLC Industry Leadership Award Not only did we have a great disco party to celebrate our 30th anniversary at our annual conference, but we presented a very special AHLC award. Leigh Gardner was the recipient of the Industry Leadership Award, recognizing excellence in the field of hair replacement. Leigh is well respected in our profession, dedicating his professional life to mentoring, training, artistic development, advertising and sales consulting. His drive and determination are endless. You can always reach out to Leigh for advice, direction, and answers. He can even teach you how to fish! We are delighted to have Leigh as the first person to receive this prestigious award.

Left to Right: Leigh Gardner, Lance Centofanti, Andy Wright and Sam Donofrio

The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  19

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

The Making of a Great Wig Company by Michael Leigh, Founder & CEO, Joli Caméléon, Los Angeles, CA

The Question & The Answer I have recently been reflecting on this mind-bending question, “What makes a great Wig Company great”? I thought I would share it with you as a catalyst for continuing dialog, via the American Hair Loss Council, of which my firm is a proud member. Let’s start at the end and work back to the beginning. My conclusion – the answer to the title question - is that we have to be “all In” - from the Founder/CEO to the person responsible for shipping. Our heart, soul and mind need to be serving our direct and indirect customers. Our business practices must follow our ethics and core beliefs. We must define and live by our mission. We need to be open to criticism and strive for continuous improvement and ultimate excellence. We can’t just talk the talk; we must walk the walk. If you are thinking that you might agree with me, how do we get there?

the satisfaction I get from my life in the hair business. Allow me to explain.

My Passion I have to say, the first time I discovered a true passion in my professional life was when I visited a hair replacement center customer, where the owner introduced me to one of their clients, announcing that I was responsible for providing that beautiful European hair wig that was now on the client’s head. That client turned to me, crying, gave me a hug and told me that I had changed her life. Just by providing her with a new head of hair and returning her smile to her, it changed mine too. It hit me hard. I will always remember that. Then it happened again. And again. And again. And again. I realized that my life would never be the same again. My future was to be about giving a woman back her best hair day when she thought she would never ever look in the mirror and smile again. It sunk in. This was real. This was important. My belief expanded into helping parents realize the same smile in their children who had lost their hair. I remember the first time I witnessed a seven-year old girl having her head shaved prior to cancer radiation treatment. Her parents were sobbing loudly, but that courageous little girl just kept staring at the mirror watching every hair fall and never shed a tear.

to you as Rene of Paris. Many of you (of my generation) met Rene in person. He was unforgettable, larger than life, a true Peter Pan, until he finally succumbed to throat cancer, after a valiant fight, 1st January 2013. Rene always knew what he wanted and, this time, it was to see in the New Year. He is dearly missed. My wife is only my wife because Rene introduced us to each other in 1985. Rene was an industry visionary. He was loved by many thousands who had the good fortune to meet him in person, always an unforgettable experience. He took me to many fascinating hair trade shows in the eighties and nineties, even though it took me until 2007 to become directly involved in the industry. That led me into a seven-year adventure creating a new branded wig company with a leading wig manufacturer, founded by Rene’s son.

The Next Chapter

According to many of you, we defined and created the best women’s wig and Before I became a “hair man”, I would hairpiece company the industry has have best been described as a “serial seen, at least until now: Product, qualentrepreneur”. I have done a lot of ity, service, smile. For those of you who different things in my life. I studied told me that, a sincere thank you for advertising and marketing at a univerthe accolades, but we could not have sity in England and came to America as done it without you. In my opinion, the a marketing executive for the world’s hair addition/replacement professional largest hotel company in Memphis, Tenmembers of the American Hair Loss nessee. I then moved to Los Angeles and Council made that company what it became a consultant to and, soon after, became. Over 5,000 women and girls of chief operating officer of a tech comall ages got their smile back. And, along My Mentor pany, from start-up to taking it public the way, I met and became friends with on Wall Street, before I was 35. During So, how did this happen? You all have some of the nicest, most professional the tail-end of the era, even your own story of what led you to this and caring hair replacement center while it was melting down, I was forwonderful calling. I know some of them, owners, and hundreds, if not thousands tunate enough to raise more than $50 and they amazingly go back, in some of Alopecian women and children (both million on Wall Street to fund a leadcases, more than 50 years. To explain Alopecia Areata and Androgenic Alopeing edge fiber optics company, which how I got here, we also need to go back cia) as well as countless cancer patients. continues today. After that, I was the in time. All the way back to 1984. It catalyst for countless strategic alliances, was then that I first met the man who Today, I find myself starting a new mergers, acquisitions and “restarts”. became like a second Father to me, adventure, with more joy and passion But, all of that was nothing compared to “Papa Rene”. He may be better known than ever, with a wonderful core team,

The Journey

Article continued...

