By Baha Alwardi, Image First Salon and Day Spa, Boynton Beach, Florida
I have been a part of Hair Visions International’s Hair Academy team for more than 15 years, a team that is instrumental in developing programs to cover a wide range of skill levels — from beginner to expert.
For more than 10 years, Hair Visions’ Business Development Manager Karla Hurtado and I have traveled the county bringing in-studio education to salons and the students who wanted to expand their service offerings.
Although the world was brought to a halt due to COVID-19, the Hair Academy forged ahead by shifting its focus to safe and effective online classes. While other distributors were brought to a standstill for two years during the pandemic, the Hair Academy continued to reach out to the industry with one of our online classes, “The Art of Hair Replacement” to more than 30 salons around the country. For the Hair Academy, we understand education never stops.
During HairNow22 we featured a fine-welded mono men’s base called Axiom. The Axiom’s construction is impeccable, easy to work with, and is one of the softest materials I have ever worked with on a men’s graft.
I use a technique I coined, the “Three-Dot Method” for placing hair. This technique has been beneficial to my staff and students. I developed this technique while taking courses in piloting aircraft. The Three Dot Method was inspired by how a pilot successfully lands a plane. It helps ensure the base remains stationary keeping it from shifting to the sides.
The first step in the process is to make the hair as natural looking as possible. The design depends on the client’s facial structure. As professional hair replacement stylists, we visualize what style or colors are best suited for our client and then discuss it in detail during the initial consultation. The design and placement of the hair are as important as choosing the right attachment, base and adhesive.
Although Hair Visions offers many types and strengths of adhesives for grafting, each has unique qualities that could react differently to the client’s body chemistry. It is always good practice to do a skin patch test on your client to know whether they will have a reaction to a particular adhesive or its ingredients.
I customize the Axiom by coloring the unit using various techniques including bleaching the front knots for a more transparent hairline. I then used the “horseshoe technique” which is adding lowlights near the base of the unit in order to blend more seamlessly with his natural hair. Finally, I applied a few highlights to give a more youthful, fun look.
After I prepared the Axiom, I exfoliate the client’s scalp prior to the application process. The exfoliating process is important. I use Euro Mudd and then rinse the scalp with cool water. Hair Visions has multiple products for exfoliation, so it is always important to run a skin test to determine if your client will have any adverse reactions to any products. I mark the scalp and apply Perma Rite Extreme XL #18.
I often explain to my client that adding a medical-grade adhesive is almost like adding another layer of skin to merge the lace into it for an even more natural look and feel.
Once the Axion is attached, I proceed with cutting and blending. I stress to my students and team how important it is to use not only the right tools but good tools. I used a 44/20 supplied by Hair Vision International. I also used cutting shears and a feathering razor to give more texture to the top.
As with anyone experiencing hair loss, it’s a dream to have natural-looking hair they can wear daily while keeping it undetectable. I am so honored to be able to make that dream come true for so many people.