By Editor Mary-Jane O’Regan, aka GlamityJane

Alopecia affects half of men over the age of 50 and half of woman over 65 and affects younger people. In a world where we are so focused on image, imagine having little or no hair on your head; no eyebrows, no body hair and no eyelashes.

Alopecia areata, another strain of the hair-erasing disorder, affects about 2% of the population. It happens when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles and usually results in the formation of bald patches on the scalp and quite often traditional hair salons are not equipped to deal with this devastating condition. In an ‘Insta-perfect’ world, where hair extensions and hair are so heavily lauded, Tracey Grimes Hair & Extensions wanted to help people. We spoke to Tracey about why she undertook this journey and the positive impact she hopes to have on people.

“Working with hair extensions for so long I met so many people with scalp issues, thinning, bald spots, Alopecia; a myriad of hair loss issues. They would walk into the salon off the street wondering what I could do for them.  When they didn’t have any hair, quite frankly I couldn’t offer them anything, so that motivated me to looking into a service I could offer. Many people don’t want to wear a wig and only have small areas of baldness that make them self-conscious so when I discovered Aileen’s course in Hair, Scalp & Wig Therapy I knew it was a service I had to offer in salon.

“We completed Hair, Scalp & Wig Therapy training with Aileen Maher using Hair Contrast Ireland. We can now fit t-partings for people suffering with Alopecia and hair thinning or scalp issues. The clinic is separate to the salon and all consultations are complimentary. To ensure the utmost privacy, consultations must be pre-booked. This is to make the clients feel comfortable and safeguard their feelings. We understand that this is a sensitive time for people.

“We also offer a wig service, where we can order pieces or just fit them for people who have them and want them washed and blow-dried. We also have ‘New-mes for Me’, so we can specifically make moulds for receding hairlines or bald spots.

“We can add fringes for people or just cover patches in areas on the head.

“All pieces are HSE funded and most insurance companies cover hair loss, they are also medical card approved.

“Working with Hair Contrast Ireland, we are now able to offer a t-parting service, secret spot and tape extensions. My team look after all hair services in salon and I specialise in hair extensions. Going forward you can find me in the Scalp Clinic. It’s something I’m passionate about because its life-changing for people. My business inspiration has been Aileen Maher. To be trained by her has honestly been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and my salon benefits hugely from it.

“Over the next 12 months my goal is to change people’s lives using Hair Contrast and that keeps me motivated. The advice I would give to anyone trying to break into the industry would be, train hard, upskill all the time. Education is the most powerful skill you can have I truly believe that.

“If at any point in your career you get a chance to make a difference seize it. It is satisfying on a personal and professional level.”

Tracey Grimes Hair & Extensions
45 Williams Street, Listowel, Kerry
068 22887