Family’s Support Brings Comfort
By Lauren Jackson, Renata Hair Co., Grapevine, Texas
I launched Renata Hair Co. after my own hair loss journey. I know the pain and devastation of hair loss in a real way.
In 2018, I was diagnosed with several autoimmune disorders, one being alopecia areata, where the immune system begins attacking hair and follicles, causing extreme hair loss and bald patches all over the scalp. The following year after my hair loss began, I decided to go to the American Hair Loss Council’s annual conference, which completely changed my life path.
I remember standing in the middle of the convention in tears and feeling completely broken and lost. Soon after experiencing those emotions, I moved into my destiny within the hair loss community. I met amazing people who encouraged me and helped me see that I could help so many people with my own experience.
After coming home from that event, I was inspired to create an atmosphere of compassion and empathy for those facing the challenges of hair loss.
Turning Pain Into Purpose
Among my greatest accomplishments is being able to turn my hair loss into a way to help others. My team and I specialize in creating custom hairpieces for people undergoing all types of hair loss — thinning due to chemotherapy, alopecia, male pattern baldness, trichotillomania, illnesses, hormones — whatever the cause. All of our hair loss services offered are transformative. Our goal is to create the most natural and true-to-self hair for people.
I wrote this letter and put it on my website so clients can see that I have walked a similar journey. We also will print it out and put it in our essentials box for clients.
A Letter From Lauren to Those Experiencing Hair Loss.
Dear Hair Loss WARRIOR,
I write to you with a heart that knows the pain and devastation of hair loss in such a deep and real way. As I write this letter to you tears are running down my face because I am reflecting on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I first began my career in hairdressing at the age of 17 and it became my passion the day I walked into Ogle cosmetology school in 2000. Over the years I have had some incredible opportunities in this amazing industry. My mother and I opened Renata Salons in 2003 and it has been a gift building it together. Later in my later 20s, I moved to Los Angeles and there I was hired as a regional educator for a product line and salon called Bumble and Bumble in New York City. The growth I experienced as an educator was amazing. I had the incredible opportunity to work with talented hairdressers backstage at Fashion Week every season. The education and experience I received were the best in the industry.
Fast forward to September 2018 when I was diagnosed with several autoimmune disorders, one being alopecia areata where the immune system begins attacking the hair follicles causing extreme hair loss and bald patches all over the scalp.
The day my hair started falling out was actually not as bad as you might think because at first, you think it’s just a one-time thing and that this one bald spot is as bad as it will get but for me, my hair loss continued.
I remember one of my hardest days … I woke up in a pile of hair one morning and ran my fingers through my already pathetic hair and my heart sank. I had a massive pile of hair on my head and a pillow full of hair. My hair was pouring out of the follicles at what seemed like a never-ending speed. I sat on my bathroom floor shattered and broken, crying and begging it to stop. I remember looking up at one point and seeing my husband’s face. Tears raced down his cheeks, at that time there were truly no words. He just picked me up and called the salon for both of us. We spent most of the day driving around the lake, I would go from bawling my eyes out to thinking it was going to all be OK. I grieved my hair as if it were a death of a loved one. Yes, I realize how vain and insensitive this may sound but it is 100% the feeling of losing what at times seems like your identity.
Then one day I decided I was going to find the best hair on the market and, like every hair stylist wishes they could do, cut and color my own faux hair. I wasn’t going to compromise and wear ugly wigs that looked like wigs, I wanted to know all the options.
After feeling like my alopecia was a curse I began seeing that it was such a huge blessing in my life. Helping people through their hair loss journey is something that has changed my life. Seeing the faces of people who finally “see” themself again and walk out with all the confidence. It’s something that has impacted my life so much that I want to spend all the time in the world seeing these faces smiling as they do. I know the feeling. My friend Cheryl did the same thing to me and it turned my frown upside down. She gave me a topper that helped me see myself again. Now I know that beauty shines SO much deeper than hair, but finally having the hair of your dreams feels pretty dang good!
Each member of my team of stylists has walked their own journey with hair loss and understands how painful and devastating it can be. One of our hair loss specialists started losing their hair in their mid-20s and knows the devastation all too well. Another one of our stylists walked through the journey of breast cancer and the other stylist found herself walking through hair loss with her grandmother. I love that our team can show empathy and compassion and truly knows the pain of hair loss as we walk through it with our clients.
We come from a place of empathy and know what our clients are feeling when they come to see us. Being able to fully relate to their emotions makes a big difference. The stylists who work with hair loss clients also have struggled with hair loss, so each client is greeted with compassion.
Our goal is to not just transform their hair, but also the hearts of people sitting in our chairs. The most gratifying part of our job is seeing people come into our salon, defeated and insecure about their hair, and watching them transform from the inside and out. We give people their confidence back, as well as give them lots of love and encouragement. The reward is seeing that transformation.