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.