Meet Aimee – A Viable Solution for PCOS Hair Loss
For those Divas who experience PCOS related hair loss, otherwise known as androgenic alopecia, it is probably one of the most emotionally difficult PCOS symptoms to deal with. I know it is for me and I hear the same from many Divas. So when my hair started falling out fast and furious for no apparent reason this past summer, I hit the hair loss blogs for support. It is an awful feeling when your hair is coming out in handfuls and you don’t know if or when it will stop and if or when it will ever grow back. I know it can be a lonely place to be. So support communities like the Women’s Hairloss Project WHLP can be a lifeline and provide hope and encouragement. If you are not familiar with the site you can read more here.
The woman who runs WHLP started talking about “wearing hair” and it really intrigued me. I always hated the idea of a wig. I thought wigs were for cancer patients, drag queens and old ladies, but when she framed the idea of a wig as “wearing hair” and talked about her wigs by name (she refers to them as “her girls”) I started to think that this might be a viable solution for me too. It gave me a lot of hope. Maybe if she was comfortable wearing hair, I could take the plunge and wear hair too.
So, I took a huge leap of faith and contacted Follea, a Bevery Hills, CA based hair atelier (notice I didn’t say wig shop) that WHLP spoke so highly of in her recent blog posts and videos. I wanted to explore my options, and in the process, I wanted to share my experience with other Divas as well.
Since I already own a wig topper (see my post), and my hair is really short right now, I thought I would give a full hair piece a try. The Follea’s representative immediately made me feel at ease, she explained that their hair, “gives you your most beautiful hair day back again.” Sounds good to me!
I have to say that the folks at Follea hair were extremely helpful. When you start the process you can either work directly with Follea in CA or you can contact a local ICARe (Independent Client Area Representative.) Representatives can be found throughout the U.S., Europe, UAE, Australia and Canada. Many salons are participating in the program and becoming ICARe salons, offering Follea products and women customized care, cuts, and styling for their human hair pieces and wigs. You can visit http://follea.com/contact/salon-locations/ for more details.
Each piece can contain up to 150,000 hairs, contains one to three hairs per knot and can take more than 10 days to hand sew. They are crafted to have a natural hairline, multi-directional part (easy to part naturally or with steam or hot tools) and some with a French top (hair appears like it is growing from the scalp).
Follea’s has several different options. Their “Gripper ” collection is for women with extreme thinning hair or total hair loss. The Gripper is a lightweight, breathable piece that stays in place without the use of tape or adhesives.
Crown Extension Topettes are hairpieces that are designed to mix in with your hair easily, help women who don’t have enough hair to support extensions. After talking to the representatives at Follea I think most women with PCOS hairloss would be looking at the Topette. We tend to have diffuse crown hair loss but enough left on the back and sides so a Topette maybe all that is needed. The Topette collection can be used with clip-in or sew-in extensions to match volume and length of your desired style.
Follea hair is available in a variety of at least 10 true to life shades and blends, such as radiant blonde with butterscotch low-lights, dark blonde with butterscotch highlights, light coffee, chestnut brown, espresso and toasted cinnamon. I had a Skype session with a representative and she selected a piece that was closest to my natural color (at the time, I have since colored my hair a dark brown)
Topette lengths range from 8” to 14”. Prices range from $1,238 to $3,975. I know this seems like an extreme price. But if you figure in all the money you spend on products and hair styling and the emotional cost of dealing with hair loss, for me it is worth the investment. It is an investment that can be amortized over a long period of time because Follea hair lasts a long time as long as you take care of it properly. The representatives explained that people don’t discard Follea Hair, a piece might have to be repaired and refreshed a bit after a few years but it can really be seen as an investment in yourself.
When I received the hairpiece it was not styled. It was the perfect length that I was looking for and
color but needed some styling. I washed it according to the directions given here and then brought it to my stylist, Maria. She has been cutting my hair for years so I was very comfortable having her cut in my Follea. When we were ready to cut I fastened in my new Wigrip. It is a headband that makes wearing hair effortless because you don’t have to worry about clips). Maria then cut in some angled bangs and then flat-ironed the piece until it was silky-smooth and beautiful!
