Friday, 27 June 2014

Come to me my gorgeous 5055 Follea!

I have a client. We shall call her "K". If after she sees this blog she feels comfortable with her name being disclosed I will update to include her real name but for now she will be known to all our fellow wig addicts simply as "K" :-)

If ever there was a women after my own heart then K would be that women. We are very similar in many ways. We both have Alopecia and we both have a teeny tiny (OK I'm outright lying, a MASSIVE) addiction to wigs. Mainly an addiction to Follea wigs but really any good wig is always one to add to the collection. Check out K's collection below ...

the above is something I feel I need in my life! How cool is that!? 

Due to the fact that K and myself are massive Follea Hair addicts you can imagine our delight when the new 5055 honey blonde colour was launched. It's not a case of want when you adore Follea hair it's a case of NEED. If your an addict you simply can't let the idea of follea hair go once you've truly set your mind and heart on it. K already has the Follea Gripper-2 in the colour 5055 set very firmly in her sights and so do I! 

So you can imagine my delight when I got an email through today from The lovely Bobby Mandel at Follea UK telling me that one was in the country in my size, length and in the colour 5055. Excited? Nah ..... Feeling totally and utterly cray - cray? YESSSSSSSS!!! Just instantly transport it to me now so I can plonk it on my head and spend the best part of a day stroking it and getting to know it properly!!! Just come to me my gorgeous Follea 5055 😍 (I told you I was an addict ...) 

So for my lovely client and friend K I hereby declare to the world that I will be naming my new Follea wig after you. She will sit proudly upon a follea care head every evening whilst not in use next to my Follea 6020 (I call her Mary) and my Follea 10030 (I call her snow queen!) 

Is anyone else addicted to Follea hair? What is it that you love about Follea? We'd LOVE to hear what you have to say :-) 

Love from Emma xxx
Aspire hair 

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Kate wig by Jon Renau | what to expect!

I'm sure we've all fell into that old online trap of browsing through a website trying to select our next wig and found an absolute stunner! And then when it arrives through the post you open it up and you're like "OH MY!" 😳

A few things that you need to consider ladies .... 

1) the pictures you see online are usually stock pictures. The wigs will have been styled by professionals, set with styling products and photographed on the models professionally

2) everyone's monitor settings are different! What looks like a warm honey blonde on one screen may look like a red strawberry blonde on another

3) the same two facts above apply to brochure images as well as online images.

I've set myself a goal. Not a small one either! I'm going to be blogging about new styles that come into the salon for our clients showing you exactly what to expect when they arrive. Hopefully it will take ALOT of the guess work out of online purchasing! 

KATE | Jon Renau human hair Smart Lace wig 

The Kate has been a best seller at Aspire for a while now. She comes pre styled meaning that if the thought of going to a hairdresser to have your wig cut fills you with total and utter dread then the Kate has got it covered. She's long and layered with a swooping style side fringe. Here is one of the stock pictures of Kate ...

And here is what you will actually get when you order her in .....

Um, different muchlys me thinks!! (Sorry, bit of Emma world talk going on right there 😁) 

I've actually gotten to the point where I now PRE WARN clients that order the Kate through our website that they should expect this and NOT be alarmed! Either that or I offer to straighten out the Kate before she ships out to clients ..... To save them the heart attack when they open the box. 

I'm not putting Kate down in any way, she's a gorgeous style ..... Once she's styled. The cap construction is great and she comes in some fab colours too. Here she is again after a bit if a style. Much more wearable I think.

Do you wear the Kate? 
Have any questions you'd like answered? 

We'd LOVE to hear your comments and thoughts below :) 

Love from Emma xxx
Aspire Hair 

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Mission Purple Point; A review of this synthetic Perucci Wig byVictoria in Cheltenham

A few of you have asked me what wigs I have besides the Amber and the Codi. I previously wrote reviews on both of these wigs and in them I mentioned the fact I own 12 styles - yes... 12!

The Point is a low-cost, low-maintenance, pre-styled number which effortlessly mixes a modern style with a flattering shape from the Ellen Wille collection. Retailing at £130 it is an affordable synthetic wig. 

Also known as a Pixie cut, this on-trend synthetic wig has a sweeping fringe and is longer on one side than the other. It's my shortest style, is the starkest change, and gains me lots of compliments, making me seem 'older' in a maturity manner rather than adding ten years or wrinkles ;-) I love it as a 'once in a while' style, but know it also adds up if you're looking for a short cropped style. Here goes my review...