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The Link The Voice of the AHLC who has been with me since the beginning of this adventure, a new vision and a broader choice of manufacturing resources. To have the opportunity to create a new way of serving this industry and your hair-impaired clients, is a real privilege. I am excited, because today’s challenges are more complex and harder than ever and today’s hair wearer is the most informed consumer of any high-end purchased product. Most of them walk in your door having done countless hours of research, Google searching and blog reading. We need to love a challenge and learn something new every day to do this right.

The Components of “All In” These are the building blocks of what it takes to make a great wig company. I define the component parts of being “All In” as:

• Belief • Beauty • Quality • Service • Value • Choice • The Professionals network

(needed to deliver all of the above to the ultimate hair-wearer).

Belief This is the essence that makes it all come together and makes the personal sacrifice worthwhile. It is the belief we can do something good in the world. It is the belief to risk investing, the belief we can make a difference, the belief we can create something new that is important, belief that the personal sacrifice of time is a worthy cause. And it is the belief that we can achieve all of this within the parameters below.

Beauty Whatever we do has to be driven by nature’s beauty. Your clients want to look beautiful regardless of the reason for needing added hair. Beauty is the ultimate delivery. A smile in the mirror is a confirmation of its receipt. All of the design work, choice of hair, materials and workmanship, has to combine perfectly in the delivery of beauty. The hair must necessarily be excellent hand 22  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

selected, cuticle intact, ponytail hair with natural shine and movement. The materials must combine correctly to deliver the right hair addition/replacement application. And the overall presentation of the finished product must create the perfect canvass for you to create an individual masterpiece.

Quality Quality is measured both in initial and long-term delivery. The delivered product has to be fit for purpose. And it has to stay that way for a reasonable period of time. What is “reasonable” is the firing line that you stand on every day. We all know clients that have brought back wigs after six weeks, six months or six years believing that what has happened to them is your fault. And a reasonable time period clearly depends on them visiting you reasonably often for inspection and proper maintenance. The important thing is for your supplier to be willing and able to support you by providing a quality product up front and standing behind it when things, occasionally, inevitably go wrong.

Service Service with a smile is not just an expression. It has to be a core belief. Responsive service is what you should expect as the norm. And when you do not get what you expect, you need to have a clear path to your supplier’s management to give them a chance to put it right. If they fail the test, it is time to choose another supplier.

Value Value does not mean cheap. Value needs to be a desirable reflection of the beauty and quality delivered. It is personal. One person’s perception of value” may not be another’s. It is also closely related to choice. The important thing is that the product you are offering reflects well on your own core values. As a professional hair replacement specialist, you have the ability to offer your clients many different products from many different companies. If it is a branded product from a company that correctly supports you with that brand and what it stands for, then that is value delivered.

Choice Choice is closely related to value, because a wig or hairpiece is a truly personal product for a specific individual. They want it how they want it and within the budgetary parameters they can afford. The closer that it meets their idea of their hair, the more likely it is that they will consider it to be good value at a higher price point than if it is a “one type fits all” choice. So your supplier needs to provide you with choice in a way that is flexible, reasonable, and communicated in such a way that you know what you can do while you are in a consultation, without risking having to face a nasty surprise after you have already committed to your client.

