Sunday, 30 October 2016

Why coming along to a consultation can be so hard ...




When you are experiencing hair loss your world can feel like it's been turned upside down and inside out.

It's not a 'One size fit's all' type of experience though as many sufferers know all too well.

For starters, there are so many different reasons as to why a person would be experiencing hair loss in the first place.

  • Alopecia
  • Cancer treatments 
  • Burns sufferers
  • Anxiety reasons such as hair pulling/twisting
on top of all the above reason you also have to take into account those of us that actually DON'T have a medical reason for needing a wig / alternative hair ....

  • Trans gender
  • Occasional dressers
  • Models, actresses, singers etc. 
When I first started Aspire Hair I thought I would meet with women experiencing alopecia and I never really considered how I would also be meeting with people in a totally different circumstance to myself. It was a very fast and very steep learning curve for me!

A necessary learning curve for sure.

I knew very early on that our consultations needed to be different to the ones I had attended myself over the years as a wig wearer. I had always loathed being rushed when it came to trying on wigs and I never felt that I could ask questions in case I came across as being a bit of a pain in the bottom.

It's ridiculous really because what else is a consultation for if not to ask questions, try on alternative hair, chat and get some support.

My own personal experiences over the years put me in the perfect mind set for how I wanted my company to care for our clients and I'm pretty sure that this is exactly why we get such amazingly positive feedback and reviews from clients when it comes to our consultations.

And what's the most emailed / texts comment the day before a customers consultation?

" I'm going to apologize in advance if I cry tomorrow!"

No need to apologize. Coming along to a consultation can be like bearing your soul to a stranger although I can promise you we won't be strangers for very long :)

So today's blog post is just a little reminder to you that you are always welcome, we are always here and you are not the only one who has that 'first consultation anxiety'.











Sunday, 23 October 2016

Checking Out The Jon Renau Fall 2016 Collection ...

http://www.aspire-hair.co.uk/ourshop/cat_1260694-Fall-2016-Collection.html

Here's to the start of what I am sure will be a wonderful week for you lovely lady :)

I have to say I really am enjoying getting back into the swing of things "Aspire style"!

This week on the blog I wanted to share with you the new Jon Renau Fall 2016 collection. As you may already know (or perhaps you will have guessed!) Jon Renau are one of my absolute most fave brands and I love, not only their wonderful products, but also their attitude in business and their wonderful customer service.

Jon Renau listen to what us wearers are saying and they never fail to deliver when it comes to beautiful styles, colours and cap constructions.

So, let's jump right in and take a little look at Jon Renau's latest collection ...




Ciara

This is my absolute most fave style from this collection. Super long and glam the Ciara comes on a lace front / Mono top / Wefted back base and comes ready to wear right out of the box. I personally like to take a wide tooth comb and fluff out the curls on Ciara a little and shape it around my face.

I've popped a picture of myself wearing Ciara at the end of this blog post to show you how she looked on me. 






Kaley

This is a great, easy to wear everyday style that comes on a open cap base with a Smartlace front for the most natural look. Kaley comes in at a great price too for those of us who are on a tighter budget! It's easy to wear this style sleek and straight or with a bit of volume to create a more rounded look.

All of Jon Renau's wigs can be adjusted in the circumference size using the Velcro straps at the nape of the neck. This ensures that you get the most snug and comfortable fit possible and that you feel nice and secure throughout the day :) 




Miranda

My second favourite style has to be this one. The Miranda has a Smartlace front, Mono parting that's placed on the left hand side as you wear her and an open wefted back and sides. This type of cap really helps keep costs down without compromising on quality. The lovely waves can be brushed out for a more relaxed look or scrunch the hair for a tighter almost curled look. Perfect!

Velvet lined ear tabs and a velvet lined nape area made all of the Jon Renau Smartlace wigs more comfortable to wear. 






Sandra

I LOVE  a good hand tied cap and the Sandra is just that! 100% hand-tied and enclosed with a little stretch that will accommodate a slighter larger than average head size. Style wise think Rachel from friends with all those fantastic layers and volume.

