Friday, November 22, 2013

Helping a Client with Trichotillomania

We recently received the most amazing review from our client Alex in Austin, Texas. We wanted to share it with you because she really describes the struggle that trichotillomania sufferers go through. We hope you find it as touching as we do!

Yelp Review from Alex S (Austin, TX):

Having trichotillomania, I have had more than just a "bad hair day", it had been more like a "bad hair life". I first visited Ricky in April 2012, just a month before I was due to gradate college. A few weeks before that, I called my mom and told her I was going to shave my head, out of frustration and what felt like helplessness because my hair pulling had gotten so bad during my last semester at college. There was no way that I could wear the hat I typically wore every day to hide my hair, underneath the graduation cap I would have to wear to receive my diploma. So, I decided that my only option was to shave my head, swallow my pride, and walk across the stage in front of thousands of people. Something that should be a proud and exciting day for everyone, seemed like it would end up being an awkward, uncomfortable, and frankly, embarrassing situation for me. If you have trich, you can probably relate when I say, after dealing with those situations my entire life, I just wanted to have a day where I could just be myself and not have constant anxiety about everyone looking at my hair, and not me.

In the past, my mother had helped me find solutions when I was younger: wigs, extensions, etc. No matter where I went, though, I don't think anyone fully understood how my disorder worked or how to provide those kinds of solutions to a person with trich. Everything I had tried in the past looked unnatural and resulted in more eyes looking at me, so I was weary to try anything else that would cost money. Finding a doctor or psychologist that specialized in treating trichotillomania has always been a pain, so I didn't know how we would ever find a hair dresser that knew that they were doing on a person like me.

Fortunately, after a lot of digging and a visit to, my mom found Ricky. I was apprehensive when she first told me about him because of all the past experiences I had with wigs and extensions looking unnatural. However, after watching the videos of him doing Kristen's hair and him doing the hairpiece on the man, I was shocked at how amazing he was at it. It all looked SO real. A week or two later, I came in for a consultation and was surprised at how comfortable they made me feel. Both Kristen and Ricky both knew SO much about trichotillomania and it was almost like they could finish my sentences when I described how dysfunctional my disorder made me feel. From there, they took measurements and figured out what kind of hair would work best for me given the areas where I pulled. After my hair order arrived, I came in for the actual hair appointment and Ricky worked his magic which was awesome to watch. He matched the color of the piece to my natural hair exactly and somehow blended the hair line of it, to make it look seamless with mine. You couldn't tell where my own hair stopped and the hair that wasn't mine started. Trichotillomania can also be very unpredictable, so since that first appointment, Ricky has done quite a bit of improvisation, which never ceases to amaze me. Some months, I come back having pulled in spots that weren't covered by the hair and on opposite sides of my head - pulling areas tend to move around. Without flinching though, Ricky ALWAYS finds a way to make your hair look good and natural. He is a master of his craft.

There aren't enough words to express how wonderful both Ricky and Kristen are. If I could give them 10 stars I would. They've helped change so many people's lives, including my own, with their unparalleled expertise, professionalism, and knowledge. With their help, I feel like I can live like a normal person for the first time in my life.

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