Professionals Network This is all about you. There are many ways to deliver hair. And we are increasingly challenged by the dark shadow of low cost, online, sell direct, hair anything. But that is not you. And – if it is your client – they are not really your client, just a mirage. Your client comes to you because they trust you, they need and want a personal experience, and they need your expert help and judgment. They believe in you and in your choice of which products you are prepared to supply them from which companies. You are putting yourself out there and you need to know that your supplier is doing the same thing. Maybe a faceless online company, or a factorydirect come-on from China can provide a good product. But what happens if it doesn’t fit, or something goes wrong. Your real clients know that. And, as a supplier, we trust that our customers – you – have the experience to only recommend and sell our products to those who understand and need them. THAT is a true partnership. So that is my view on what it takes. Maybe the adage of 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration holds true here. But all of that will be useless without Belief, Beauty, Quality, Service, Value, Choice and The professionals network needed to deliver all of the above. THAT is what it takes to make a great wig company.

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

Best Practices: Hair Charities What you need to know before donating hair or your time. by Janine Thornhill, Managing Editor, The Link Magazine


onating hair to charity is a very admirable and personal decision, but finding the right charitable organization can be a daunting task. Your clients depend on you to give them great advice about their hair. In addition, it’s important to be informed and feel confident before volunteering your time. Here is a guide to share with your clients along with a few considerations as you compare organizations:

1. Make sure the charity ACTUALLY provides hair replacements for FREE if they claim to.

Several well-known charities charge recipients based on a sliding scale according to their household finances and recipients could end up paying thousands of dollars. If the charity requires financial documents be submitted along with the hair application, they likely charge fees.

2. Make sure the charity does not REQUIRE the recipients to participate in their promotional/ marketing efforts and/or events and that there are no hidden charges or additional fees.

Certain charities require before and after photos, that recipients attend and volunteer for their events, that tickets be purchased for their events, etc. in order to be considered for a “free” hair replacement. These activities should be voluntary and never required.

3. Make sure the charity provides full, HUMAN hair replacements.

Some charities provide synthetic/synthetic blend hair pieces, which are cheaper to produce.

4. Determine WHO to donate your hair to.

Some organizations provide hair replacements to adults only, adults and children, children only, cancer treatment patients only, alopecia-afflicted children only, children only - with any medically-related hair loss, etc.

5. Ask whether the charity uses ALL hair dona-

tions to produce hair replacements for recipients. It has been reported that some organizations may sell donated hair to the hair replacement and/or hair extension factories and for a profit.

6. Compare the number of recipients each charity provides annually.

You can determine which charities invest a higher percentage of proceeds into their mission by comparing annual funding versus number of recipients.


Review of the charity’s Financials to ensure that they use the majority of their charitable dollars toward their MISSION, rather than for expenses unrelated to the charity.

All charities are required to report their financials, and to include them on their websites (typically found at the bottom of a web page). It’s always a good idea to give them a quick review to get an idea of how their charitable dollars are spent. This should be a good start as you seek to donate hair or volunteer. If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the AHLC toll-free at 855.445.9509. The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  23

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

Transitioning from a Beauty Salon to a Medical, Hair Restoration Center by Shelly Beatty, Owner, Hair Restoration Institute of DFW, Fort Worth, Texas I have been in the beauty industry for over 30 years. During that time, I had created an incredible clientele in the Fort Worth, TX area: offering high-end, hair services and temporary hair additions in our 6,000 square foot, 2-story salon building. As the business grew, and we began to focus more on patients with significant hair loss, we realized the temporary hair additions were not going to meet their long-term needs and could create more hair loss in their future.

in between which stores all medical tools and locked medications. This flow allows the physician and his techs to move between rooms to make changes in tools, scrub up, retrieve medications, etc. Also located downstairs is the MEP-90 Laser Hair Therapy treatment room. This large room is divided in order to accommodate multiple treatments at the same time. The space is very relaxing with spa music and

In 2010 I made the decision to create a facility where the focus was on permanent hair restoration. I knew this would require adding a Medical Component, so we could offer the standard of care in hair transplantation along with all proven options for hair restoration. I sought help from others with who already made the conversion to a Medical Facility. I also did a year of research Hair Restoration Institute of DFW, Fort Worth, Texas and received specialized training from the SBA. I then set out comfortable chairs which overlook our on a new frontier: Transitioning from front lawn. We have privacy screening a simple beauty salon to a Medical Hair on the windows as well. We also have Restoration Center. our private wig boutique downstairs. We have hundreds of wigs in stock for In order to accomplish this goal we those who have an immediate need, had to re-design our space. We created and we also offer custom designed wigs. a unique layout for our center in an Lastly, we made the entire upstairs effort to create absolute privacy for each area dedicated to cosmetic hair replacedifferent patient/client type. For our ment. We have 6 private hair replacetransplant patients, we added a surgical ment rooms upstairs with one large suite downstairs which consists of two workroom where our Hair Replacement private hair transplant rooms equipped Specialists prepare hair replacements with flat screen televisions, medical prior to client appointments. In addilighting, and electric medical chairs tion, there is a separate washroom which can lay completely flat. These where all hair is cleaned and allowed to two rooms have a medical tech room air dry. This layout allows us to keep all 24  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