Cap construction: 7/10 - whilst not the best made cap you'll ever find, for a wig that retails at £130 it is excellent quality. The cap is fully machined and features a soft fabric panel at the front of the head, a machine mesh scalp, a machined weft at the back and a small single monofilament circle at the crown to ensure the 'roots' look as natural as possible. Overall, it creates a soft, non-itchy cap which can be adjusted to any size using Velcro tabs at the nape to secure the circumference. It offers a snug fit and a comfy wear.

Fit: 10/10 - now the rating of the fit will be down to the individual wearer and their own personal preferences / head measurements. I can't judge for every size, but I myself have non-standard measurements with a small nape, large crown and average circumference. You may have noticed, that in many of my wigs, I have an adjustable nape and this for me is what adds security. It isn't essential to my wig wearing, but it is a bonus! Simply because of this adjustment, the wig is the perfect fit. You can start it looser immediately after washing and then as the band starts to stretch, you can move it tighter until it's time for a wash again.

Style: 8/10 - the style of this is great - modern and contemporary enough that I don't look like an old woman, but flattering enough that it doesn't matter I don't have 'elfin' or 'feline' features. That said, I do have to be in the right mood to wear this wig; get me on a bad day and I'll end up feeling more like a butch lesbian than a sassy vixen!

The Colour: - I'm going to give this one two ratings and if you read on you'll see why:

1. 9/10 - this wig offers a multi-tonal delight of lowlights and in my case encompassing a chocolate brown base with some warm copper, gold and some red tones. It looks really natural, not stripy and well balanced.

2. 6/10 - unfortunately whilst the colour is fast and will hold throughout the lifetime of the wig, the colour consistency, wig to wig, is not great. I can only assume it is because it is low cost and machine made, however having ordered the same stock colour three times now, the consistency between them has not been great! One was far more heavily red, one was more golden and the final one was a delicious blend of all three. Now to me, this point doesn't worry me because I know the three tones suit me and I'm not too worried about changing my hair regularly, but if this is your daily wear wig and you switch between two wigs whilst on wash rotation, you might well be disappointed.

The Fibres: 8/10 - given the longer, sweeping fringe, many people expect this one to have a high density and are worried it will be too 'heavy' around the face. In fact, it it quite the opposite. They've succeeded in making the wig light, medium density and flattering, without overpowering your face with too much hair. They've also selected quite a thin synthetic fibre so that it feels soft and moves naturally. Can't complain about this one.

Maintenance: 7/10 - it's a really easy wig to maintain - a quick wash, 'hang upside down and dry naturally approach' is all it needs - it'll keep it's shape and be the same style time after time - no faff. The only downside to this one is durability - it doesn't last as long as some of my synthetics because the short cropped style shows every bit of wear and tear! Such a shame!

The point... (Not the best picture - looks slightly like Lego hair right now!)

This was a wig I tried on as a joke and one which I'm glad I did! It's flirty and gorgeous!

Now, you might be wondering what on earth this review has to do with Mission Purple?! Well - they have the most GORGEOUS colour in this wig called Aubergine - it is a wonderful purple-y colour which is rich yet subtle. You're not about to look like My Little Pony, but it's a gorgeous, glamourous change! Where does the mission come from I hear you ask?! Well... Emma looks SUPERB in this wig particularly in the aubergine; yet she won't believe me and maintains she looks 'butch'. My aim is to wear her down and get her wearing it and I'd love you to pester her for a picture too ;-) Come on folks and help me out with #MissionPurple! 

I hope you find this review helpful and please let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like us to review. Just in case you missed them, here are my previous wig reviews...

Victoria xxx
Aspire Hair South

P.S. My 12 styles are about to be 13 as soon as my coveted Follea Gripper arrives! In brown of course!

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Follea - the gorgeous TA116

A few months ago I met with a lovely lady from Norwich who was finding that her confidence was becoming increasingly affected by her thinning hair. Although to the passerby this thinning may not be obvious, my client could tell a massive difference in the fullness and general quality of her hair and it was upsetting her.

So she made the trip to see me in Sheffield and brought her hubby along for moral support and his honest opinion :-) 

After trying on a few different options including some Jon renau and trendco hair enhancers we started going through the different options that Follea hair could offer her. 

First we tried the TA115 - this felt a little too large for my client and she felt a little overwhelmed by the sudden increase in density so we chatted a little more and moved onto the TA116 ... 

The TA116 was perfect! A slightly smaller base size with a PU perimeter. The TA116 from Follea is a great choice for ladies who would like to bond their topette for extended wear. However, my client is not at that stage in her alternative hair journey so we decided that a clip in option would be best for her. 

