Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Saving the world... One bald person at a time!

What many of you probably won't know is that I did a Geography Degree at University and whilst I don't do anything relating to geography in my work life, I am still a Geography Geek at heart and certainly in my spare time! That's why when I came across this geographical statement which related to bald heads, I absolutely had to share it with you all :-)

Going Bald reduces your carbon footprint and offsets Artic Ice Loss.

The original article states that in a leaked IPCC document (Intergovernmental Policy on Climate Change) they advocate bald heads as a key factor in reducing climate change! How can that be I hear you ask, well let me explain...!

Taking human impact out of the equation, the planet regulates its own temperature through a number of nifty manoeuvres, including one called The Albedo Effect. Now it's quite a complex theory, but in simple terms the sun shines down on the planet and some areas absorb the heat waves (dark areas like rainforest) and other areas reflect it straight back into space (light areas like Ice). This is based on the understanding that dark things absorb heat and light things don't; (think about light summer clothes and getting in a dark car). Now there are lots of other factors at play, however this process helps regulate the natural temperature of the earth.

Add humans into the mix and unfortunately they upset the balance. Not only are we causing ACTUAL warming of the earth by running cars, having central heating and manufacturing lots and lots of products, but we are also causing secondary warming by melting the ice caps. In simple terms, we warm the earth, the ice melts; the ice melts, the sun warms the earth more and it all gets hotter! The warmer it gets, the faster it gets warmer!

Now you must be wondering what on earth that has to do with Bald people, however there are several environmental benefits that being bald has:
1) We don't wash our hair or if we have wigs we wash them much less; less warm water, less time in the shower, less shampoo etc etc.

2) We don't visit the hairdressers which means less petrol, electricity, water, shampoo etc etc.

3) We use less products which means less to recycle or less materials used in the first place.

In the grand scheme of things, these benefits are pretty small and unless you are a Green Geek, probably have little impact in reality, but this is where the little gem came into the report...

It stated that being bald will 'reduce planetary heating by increasing one's albedo'. Unfortunately this would only apply to people with light skin tones, but what it means is that having a bald head will help reflect the sun's rays back in to space and have much the same effect as the ice mentioned earlier!

Great I thought... Even if only a little bit, being bald is helping me save the planet! Wouldn't it be amazing if there was a bald movement to help stop climate change! We'd be the pioneers and everyone would be jealous of our effortless shiny craniums! Alas, it was not to be! The report I read turned out to simply be an April Fools joke, but maybe just maybe there was a little grain of truth and I really am helping reduce climate change :-) 

For anyone interested in finding out more about The Albedo Effect, trusty Wikipedia sets it out quite clearly.

Victoria xxx
Aspire Hair South

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Natalie O'solite wig by Jon Renau

IllWhilst on a break in the Salon the other day I decided to browse the new Jon Renau spring 2014 collection with the idea of ordering in some new styles to hold in stock as demo pieces at Aspire North. One thing led to another and before I know it I'm browsing ALL the collections that Jon Renau offer.

I came across the Natalie wig and I knew as soon as I saw her that I had to have her in the salon. How had I not noticed her before?? 

Natalie comes on a machine made open cap base that's light and comfortable to wear and is made of synthetic fibre. The modern yet easy to wear ayesemetric style gives you length at the front and gorgeous short look in the back that tapers into the nape for a naturally soft look. Easy to style and care for, Natalie is the ultimate in "Shake and go" alternative hair. At this length styling using just your finger tips is easily achieved. 

Another great point to make about the Natalie wig is that she's available in an average (22" circumference) size and a petite (21" circumference) size. 

I've popped some pictures below and I'll update with a link to Natalie on the website as soon as I list her :) I'll also add some pics of her on my head too! 

Emma xxx
Aspire North 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Julianne - 2014 Spring collection by Jon Renau

I was instantly drawn to the Julianne smart lace wig from Jon renaus new spring collection.

The soft waves of this wig remind me of summer, vacations and the ultimate 'beach hair' look. 

I pre ordered Julianne in the colours 12FS8 (rooted light blonde) and 4/27/30 (brown auburn mix) to hold at the salon as demo pieces. Julianne promises a natural look thanks to its smart lace front and mono top and the added luxury of a hand tied cap construction. She looks great in the brochure! But how does the Julianne wig fare on us mere mortals? 

Let's put this wig under the spotlight and take a few moments to explore the pros and cons of this style ...

Julianne is 100% hand tied and made using high quality synthetic fibre. It has a monofilament top that allows you to part the hair where you want and a welded lacs front from temple to temple which gives the the option of wearing the hair away from your face. 

Straight out of the box Julianne is tightly waved/curled. The look can easily to softened by combing through with a wide tooth comb or your fingers. 

Have you tried the Julianne yet? Let me know what you think! 

You can find Julianne listed on our website here ...

Emma xxx
Aspire Hair north 

My relaxing spa day...

Since losing my hair, I've been on several spa days (lucky me) and enjoyed them as anyone should!