soiled hair completely separate from all clean hair. Once clean and dry, all hair replacements are stored individually in labeled, airtight bags and then placed in the client’s individual hair file. We absolutely love the way our center is laid out! But, make no mistake, even the perfect setup does not create overall success. Without leads which turn into patients/clients, a beautiful building is just a costly, empty building. A successful center starts with a combination of reliable lead acquisition, HRI of DFW’s tested and proven 10-Step Optimal Lead Management System (which doubles lead conversion), and a great lead management team. This team consists of detail-oriented phone staff along with highly-trained Hair Restoration Advisors who guide prospects through a comprehensive consultation. During the consultation, Advisors enable prospects to truly understand their viable hair restoration options with a visual presentation detailing each option. Once the prospect has made their decision of their best option, the next appropriate team takes over. If a choice of medical hair transplant is chosen, our Medical Team takes over. If cosmetic hair replacement is chosen, then our expertly trained Hair Replacement Stylists take over. And lastly, if LLLT is chosen, then the LLLT Team swings into action by creating a customized treatment plan. All of these plans include frequent follow-up, which allows HRI to guarantee the patient’s hair growth results in writing.

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

If at any time a patient needs my input there are a variety of ways to conference, videoconference, and use photos; thus, we can actually find ourselves in two places at once, increasing efficiency. If at any time this is not sufficient, the HRI staff simply schedules time for Dr. Smith to personally meet with the patient. We have a terrific system put into place regarding patient care and follow-up from start to finish.

I believe the most important aspect of operating our center is managing patient expectations and customer service. We are clear from the onset about exact expectations from each possible course of treatment, based on the patient’s current hair loss pattern. We listen to the patient and determine from them what will actually make them happy. If we think their chosen course of action will not ultimately be satisfactory to the client, we try to persuade them to pursue a more beneficial option. In the end, we only offer what we are able to guarantee; thus, patient satisfaction remains higher. Our Medical Director, a Board Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, is Jesse Smith, M.D. F.A.C.S. Dr. Smith brings his own team of hair transplant technicians to facilitate all

“If at any time a patient needs my input there are a variety of ways to conference, videoconference, and use photos; thus, we can actually find ourselves in two places at once, increasing efficiency. If at any time this is not sufficient, the HRI staff simply schedules time for Dr Smith to personally meet with the patient. We have a terrific system put into place regarding patient care and follow-up from start to finish.” Dr. Smith’s personal perspective on hair transplantation is, “Hair transplantation is the only permanent hair restoration option with a high satisfaction rate. What I love most is how it helps people come out of their shell once they like what they see in the mirror.” If you are considering adding a medical component to your studio I cannot Jesse Smith, M.D. F.A.C.S. express enough the importance of becoming highly educated beforehand on the causes of transplant procedures. He splits his hair loss, all viable treatment options time between his own facial plastic and and to surround yourself with those reconstructive surgery practice, a mediwho have taken this path before you. cal spa directorship, and HRI of DFW. This is not something you can simply Dr. Smith finds the traveling required jump into without the right guidance. to be available for these three positions The process of setting up takes a large challenging; however, he appreciates amount of combined experience, attenthe ability to focus on hair transplantation to detail, time, patience and an tion with a dedicated team, devoted unwillingness to settle for mediocre solely to hair restoration. He also loves performance by any member of your working with the variety of people and staff. It’s not easy: if it were, everyone patients. He understands that mainwould be doing it! But for those who taining patient relations can be chalare driven, educated, and willing to do whatever it takes, it can be the best lenging when operating within these decision you ever make. I know it was three areas, but loves the fact that havfor me. My only regret is that I did not ing different offices increases patient volume and brings a colorful variety do it sooner! When hair growth became to his practice. He makes appropriate my passion is exactly when I should time to discuss patient cases with the have taken the step. I lost many years HRI team before, during, and after their by waiting too long, but perhaps, that care to ensure excellent outcomes. He wait has made the present that much feels more relaxed about the fact that sweeter! The road was certainly tough his HRI patients follow-up with a great but has proven much more profitable reliable staff. and professionally rewarding. The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  25