I recently posted a quote on Facebook that “Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.” Well, I think that Follea hair can change your life too. Unless you choose to tell people that you are wearing hair, they are likely to think you are just having a great hair day rather than wearing a wig. Imagine making everyday a great hair day!?!
Like the admin of Women’s Hair Loss Project, I decided to name my “girl” too. I thought Aimee would be a fitting name because this was my nickname in college when I was “letting my hair down”
(figuratively – I didn’t have much hair then either!)
I am very excited to introduce Aimee to you. She makes me feel like a Diva even on my worst natural hair days! My daughter thinks Aimee makes me look like a princess, my sons say I look like I am 28 and my husband feels like he is having an affair! It is amazing what Follea hair can do for your spirit. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with hair loss to consider looking into a Follea as a hair loss option.
Amy your hair is FANTASTIC. So beautiful! I read your last newsletter and joined the WHLP network. I have been chatting with ladies about wearing hair and have seen so many beautiful options. I’m not afraid anymore! I know that even though losing hair is never fun but I also know that if it continues I have plenty of options and I can still feel good.
Thans Jennifer – truly the Follea hair is amazing. Also the scalp looks really real too.
I also meant to ask if you still planned on continuing with your regular regimine? will you continue to take the spiro, minoxidil and use the clinicure products? do you think they have helped you at all?
I am going to give it one last go. I am seeing a chiropractor that specializes in natural hormone management. We are going to do some saliva testing on adrenals and hormones and then go from there. I will be sure to keep everyone informed!
Hi Amy & Aimee! LOVE LOVE LOVE Your new Follea. I wanna reach through the screen and touch it. Seriously. I think I’m developing a bit of a wig fetish thang, laying my girls on my lap and brushing them when I watch TV. It’s my “new normal.” LOL. Wow, wow, wow, you look absolutely gorgeous and the color is perfect on you. That bottom photo says it all. I’m so happy for you. Enjoy your new awesome hair! Life does get a bit easier when you know your awesome hair day is waiting for you on the bathroom counter right? My girls sit on top of the counter like little hair soldiers ready to take my day wherever it needs to go. Brush my teeth, put on my hair. Yes, New Normal. Props to Follea, because lets face it, they are the best, Props to your hair cutting gal, she did a great job cutting in your piece and props to you for making this hair wearing leap. I know it takes courage and acceptance to be at peace with wearing hair. But once you get over the “It’s a wig” a whole new world of possibility opens up.
Love & Hugs,
Thanks so much Y for your inspiration and support! Follea is the best. The hair is much higher quality than the topper that I purchased a few years ago – you can tell a huge difference. They stylists in the salon where amazed!
Amy, you look great! I’m always looking for great hair pieces. I have length, but my hair is fine, and definitely thin in the top–made worse by the fact that my dad’s family just has thin hair to begin with.
One thing I can’t seem to find is pricing. How would you say this piece compared to others you may have tried?
I think the Topette would work wonders for you. I do mention the price in the article. You need to look at it as an investment. The hair is truly amazing.
Oh wow! How did I miss that whole paragraph? *feeling silly* It would definitely be an investment…
I’m so happy for you!! It is great to see other women making decisions to feel better and take care of themselves. I have been dealing with Thyroid-related HL all year and my whole attitude has shifted about toppers and wigs. I had to look inside myself, because asking doctors and others only brought the response that I was overreacting, vain, etc. That is why WHLP and HL support groups are vital. Those who have not been through this cannot relate and it can cause misunderstandings and hurt feelings to look for validation about wearing hair as a solution, from doctors or loved ones who don’t want to see you upset about your hair. I think I will save up for a Follea one day!
Thanks so much for your support Erika. You are so right about people not being able to relate. You won’t be disappointed with Follea. I think if my hair was longer I would have liked the topper but it is so short right now it wouldn’t have worked. The full Follea is unbelievable. I hope to meet your “girl” one day!
Amy, you look fantastic! (Of course, you always do in your pictures!) I have been following WHLP and have been inspired by it, so it’s exciting to see another member of our PCOS community trying out Follea products and reporting back on the hairpiece-wearing experience. Let us know how you like it over time. Keep up the good work – thanks!