She came back up to see me this week and had her new Follea Topette fitted in the salon and then cut in and styled by our stylist Harriet and WOW! Check out the pictures below ...

To say she was happy would have been an understatement!!!! She looked fantastic and I'm sure as her confidence grows over the coming weeks and months she will start to feel as beautiful as she has always been but now with more conviction! 

Do you wear Follea hair? We'd LOVE to hear your success stories :) 

Emma xxx
Aspire Hair

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Monday, 23 June 2014

Emma's 10 things to do when you feel blue ...

We all have those days when we wake up and it feels like everything starts to go wrong from the very first moment that we open our eyes

I know I can’t be alone here!

Everyday stresses and strains can leave us feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to say the very least. Throwing something like alopecia into the grind of an already stressful everyday life can often feel like the tipping point for many sufferers.

As someone who has suffered from depression (yes really!) AND alopecia I spent many years simply waiting for those bad days to pass and brighter days to come along. I left everything to chance because I believed that I didn’t have any control over how I felt. Depression is a chemical thing. It’s a brain thing. How could I possibly be in control of something that complex!

When depression came my way it felt like I didn’t have even the energy to brush my teeth or lift a cup of tea to my lips. Breathing felt like an effort and you would have given up on all possibility of me actually being able to engage in a conversation with you.

Depression’s a Bitch with a capital ‘B’ 

The main reason I create guides and e-books is because I wish I had something … ANYTHING when I was depressed that let me know I wasn’t really alone. The same goes for why I set up my business. Yes of course I need to make a living but I feel incredibly honoured and grateful that I get to make a living AND make a difference to other sufferer’s lives in such a positive way. I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing right now with Aspire Hair. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. 

I wanted to put together this little guide and I hope that you’ll find some fun and effective little tips in here to help you out when you’re feeling like the world is against you.

I don’t claim it’s some kind of magical cure for feeling blue! What you’ll find in this guide is a list of 10 things that always help me to feel more positive and relaxed when I’m having a crappy day.

FYI – The smallest of things can affect our moods!

What gets me?

Now there’s a question!
My partner Gary says I’m over sensitive and touchy. Other words such as mardy and moody have also popped up over the past 10 years of us being together too! 

Perhaps these personality traits of mine are out of my control and it’s all down to genetics? (My mum suffers from bipolar disorder). Perhaps my down days and days of feeling blue are the result of what I’ve been through in my life?

I’m one of those people whose mood can be easily affected by those around me. I have a lot of empathy and it’s not unknown for me to start blubbing along with one of my clients at a consultation! I can’t help it. If someone is upset or feels emotional pain then I empathise very deeply with it.
I considered this quirky personality trait of mine a curse up until around two years ago when I realised that actually, this trait allows me to be good at my job! It’s beneficial to my clients and my business that I act and feel this way. The fact that it comes totally natural to me is an added bonus!
So, as helpful as my overactive empathy is it also can be a real pain in the butt sometimes! 

I remember my first call to the children’s hospital in Sheffield to see a little girl going through chemo. The hospital had called me and asked me if I would be able to visit a young lady aged 9 and arrange some new hair for her. 

I knew this was going to be difficult. Difficult for the little one and her family and difficult for me to hold it together.

I’m going to share with you the 10 things that I always do when I’m feeling blue in the hope that if you get an attack of the blues that you’ll benefit from the following ‘strategies’
It’s not magic that your about to read but I really do find these things very helpful and it’s all about focusing on the positive and allow ourselves to feel better.

You might be saying to yourself “Yeah OK Emma! But it’s not my fault that I feel crap. I’ve lost my hair and I can’t control that. It’s my alopecia’s fault that I feel sad!!”

Here’s a little secret for you ….


It’s true that we can’t control everything and we can’t control other people’s actions.

Q) Can you tell me the one thing that we CAN control, 100% of the time without risk of failure?

A) Our behaviour!!
Think about it …. We have control over our behaviour and our thoughts.

You may not believe it to be true now but I hope that once you’ve finished reading this you’ll believe it and feel more hopeful and less ‘Blue’
Let’s get started …

1.   The power of deep breathing

Sit down somewhere peaceful and quiet. It might be in your bedroom after the kids have fallen asleep, in the living room while the little one is taking his/her afternoon nap or in a park somewhere or the woods. Close your eyes. Take three long, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. With every breath in imagine feeling peaceful and rested and with every breath out imagine any stress and strains leaving your body. Deep breathing is a simple yet powerful way to instantly calm your body and mind and using a simple visualisation technique such as imagining that every breath in is full of positive energy and every breath out releases worry, stress and negativity is equally as powerful.