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

Adding Hair Transplantation Services to your Salon Offerings


by Susan Jernigan, Owner, Jernigan’s Hair Replacement Clinic, Raleigh, North Carolina

orty years ago, my parents, Bill and Betsy Jernigan, had a vision to help men and women overcome hair loss, and founded Jernigan’s Hair Replacement Clinic. As far back as I can remember, I have always been a part of the family business. In my tweens, I used to help roll hair in the back, sweep up - anything that would help. Daddy and I went to the trade show together, leaving mom to run the clinic. My parents grew the business, client by client, all the while keeping abreast of the latest technologies, products and techniques in order to offer clients the best possible service they could. My parents had been following the emergence of hair transplantation, evolving from being unnatural and pluggy into a more refined, natural look. Twenty years after starting the business, hair transplantation was added to our list of treatment options as a way to help men and women who experiencing hair loss but didn’t want to wear hair pieces. We partnered with Dr. Grant Koher, a highly skilled and respected hair transplant surgeon, who brought instant credibility to our new hair transplant clinical division. This translated into a very tangible sense of confidence and reassurance for our transplant patients. We have been associated with Dr. Koher ever since, and now over two decades later, we continue to offer our expertise and reputation to transplant patients across our region. We have even had patients come to us from Europe and Asia, some having multiple procedures with Dr. Koher. As transplants became more main stream, our hair transplantation practice grew from a few procedures each month to performing them on a weekly basis. 26  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

Over the years, I’ve found transplants to be a great option for many of our hair restoration clients. While this option obviously isn’t for everyone, such as those with extensive loss, a good percentage of men and women do qualify. It is extremely satisfying and rewarding to help those that qualify to re-grow their own permanent hair!

From the first day I met Bill Jernigan, working with the Jernigan family has been very satisfying. We have worked as a professional team with great respect for one another and the success of the business speaks to that. – Dr. Grant Koher

When speaking with potential new customers, we always stress that both surgical and non- surgical options are available. Our initial consultations are handled by Natasha. She’s been at Jernigan’s for 15 years, starting out as a surgical technician. She is now our Director of Client Services. Her firsthand experience as a surgical technician has allowed her to address most patient’s questions or concerns that arise and handle all the pre-operative scheduling and issues as they may arise. Everything we do is geared toward creating an undetectable, natural looking result and meeting expectations. In certain circumstances, she may also involve

one of our stylists or our surgeon for more expertise. This approach allows our patients to be more relaxed and comfortable with their decision. Even though patients may have similar loss, unlike a hair system, their results can be very different based on donor hair density, texture, age and degree of hair loss. One of the most important things to consider and manage in any hair transplant procedure is patient expectations. Patient satisfaction, and ultimately your long-term success, is dependent upon making sure their expectations are realistic and in line with what can actually be achieved (or not) with a hair transplant procedure. We have always strived to stay on the cutting edge of hair restoration technology. Several years ago, Jernigan’s started looking at Low Level Light Laser Hair Therapy (LLLT) as another option to help those experiencing the early stages of hair loss due to Androgenic Alopecia (genetic pattern baldness). We have found laser hair therapy to be extremely effective and helpful in postoperative care for our patients. Before incorporating LLLT into our clinical offerings, Dr. Koher, working with Natasha Achterberg, was the lead investigator/author of the study “The Effects of Low Level Light Therapy and Androgenic Alopecia in Women.” Their clinical trials with the MEP-90 were instrumental in the FDA 510K clearance of the the device. Natasha has since worked with many other hair loss clinics with setting up the foundation and protocols for using LLLT in their clinics. In 2014, as I’m always looking to add innovative programs to the services offered, I asked Natasha to head up our Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy program.

