My obsession with hair started pretty early on. At age 12 I had thick blonde hair, which was dead straight and easy to style. I got the nickname at school of Sonic The Hedgehog, I was into my Mega Drive games console at the time, but it was mostly because I had perfected the art of replicating lots of spikes on my head with shock waves gel! Over the years I basically copied David Beckham’s many styles, some more successfully than others! I also kept the men’s hair industry going with the amount of money I spent on product, devices and hair salons/barbers!
I started to lose my hair around 17, though at the time I wouldn’t admit it to myself. There’s always someone, usually a work colleague/close family member with a mouth that gets ahead of itself, that points it out to you. I suffered from quite severe acne at the time. I was using a strong drug to combat this, and it worked, but a nasty side effect of this was that I shed quite a lot of hair which apparently is normal! It did grow back but its texture had changed and was thin and brittle. I still think to this day that it was that drug that jump started the hair loss cycle for me.
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During my early 20s I managed to style it and experiment with hair dyes to make it look the best it could but up top it was going. Coming home from a sunny holiday getaway showed that up in all its sun sore, red scalped glory. I tried the usual hair loss treatments but in my heart of hearts, I knew it was past the point of no return. With that at the forefront of my mind, I bought a set of clippers and for the first time I gave myself a haircut! I did a Britney!! (Without smashing car windscreens of course). I buzzed it down as short as I could and stood staring at my reflection, waiting for that liberated feeling to come that I had read about in hair loss articles. It didn’t come that day or for many thereafter, I just sobbed. My mum, bless her, looked mortified! “What have you done!? will it grow back?” Well technically some will yes, but no it’s going! Keeping it short makes it look thicker! I think I said (read that in an article also).
Leading up to this I was having anxiety issues, in particular situations like large crowds and meeting new people, etc. Feeling extremely self-conscious and that I was been judged negatively. It got that bad that I started to isolate myself a lot, my life then consisted of working and coming home, that was pretty much it. While most lads my age would be out enjoying themselves at the weekend I would just stay at home playing computer games wearing a cap…….indoors! The invites I once got to go out soon dried up, I made excuses, I learned the hard way that people soon lose interest and cut ties quite sharply.
Hair loss for me amplified and contributed to all this, at one time I thought when I made an effort I could look well turned out and decent but now balding I could barely look at myself. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing inherently wrong with going bald and on a lot of guys it looks really good, but in myself I felt defeated and old before my time. Which, coming out of a long-term relationship, isn’t the best mental state to be in. With the break up, problems at work and generally feeling really shit in myself, I fell into a depressive void, one which took a while to drag myself out of with support from family and the odd intervention. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t get to that stage ever again and that this isn’t living! It was just existing! Not a fully functioning existence either!
My Google search history must have been filled with all sorts of hair related searches over the years. I stumbled across the term Micropigmentation about 3 years ago. In layman’s terms it’s a hair tattoo, I laughed at the time and slated it. Backed up by a quick Google image search, the first few images at the time looked so false and literally drawn on! For somebody still very self-conscious in social situations going forward this wasn’t going to be an option. A few months later I saw a programme on TV where this treatment was featured and it looked good, great in fact. I think the show was in standard definition though, my overly critical mind convincing me everything looks more flattering without the pin-sharp clarity of HD. Still my curiosity in the treatment was back and with further research I realised that the results had come on a long way. Be under no illusion this treatment does not give you your hair back, it’s not a hair transplant or some shock treatment to get your hair follicles to produce thick hair again. I knew my hair wouldn’t be coming back, I had my routine of shaving every 3 or 4 days locked down. I wished that the stubble I had at the sides of my head could just spread evenly across my head. That I could just have a hairline back, a hairstyle, an extremely short hairstyle, but one never the less. Micropigmentation can do that!
Fast forward to this year and a recent Daily Mail article featuring Simon Lane and Brandwood Clinic. With my social anxiety I pick up on vibes pretty acutely, if I feel uncomfortable in a particular environment/situation then the flight or fight response kicks in and I usually fly. From the initial phone call to the consultation and then the actual sessions I have felt completely at ease at Brandwood with the team there. Simon is great to chat with and his passion for this technique is infectious. I get the feeling with Simon he’s eager for the client to get the results they desire and start getting the life-changing benefits he has had himself.
“I’ve been told how much happier and confident I now seem.”
Reactions from people have been extremely positive with comments that my hair is growing back! For me, being overly sensitive with my image, if I had any negative perception then the trucker cap would have been straight back on. I’ve not worn a cap since having this treatment! But more than comments on the actual treatment it’s the ones on me as person which mean even more. I’ve been told how much happier and confident I now seem. A glow that over the years had diminished from my eyes is now back. My head is held high once again.
Thank you, Simon and the team at Brandwood.