2.  Read something positive
Reading any book for a little while helps us to quieten our minds and focus on the story we're reading. Reading something positive is even better. Books such as self-help books are fabulous things! I’m an avid reader and as much as I love my fiction I always love to read books that are going to help me learn new techniques to manage any troubles that life may throw at me. Sometimes all it takes is for someone else to remind you that actually, everything is going to be OK.

3.  Allow yourself some rest
Sometimes people simply don’t ALLOW themselves the time to feel peaceful and relaxed. As odd as it sounds it’s actually very true! I’m going to hold my hands up here as I can be guilty of this too. Worry, anxiety and negative thinking can quickly develop into bad habits that are hard to break. Sometimes these habits will have been formed many years or even decades before they begin to cause real problems in your life and your emotional health. Sit down and think about the things that YOU really enjoy doing. The things that bring you joy and make you feel happy. It might be sitting down to write, playing an instrument, walking in the rain or taking a walk on a sunny day. It’s so important to dedicate some time every week (or everyday single day if you like!) to simply do something you enjoy doing. Turn off your mobile phone, close your laptop and get off of Facebook! This time is dedicated to you and you alone.

4.  Be kind to yourself
Imagine the situation …
You’re out with your mum or best friend and you notice that her mascara has run on one eye. What do you do? Some people may choose to no nothing or you may choose to discreetly tell her that her mascaras run right? Would you start shouting at her and say “You idiot! I can’t believe your mascara has run and you’ve not even noticed it yet. You are so stupid, I can’t even look at you, and you’re disgusting …”
Erm NO! You’d never do that to your mum or friend because 1) its nasty 2) it’s un-acceptable to speak to her in that way and 3) Let’s be honest, its only mascara and it can be easily fixed!
Now think of how judgemental and nasty we are to ourselves sometimes.

Would you talk that way about someone else? Most of us wouldn’t because were nice people! The point is how you view yourself is very different from how others view you. You should be a little kinder (OK a lot kinder!) to yourself. A helpful way of doing this is to write a list of all your positive qualities.

5.  Create your own spa hour
Giving yourself an hour of pampering really helps to lift your mood when you’re feeling blue. You might be thinking ‘I can’t afford a massage and a facial’ and that’s fine and fair enough. I’m not made of money either and an hours’ worth of treatments are not in everyone’s budget. What you CAN do though is create your own spa hour. Buy or make your own facial (see the recipe below) and treat yourself to some lavender bubble bath. Light a few candles and play some relaxing music. You can download relaxation and spa music for free from the app store and it’s fantastic! I use it every evening during the school week to help my six year old drift off to sleep.

Banana Face mask
Take two bananas and mash until it forms a paste. Add two tablespoons of honey. Apply the mask and wear for ten minutes, onto a dry face. Massage your face for 5 minutes before removing.

Oatmeal and Honey face mask
Mix 2 tablespoons of un-cooked oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of honey and apply to clean dry skin. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse away

Strawberry face mask
Mash 5-6 medium sized strawberries with a few tablespoons of natural yogurt and spread on clean dry skin. Wear for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

6.  Dance!
Put on your favourite music and dance your heart out! I call this my sneaky exercise routine because it doesn’t feel like exercise at all it’s actually incredibly fun and uplifting. Get the kids to join in too.

7.  Be geek (chic)
Get yourself feeling and acting a little more organised by creating a folder for your goals and to do’s. I currently have three of my own folders on the go for 2014, one goal book, a gratitude book and a goal and action sheet! My family folder contains a calendar and print offs of the kids school holidays, birthdays and dates that I need to be remembering this year as well as ideas of holidays, day trips and breaks I’d like to take with my family and my work folder contains my calendar, daily to do sheets, goals and the actions I need to take to make it to my goals and inspiration on where I plan on taking Aspire through 2014.
One of your personal goals may be to sit outside in the sun for at least 10 minutes a day and read a book, or have a bubble bath every night to help you relax. Whatever you decide, write it down and stick to it.

8.  Surround yourself with positive people
We all have a friend or family member that has the ability to suck the energy right out of us. If their super good at working their negativity then even a phone call or text message from them has a negative effect on your mood! Surrounding yourself with negative people rubs off on you so do yourself a MASSIVE favour and surround yourself with as many positive people as possible.