The Link The Voice of the AHLC PRP is a non-surgical, proactive, therapeutic option (used successfully in other medical and surgical disciplines for years) for patients who require stimulation of hair growth for hair loss conditions. PRP may also help to reverse Alopecia Areata according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. We have been seeing very good results with PRP therapy, and have found it to be especially helpful as part of our hair transplant programs. Setting up our hair transplant department took a lot of work and a lot of research. One of the first things you need to realize when thinking about adding hair transplantation to your list of services is that hair transplantation is an invasive medical procedure. More often than not, the marketplace will not be kind to a clinic without licensed physicians and/or surgeons and will surely run afoul of regulatory oversight agencies. In our own case, I wanted to make absolutely certain that we had one of the best surgeons in the field. Dr. Koher had exceptional credentials, is board certified and is active in leading trade associations. Being a member of trade associations instantly increased our credibility with prospective patients in our service area. As a member of the Transitions International Group, we received invaluable marketing, business organizational help and entrepreneurial wisdom from others who had already incorporated hair transplantation into their businesses. Groups like Transitions and the American Hair Loss Council also help us stay current with the latest industry trends and developments. Another consideration is competition in the marketplace. We were fortunate in that there were very few clinics in our immediate market area that offered hair transplantation, and even fewer that did the actual procedure on premises. Often patients were required to

travel considerable distances and even out of state to receive comparable levels of service. When we first set up our operating room, we consulted with our state health department as well as OSHA and physicians in our field on a variety of issues. Safety protocols, being qualified on certain medical equipment, professional training for adverse patient drug interactions, biohazard handling protocols, sterilization guidelines, the list goes on. OSHA provided us with contact information on organizations that can ensure proper training and compliance guidelines which greatly reduces the risk of fines and worse. We also avail ourselves of ongoing OSHA training to keep up to date on all the latest issues and guidelines.

a signed copy for your records. Ensure staff is available to answer any questions a patient may have at any time before or after a procedure. Professionalism, business continuity, your longterm success and viability demand it. The initial post-operative care we provide all of our patients includes a detailed written set of instructions as well as the clinics phone number, and both the doctor’s and coordinator’s names and cell numbers are listed should a patient need anything or have a concern outside of normal business hours. Included are a next day followup, hair wash and five laser therapy treatments as part of the patient’s post-operative care. We do a two week checkup to ensure everything is healing properly and offer a free hair cut, geared towards familiarizing our patients with proper care as well as with the many regular services our stylists offer. We also incorporate three additional follow ups, a three month call or email and in-person office checkups at the six and 12 month period to monitor growth and address any patient concerns. I’m blessed to be able to work with a group of very talented, dedicated staff members, many of which have been with us for years. I count on them heavily because they share the same dedication to excellence and customer service that I do. Having a great staff makes all the difference in the world! To be able to help someone suffering from hair loss is tremendously fulfilling to me. Whether it’s seeing a person in their first hair unit or getting a transplant procedure, it’s so very rewarding, seeing the positive effect in a patient, their smiles, their renewed sense of self-confidence, and the change in their very attitude toward life. I am proud of what my parents started and proud to be associated with Dr. Koher. Our clinic would not be what it is today without their long years of professionalism and dedication.

The Jernigan’s staff helping a client

Obviously we also worked very closely with our insurance companies to make sure we were well covered for all liabilities. They have always been very helpful, thinking of and helping cover us against scenarios that might occur that we hadn’t considered. Documentation and follow up procedures are imperative. We spoke with physicians, other clinics in our field and OSHA for guidelines on what is needed. Forms don’t have to be difficult but they should be reviewed and preferably drafted by an attorney before being used. Have consent, pre-operative and post-operative forms available to simply and precisely educate your patient on what they need to be responsible for. Make sure they get a copy and keep