Selecting the right alternative hair for you can be tricky, especially when you;re trying to do so over the Internet!

If you need any help or advise at all then please give us a shout :) 








Top Wave

Top Wave is available in 2 lengths. 12" and 18" and attaches easily into your existing hair. The Top wave is great for women who are at the beginning stages of androgenetic alopecia as it offers you coverage right where it's needed at the top of the head and the crown.

The Top wave is available in the Aspire shop and also via our website. If you need help or advise on colour choices and base sizing etc just give us a shout and we'd be more than happy to help!





Of course as always I can never resist a good old try on of some of the styles :D



Speak soon!


Sunday, 16 October 2016

I'm coming back to work, I've missed you! ...




This year has flown by so far.

I always seem to say that but this year has flown by faster than ever before and I know that the main reason for that (for me at least!) is due to the fact I found out we were expecting baby Jones mid way through January of this year.

It was a MASSIVE shock for us! The word shock has now been substituted for "Surprise" as baby Alfie Jones is now almost 2 months old and in typical mummy fashion I really can't remember what life was like before he arrived :)



I had my plan in place regarding work / Aspire Hair ....

  1. Carry on working through the morning sickness (I was so lucky that I never got sick!)
  2. Carry on working up until the "bitter end" - IE, until my waters break or my contractions become so painful Mr Gary Jones and my staff are required to carry me out of the shop as I can no longer work.
  3. Have the baby and get right back to work after a week or at a push two
  4. Be super women / mummy

Oh gosh how unrealistic I was!

I blame that on not being pregnant / giving birth for 8 years and I had totally forgot (blocked out??) what going through labour and birth is REALLY like.

I believe it's definitely one of the most, if not the most, difficult things a women will ever do in her life! It's physically, emotionally and mentally hard.

So here I am, almost 7 weeks after giving birth and I am finally starting to feel like a human being again. Not 100% but I'm getting there.

I have been blessed with what I can only describe as the most relaxed, chilled and easy baby I have ever known. I didn't even think babies like Alfie could exist! He hardly ever cries and he sleeps through the night most nights already. Maybe he took one look at me after he was born and thought 'OK, so maybe I should cut mum a little slack. She looks a big old mess!'.

I love being a mum again even though I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to have any more kids. I love feeding him, cuddling him and (on the odd occasion that he does give us a little cry) I feel excited for an excuse to pick him up and rock him back to being settled.

I can't believe how much has changed in the baby world in the 8 years since I had my Daughter, Mya. The amount of products and devices you can buy that make life that little bit easier is crazy and I will be forever grateful to my Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine. Money VERY well spent there I'd say :D

OK - so I'm babbling on now with my baby talk and steering away from the main purpose of this post which is that I am returning to work running consultations part time from November 1st. Our lovely Georgia will still be running her consultations along side me and the shop will be open full time as usual.


I'm looking forward to getting back into a work routine as I had a niggling worry that I maybe wouldn't have the time or energy to give it 110% like I did before Alfie was born but I needn't have worried.

Aspire Hair is not a fad or faze to me. It's a big part of who I am. We go hand in hand now.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

The emotional side of hair loss (and how little support we get) ...




OK, a serious one for you today lovely,

Hair loss can and does effect everyone in different ways but if there is one thing that I've learned in my 22 years of living with hair loss and my 7 years of running Aspire Hair it is this ...

No matter how it effects an individual it does have SOME kind of effect and not just in the obvious physical way. It effects a person emotionally and that my lovely lady is a fact.

Another fact (and a pretty sad one at best) is that so many women experiencing medical hair loss take themselves off to their GP's looking for help and advice and, sadly, they leave with neither. The emotional side of hair loss seems to be swept to one side and many of us then go on to beat ourselves up about things.

I realised very quickly that my job at Aspire Hair was going to be so much more than simply "selling wigs" to women that needed alternative hair.

I didn't want a job that was purely down to selling anyway. I'm not a trained saleswomen and when Aspire Hair was created I had no background experience in sales but what I did have a wealth of experience in was wigs and wearing them.