9.  Make your morning blissful
Starting your day by throwing yourself out of bed due to over laying and then screaming at the kids because you’re running late is not anyone’s idea of relaxing and blissful. A morning routine can really help you to start your day in the best possible way. Brainstorm some ideas now on how you can create a fab-tactic morning routine. I’ve included an example of my ideal morning routine below …

·      Wake up before the alarm clock (Gary) and go and make a cup of tea 
·      Check emails from my iPhone while sipping  my tea preferably on the garden if the weathers nice 
·      Check on our Facebook page and Twitter and respond to any comments from the night before or through the night 
·      Put on some music and get dressed and apply make-up if I decide to wear it that day (sometimes I don’t even bother with the make up!) 
·      Set off to the Aspire salon no later than 9.30am

Of course, some days it doesn’t work out as id have planned. But having a routine in place makes it a lot easier for me to start my day the best possible way. And when your day starts well everything else seems to fall into place nicely too.

10.               Get a hug!
Receiving a hug from someone you love has been proven to lift low moods. Maybe your partner, mum or dad, a best friend or your kids could give you some valuable ‘cuddle time’. The fantastic things about hugs are that you get a rush of different feelings depending on who is doing the hugging. For example when my partner Gary hugs me I feel safe and secure, when my kids hug me I feel proud and grateful and when one of my best friends hug me I feel supported and fully understood. A hug is an amazing thing. Out of say 6 consultations I do in a day at Aspire I’d say 4 of those clients will hug me at the end of the session. That means I get a lot of hugs every day!

Love from Emma xxx
Aspire Hair  

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Not guilty, but it felt like it...!

You might not know much about AlopeciaUK, but it is a fantastic charity run solely by volunteers who give up a lot of time and put in a lot of effort.

One such volunteer is Amy; an energetic, outgoing and fantastic lady with a penchant for Rainbow Wigs. She's responsible for a lot of their social media output and also writes her own blog 'Hairless Whisper'. When not wearing her rainbow wig, Amy sports a patchy head, cropping her hair super short as she moves through different stages of Alopecia. In her most recent post, she talks about the importance of educating children on acceptance and supporting them if they shout out about not having hair. You can read it here...

Now I haven't had that particular experience, probably because I'm hooked on wearing a different wig every day of the week ;-) but this blog got me thinking about my own experience with baldness. Not quite a child shouting in the street, but something I have experienced is the assumption I have cancer.

'You're looking well considering!'

'What's the prognosis?'

Thankfully, these comments are few and far between and even though they're a little odd, they're usually well meant. In the same way some people feel able to put their hands on a pregnant lady's bump, so too does a bald head give people something to talk to you about or comment on; it isn't meant badly.

Now, I brush these or similar comments off, or carefully and patiently explain my condition and what it means, working to ensure they aren't embarrassed but at the same time introducing one more person to the condition. After nearly three years of baldness, this is second nature and I've stopped worrying about it. Rewind three years however and it's a totally different story...

My Hairloss took a total of nine months, starting in small patches and growing millimetre by millimetre until all the patches blended together. About four months in, when I'd stopped denying what was happening to me, I remember being so angry and depressed about what was happening. One month later and that anger was replaced by an immovable wall of guilt; guilt that I was upset about something non-life-threatening; guilt about what I was putting my family through; guilt about not being able to 'pull myself together'; guilt about almost anything you can think of. No matter what I did, I couldn't shift it; ignoring it, talking about it, even wallowing in it; nothing made a difference.

Forward another month and the patches had become more ocean than island. As I left the house, and the patches become more noticeable, I began to spot the initial puzzled looks and shortly the sympathetic ones. That's when I hit a guilty rock bottom. My guilt was no longer inwardly focused on my own condition but instead shifted outward to others going bald. I began to carry guilt about people with cancer; feeling somehow the assumption I had cancer was in some way disrespectful to those who really did have it - that in some way this misconception was my fault.

It was when I finally went totally bald that I was able to shift the guilt. As I came to terms more with what was happening to me and what that meant, so too was I able to get clarity and realise it was a reasonable assumption by others. Time also gave me the clarity to realise that I have an opportunity to educate and to help foster better understanding with people I meet. Now, I work to explain the condition, help others to understand it and generally garner more awareness.

Now I am aware I have digressed somewhat from the idea of educating children, but I feel it's an important tangent. Baldness is not a crime, but it is an opportunity; an opportunity to spread the word and to explain it in a way that is accessible and interesting. 

Anyone else had a similar experience? We'd love to hear about it!

Victoria xxx
Aspire Hair South

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