Alopecia can happen for many reasons including heredity or illness. In the past, it's been hard to find wigs or toupees that look natural, but now, local barbers and stylists are using 100 percent human hair and medical grade adhesives to change their client's lives.
Walter Wells works as a barber in Fayetteville, but today he's the one in the chair hoping to walk at out of Essential Elegance Boutique in Durham looking years younger.
"I had hair at one time, but over time the hair follicles just did their own thing," said Wells.
Now at 40, he hopes to get his hairline back with the help of a Man Cave 4 Hair hair unit...better known on the internet as the "man weave."
"It's definitely not your father's toupee," Dr. Brook Womack-Elmore said.
This Duke Medical School graduate, known by most as "Dr. Brooke," developed Man Cave 4 Hair after watching her husband struggle with his own hair loss.
"I started to search. I started to research viable options for him and found out for a man with textured hair there were little to no options at all, so that kind of got me thinking," Dr. Brooke said.
Dr. Brooke not only wanted to help her husband, but all men.
"They often suffer in silence when it comes to male pattern baldness, or men who are dealing with alopecia or the post affects of chemotherapy.
But Walter is getting a new head of hair. The process starts with the barber marking where his new hairline will be. He then shaves the top of Walter's head creating a smooth surface for applying a waterproof, hypoallergenic adhesive.
"It's completely safe to use. The adhesive can adhere to the skin or adhere the unit to the skin for as little as two weeks to sometimes up to three months," Dr. Brooke said.
After the adhesive dries clear, 100 percent human hair is applied to the scalp and shaped by the barber with clippers. After some fine tuning, Wells is thrilled with the end result. "I look high school. This is literally high school."
Women with hair loss can also receive similar results.
Stylist Shawana Sierra in Chapel Hill works with clients whose hair never grew back after chemotherapy. She installs prosthesis unit or PU custom made wigs for clients with complete hair loss due to a medical condition. Her most recent client is a breast cancer survivor.
"When the person is completely bald and their hair won't grow back you now have to get something that's medically safe for your scalp that won't cause fungus or cause it to not breathe property," Sierra said.
She also uses a medical grade adhesive to install the hair. "It's waterproof, odor and bacteria controlled."
Sierra says the most import thing is giving her clients their confidence back. "I know how important is it for a woman to have her crown."
Or for a man to have his.
Wells couldn't be happier with his new hair and can't wait to spread the word. He plans to learn more about hair installation so he can help his clients battling hair loss in Fayetteville.