I also had a good many years of experience with actually living with hair loss and living on a day to day basis with the feelings and emotions that came along with having alopecia.

The bottom line was that I wanted to help people if I could and help them feel confident again. Help them to feel more like themselves again.

As luck would have it this little introvert that I am through and through had always had a bit of a nack when it came to listening to people and empathising with how they felt.

I can't even tell you how many times complete strangers have started randomly chatting away to me when I'm out and about doing my daily things and 20 minutes later they'd still be chatting away about things that are happening in their lives and thanking me for the chat.

" Well it's been wonderful talking with you and thanks so much for the advice!"

This always left me a little bemused because during almost all of the conversation I had usually said (and done) very little!.

I'd have said the ocasional "ah" and nodded my head in a sympathetic manner, offered a kind smile and (on the odd occasion) even a re-assuring shoulder squeeze but that was it.

I very rarely actually had given any advice!

I'm an introvert remember?

I'm quiet. I'm the girl seen walking with my eyes to the floor. Not because I'm rude. Not because I'm scared but just because ..... well, I'm me and that's me being me.

Never-the-less it was lovely to watch people walk away smiling.

During consultations at Aspire Hair we do a lot of chatting whilst trying on alternative hair and styling. It's almost like therapy and the difference now is that I feel qualified to give advice when it comes to wigs after all the years of wearing and craing for them. I understand those feelings so very well and can relate. I realised by accident that my purpose is to help others in the same situation I was in all those years ago.

It's just such a shame that some kind of emotional support Isn't always offered right at that first GP visit as I'm sure it would save a lot of heartache and anxiety for women with hair loss in the long run.

What was your experience at your Dr's like when you first started losing your hair?








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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Well That Was Unexpected!




I haven't blogged in  ages.

I have a good excuse though I promise you! Let me start at the beginning ....

I started the new year full of all the usual motivation and enthusiasm that is not unusual for the start of a brand shiny new year. I was going to work super hard, blog at least once a week, really get to grips with Instagram (I admit, I struggle) and i was going to FINALLY lose that excess weight I'd been carrying around with me since I had my daughter (my baby weight) granted I gave birth to her over 8 YEARS AGO NOW!!

I was motivated. I was focused. I was gonna do all that and more. Just watch me!

Well I have to say I got off to an amazing start - really I did. I joined Slimming World and lost almost a stone in weight by the end of January and I was working hard, still motivated and busier than ever.

Happy days!

One day nearing the end of January I started to feel a bit sick and had some tummy cramps. Convinced I had a water infection I decided that as soon as I'd got the weekend out of the way I would go see my doctor and get some medication. I cracked open a cart of cranberry juice and promised myself I wouldn't drink wine that weekend.

At this point my Mr Gary Jones was looking all concerned and thoughtful. He nipped to our local store and when he returned he handed me a £5 twin pack pregnancy test!!

Was he kidding me?

I'd had 2 kids and I knew that pregnancy always made me ridicuously sick. I had HG with my first for crying out loud and I think I knew my body well enough to know a water infection from being pregnant right?

Well ..... 4 pregnany tests later (I just didnt trust that value twin pack so decided to upgrade to another 2 pregnany tests that were digital) it was confirmed. I was pregnant. Holy crap!

 Total surprise. I was in shock mixed with a good deal of denial for a week.

The funny thing was I'd managed to lose a stone in weight (my baby weight from my daughter 8 years ago remember?) during my first 2 months of pregnancy and I never realised I was even pregnant.

I'm now 24 weeks along and very VERY excited to meet out little man!

I hadn't planned on more children but this pregnancy has made me realise that everything happens for a reason and that I am truely blessed.


And guess what!?

I havent been sick once and hardly even felt sick. So far I am blessed with a very easy pregnancy apart from the usual aches and pains that pregnancy presents.

And that stone I lost during January. I still havent put it back on yet so I still weigh less than I did in November before I fell preggers :D

It's business as usual in case anyone is worried and My wonderful assistant Georgia is going to hold the fort in the shop whilst I take a few weeks maternity leave when the time comes :)