The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  27

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

AHLC Member Spotlight: Dawn Harrison The story of a girl and her doll by Dawn Harrison, Founder and National Educator, Invisible Hair Grafting, Vista, CA There is a great picture on the wall of my salon that I’m often asked about. It’s of me, at age eight, combing the hair of a life-sized doll head that was attached to a tabletop. I was happily pretending to be a hairdresser! I recall seeing another childhood photo depicting a seven-year-old me with a “Pixie” haircut. I had a long chiffon scarf draped over my head, bobby-pinned to both temples, allowing both ends to cascade down to my waist and blow in the wind. This was my very first hair extension design. I began my childhood career as a hairdresser cutting all my Barbie dolls hair. Hindsight being 20/20, it’s easy to see that I had a strong propensity towards hairdressing and hair additions. In my teens, I began to build a steady clientele of kids who believed I had a God-given talent for hair cutting. Although I excelled at art in my youth, and thought seriously about pursuing a career in art, until my mother (a teacher) assured me that a career in art would likely be financially fatal. I enrolled in cosmetology school solely as a means to support myself through college as a business major. I attended two years of junior college while simultaneously working full-time in a busy downtown San Diego salon. My salon owner, who worked in a private room, was very successful in the men’s toupee business, which was a new concept to me at that time. While working as a booth renter in the mid 1980’s, a spirited sales rep for Paul Mitchell Products, Lauren Gartland (now the CEO of the salon consulting firm, Building Champions), approached me during her routine visit. She had noticed that my sales approach, chairside manner, command of the English language and product usage skills were above average. She asked if I had ever considered becoming a salon educator. I auditioned for the product line while on

stage alongside Paul Mitchell himself at the San Francisco Beauty Trade Show. I passed, was certified and thus began my 25-year career as a salon educator. During the 1980’s, when hair volume was everything, I felt a particular heart-felt passion for women with baby fine hair. Achieving height and volume without the use of gels, sprays and

company, Dome Monofibre Extensions, came to the U.S. looking for professionally trained educators to join their U.S. team. They convinced Paul Mitchell to release a portion of their educators in exchange for giving them the exclusive U.S. rights to the Dome product line of hair extensions. Six months later, I was traded to the Dome team and no longer educated for Paul Mitchell.

Dawn Harrison at eight-years-old, her talent already evident.

perms was nearly impossible for them. As a result of that compassion and product knowledge something happened; I became known as a “Specialist of Baby Fine Hair”. My course in the hair industry had been set. Meanwhile, celebrities like Boy George, Darryl Hannah and Cher were flying to London, receiving the newest, state-of-the-art and high tech hair service - hair extensions. Extensions were not being offered to Caucasian clients in the U.S. at that time, other than the weaving technique. In order to keep up with the demand, the London-based

I knew instantly that this was going to be a game-changer for my clientele. I immediately offered 25 of my finesthaired clients the opportunity to test drive this new option, for free! This afforded me a chance to hone my skill set, build a strong portfolio and spread the news that this service was now available in San Diego. I then presented my before and after portfolio to Dome. I knew I had far surpassed the efforts of any other U.S. educator. I became Dome’s first national educator in the U.S. I soon hired one full-time and three part-time assistants. The original 25 models had doubled into 50 new clients. Article continued...

The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015  29

The Link The Voice of the AHLC What was difficult was that I still had a thriving hair dressing clientele at an up-scale salon. I rented a loft nearby and built my hair extension business in the evenings, after working all day in the salon. In less than a year my hair extension business had been featured in two influential local magazines and we were invited to appear on three local morning TV programs. Something big was happening! It was apparent that I needed to retire from traditional hairdressing and instead focus on the hair extension wave. When I opened my first hair extension salon, I had no idea that so many women suffering with a hair loss condition would inquire about hair extensions. There was one thing they knew for sure, that is… they did NOT want a wig. They wanted something attached like hair extensions that would conceal their hair loss. What they wanted was hair replacement. I had no knowledge or training in hair replacement; I had never even heard the term. It bothered me greatly to have to say no to women experiencing noticeable hair loss because she was not an appropriate client for hair extensions. Then something happened. Within the same month, two of my existing extension clients learned they had breast cancer and were going to lose their hair soon. They both approached me requesting that I provide them with a fine quality, custom-made human hair wig. Collectively, they gave me $3,000 as a deposit. At that moment it became clear to me that my life’s calling was to become a Hair Replacement Professional. I applied that money towards a five-day hair replacement course. Darla Smith was my instructor (my favorite to this day). I credit Darla for having the biggest influence on me during what would become a transition from hair extensions to hair replacement. Early in my new business, I studied both men’s and women’s hair replacement. I attended every conference and workshop offered, quickly becoming familiar with the leading manufacturers, vendors and educators. During the 1990’s, the use of adhesives was gaining popularity in the men’s market, but was 30  The Link Issue 14, Summer 2015