The first time I went on one, I wore a human hair wig so that it would survive the heat and to prevent damage in steam rooms, particularly as I hadn't quite come to terms with having a baby smooth scalp! When I first lost my hair, I spent a while wracked with guilt, angry with myself that I was upset when others have to contend with serious illnesses. At the time, I was worried about being mistaken for a cancer patient and that somehow, it would be disrespectful if I was! Funny what you go through when losing your hair! Tough! As a result, I spent a rather sticky, sweaty and uncomfortable day at the spa. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad, but the combination of the stress, heat and PVC cap made for a rather uncomfortable scalp! It didn't do much for the wig either and took a lot of conditioner to get it back to it's high quality self!

As time went on however, I became more and more comfortable with having a hair-free scalp! In fact, in many ways I am a #HairNudist, whipping off my wig in the office, the car, on dog walks, and definitely in the house. It's a gorgeous relief sometimes and very comfortable although the postie got a shock the first time!

Anyway, I digress! Back to the spa days I'm sure you are all keen to hear about! As time went on, I grew in confidence about being bald. I realised that actually, most people are incredibly kind and understanding and those who aren't, aren't worth much anyway! As I came to terms with it and got more used to whipping my wig off, my days at the spa started to change; and the spa on Saturday was no exception! 

We arrived at about 10am and there were already lots of women milling around in the changing rooms, some changing under a towel while there were the inevitable few standing proud and nude for anyone to see! I changed, grabbed the obligatory bath robe, and trotted out into the main spa area. Initially, I started off with a cup of tea before moving through to the sun loungers, still wearing my favourite wig - the Codi! After a quiet half hour, it was time to get bald, and enter the Japanese Salt Steam Room. Off came the wig and I hung it roughly on a peg with my dressing gown; at least there wasn't a risk of someone pinching my gown! From this point on, here is where the spa got interesting...! 

I am and always have been a people watcher; I love indulging in this particular pastime and if it were an Olympic Sport I'd win hands down! From the moment I took my wig off, right up to lunchtime, I walked around proud and bald, carrying my wig like some sort of security blanket - a talisman I no longer need or rely on, yet one I can't help keeping close. As I stopped at each treatment space, down it went, on this chair, that table, hooks and at one point in a pocket. My mum even started referring to it 'affectionately' as a dead rat causing quite a giggle!

Now the interesting part of this story is not me and my experience, but more, the reactions of others. They don't particularly bother me, but it's fair to say reactions and facial expressions are a varied and in-exact science. There were the ones who considered me unwell and extended me a sympathetic smile; those who glanced briefly before carrying on their day regardless; a few who I could feel assessing me thoroughly, trying to work out if I was at ease in my own skin, the same way they might any other person; and one or two men who you could see considering whether I was still attractive or not. Well, it might sound a bit morose and disheartening, but in fact, it was quite a nice feeling. It helps connect you to people in some small way and gives you a talking point to strike up a conversation should you choose. It can help break the ice and in the grand scheme of things, nobody treated me differently to anyone else! It's a great feeling and the only thing it made me realise is that in 99% of cases, people don't have a clue what it is or what it means. 

I spent a long time pondering those reactions and whilst it didn't change how I felt, it did help me draw a couple of conclusions:
1) The reaction of each person seems to depend largely on age; the golden oldies don't miss a beat; the 40-50s extend a sympathetic smile; the 30s start to ponder what it must be like; and those younger who's reactions are pretty much unpredictable.
2) It's about education; most of the 'bad' feelings me and my fellow alopecians feel are often our own imaginings. We base our own approach on how we expect others to react, when actually with an upfront attitude and a bit of education 99.9% of people will take it in their stride!

Now, I can only speak for myself and my own experience, and of course I know many others who've been treated poorly, but my general feeling is a good one and I feel it's important to have a positive attitude. Later this year, I've also got some projects lined up to start changing attitudes and get people better informed, so watch this space...!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Micas new hair :)

I first met Mica a few years ago after having her details sent to me by the little princess trust charity in the UK. 

Mica was around 15 years old at that time and was fighting her second battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. I remember walking into her bedroom to show her and her mum and gran some wigs and I was overwhelmed at how ill this young girl was and how brave and strong she was to be fighting cancer. She greeted me with a smile. I honestly don't know how she managed it she looked so sick. I didn't think a persons skin could actually ever be that shade of grey/green yet still she smiled. 

I ran a short consultation, taking Micas lead and was able to provide her with a human hair wig of my own design that she really liked. 

We kept in touch via Facebook and text and I was so happy to see her win her battle and go into remission over the next year. 

Mica discovered another lump and again fought and battled to beat cancer. After her third experience of cancer she contacted me again and expressed an interest in having me do her hair extensions. Between us we decided on a plan of action and decided to integrate a hair enhancer with individual extensions to create her new look. Pictures below! I'll be asking mica to come back for regular check up appointments to make sure 1) she's happy and 2) her extensions are holding well. 

What do you think? Feedback welcome... 

Emma xxx
Aspire North