Will do Lesley!
Just wondering how life with “Aimee” is going…? Are you still in love with it? You look gorgeous!
I still love Aimee but find the longer hair a bit distracting for everyday life as a mom with 3 kids. I am actually looking into getting a shorter wig for everyday. I think I’ll name her Gigi. I’ll keep you posted!
Do you wear your hair daily or just when your out and about? I’m curious if you are still able to go without and feel comfortable? I can’t decide at what point is best to go and get the hair and even what type of piece is best!
I just happened upon this page while exploring options to aid my own PCOS-induced hairloss. Thanks for sharing your pictures. You were beautiful before Aimee and you are beautiful with her as well. It is amazing how much our womanhood is tied to our hair and the boost of confidence that having a full head of hair can bring. Blessings to you.
Amy, you look great! I experience AGA and it has been worsened by having 3 babies. I plan to have one more and want to be prepared with a beautiful wig. I’m sooooo glad you mentioned that you went this route after your third. Sometimes I feel like I am crazy!
Anyway, I love your piece. It looks like a french top. Did you purchase the lifestyle wig in the short length?
Thanks so much! I have a Lifestyle-2 10/15 in color C3060. I just purchased a lower end Revlon piece that is very close to my current style too. I’ll introduce everyone to her soon!
Oh my my my, I just found this post, and might I say your hair looks fantastic and SO real! I think it’s hilarious what your husband said. I always tell my husband that “someday, I may have to go this route”, and he always asks me if I’ll consider going blond. 🙂
Thanks Lauren! I have another girl to introduce you all to. I’ll be writing another post soon!
Are you able to style it as you would normal hair, like curl it and straighten it. And are you able to put it up? Or does it show that it is a wig?
Yes, you can style it – I use a hair iron.
My sister experienced this same thing. She actually went to http://ohiohairloss.com/ because she needed a specialist. Your story and posts are very inspirational. Thank you for sharing such great and personal information with all of us.
Thanks Jenny. I am happy to share!
Hair must be nutured as well as the whole body. The more vitamins you eat, the healthier is your hair. I have discovered an awesome dietary supplement that contains basic compounds for enhancing hair growth and stopping hair loss – Hair Gain Formula, manufactured by MGNutritionals. But most importantly, it lowers the level of prostaglandin D2, which causes hair loss when elevated. In my case effect is visible – much thicker hair and almost no seasonal hairloss.
Hey! Your hair looks amazing. I myself have been experiencing hair loss for a year now and my hair has been thinning very badly. I was diagnosed with PCOS last year and the symptoms keep coming. The worst I must say is the hair loss; since its the first thing people notice. Luckily though I have started using Biotin and it has really made a difference. My hair started to grow, look and feel great. It has made quite a significant change. Now I have people asking me “what did you do to your hair, it looks great” compared to before. My confidence levels has increased since my hair loss was very depressing and I never wanted to go anywhere with my family. Now it’s different and I truly give Biotin a thumbs up. Biotin 5000mcg or 1000mcg.
Hi Amy –
Do you suggest I contact Follea and have them put me in contact with a local Follea Rep? I am in the Boston, Ma area and just starting my search. I am not sure if its PCOS, but I have had diffuse sheddding for over 4 years and had enough!
Yes absolutely. I do think that there is a rep on Newbury Street. You will fall in love with Follea!
This has given me hope. I still have some hair but not much due to PCOS…your hair is beautiful, and looks so awesome! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Amy…I have alopecia universalis and have had it for 20 years so I have certainly worn my share of different types of wigs of all qualities and prices but am in need of a new hair prosthetic and have considered getting a Follea Gripper. I love the color of your topper in the pics…do you mind telling me what color you purchased? You look amazing in this style…kudos to your hairdresser!! I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Hi Gena- I don’t know the color. But if you contact Follea in Beverly Hills at their headquarters and ask Holly – she will know. I hear the Grippers are awesome!
I thought wigrip was only for wigs … I didn’t think it would work on toppers. The topper clips bother me sometimes so does the wigrip work with a topper?
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