rarely used on women. The problem was that women were very reluctant to shave their existing hair. I could not bring myself to shave ANY of my female client’s hair in order to provide them with a semi-permanent attachment. In my quest to find a suitable solution, I learned braiding, pole weaving, micro beading, point knotting and a host of other attachments. Each solution shared the following: Required existing hair for attachment, grew out with client’s hair, caused traction alopecia, shifted and pulled backward, caused soreness and irritation and required too frequent maintenance. Unhappy with the attachment choices available in the women’s market, I revisited the adhesive options I had seen for men. The biggest hurdle I faced was that women’s hair systems were not being designed for the use of adhesives. Stock women’s hair systems lacked the polyurethane perimeter required for the use of adhesives. At an AHLC meeting I met a very open-minded manufacturer, Okyo Sthair. She approached me privately after I had vocalized my frustration to the manufacturers. I stood up and asked why they had not put the same amount of time, effort and money into developing the systems offered to women as they had for the men’s market? There was an uncomfortable silence in the room, as no one had a good answer, except to say that the men’s business was driving the market and, “Women seem to be happy with hair extensions and wigs”. I confided to Okyo that I had several out-of-the-box drawings (my art back ground) for re-designing hair systems for the women’s market, ideas that would allow for perimeter grafting using adhesives.

successful attachment did not require hair to be present, the attachment did not grow out with the client’s hair re-growth, it did not cause traction alopecia, soreness or pulling, the attachment lasted 5-10 weeks (not 3-4 weeks), there was no irritation from solvent, and there was no hair loss or damage to existing, natural hair The most interesting fact about this new method of attachment was that it was not attached to the women’s natural hair. Instead, the adhesion was actually taking place to the skin between each hair strand. With Okyo’s advice, I decided to procure a patent attorney. I obtained two U.S. patents in 2001; one is a Utility or Usage Patent for the grafting attachment procedure and the second is a Design Patent. I submitted two drawings of hair systems, both were patented. One design is the Invisible Hair Extension; the second design was the Invisible Hair Integration. Okyo manufacturing company fabricated all of my initial prototypes of base caps. Then, when the designs had been thoroughly tested on my own clients they began distributing them to wholesalers. Together, we promoted the new attachment and hair systems through educational conferences and trade shows under the brand name Invisible Hair, which I copyrighted and trademarked. I have been teaching the Invisible Hair Grafting Method of Attachment since 2001. During conferences, our class size would range from 80-150 attendees. Following a trade show we would schedule targeted classes for 15-20 attendees. In 2004 I leased larger quarters so I could teach groups in my own studio in San Diego, CA. For the past four years I have had the privilege of being an educator at the annual AHLC conference. It has been one of the stellar honors of my life.

A second secret I shared with her is that I had been experimenting with a Currently, I teach semi-private, twoplethora of FDA approved adhesives and day classes to five students at a time for solvents and believed I had a patentable Jon Renau at their San Diego headquarattachment technique that could safely ters. Students can choose from the foland comfortably affix a hair system to a lowing topics per two-day class: Grafting women’s scalp without having to shave Women’s Hair Systems, Custom Orderany of her existing hair! The results ing of Fine Human Hair Systems, Colorof my testing found that: Grafting did ing and Perming Human Hair Systems not require shaving existing hair, my or Alterations and Repairs.

The Link The Voice of the AHLC

Howard Margolin of Professional Hair Labs Inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame We are proud of the founder of Professional Hair Labs, Howard Margolin, for his recent induction into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame for his vocal and musical contributions as a member of The Demensions in the 1960s. At the height of their popularity in the early 1960s, The Demensions played often in Palisades Park, New Jersey, as well as on American Bandstand and The Clay Cole Show. They first scored radio airplay as a result of Cousin Brucie, a disc jockey at New York radio station WINS, who began spinning their version of “Over the Rainbow”. The song became a hit, peaking at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960.

Congratulations Howard!

Lenny Dell, Marisa Martelli, Howie Margollin and Phil Del Giudice, collectively known as The Demensions.

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