“It was amazing to be interviewed by our local community publication.

When Scott asked me to talk about hair loss for a feature article, it resulted in a huge change for our hair loss business, increasing our clientele base tremendously. Training to become a certified trichology technician through Capilia, along with attending multiple IAT and American Hair Loss Council conferences brought me to the next level as a professional hair loss specialist.”

Rosario Greco, Rosario Greco Styles Ltd., Port Perry ON, Canada

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By Scott Mercer, Focus on Scugog, Port Perry, Ontario, Canada

Ah, yes, I remember my first gray hair.

“I don’t care what color it turns,” I told a friend at the time. “So long as it stays in my head.”

Funny thing about hair: Its absence has no effect on a person’s mental or physical functioning, nor does its loss create inconveniences like those associated with declining hearing (“Pardon…?”) or sight (“I swear my arms used to be longer!”).  

Instead, hair loss is an emotional issue, whether its cause is the predictable outcome of chemotherapy or the result of medical conditions or genetics.

As a certified trichologist – the name for the science of hair and scalp – Rosario Greco understands both these diverse causes as well as the strong emotions, which accompany them. Rosario was already an experienced stylist operating his own Port Perry salon when he began the study of trichology several years ago.

“I’d dabbled in hair loss prevention and restoration,” he said. “So I had an interest in trichology. When I saw that there was nowhere in our area where those services were offered, I set out to learn more.” 

Formal education, he soon discovered, would not be available nearby.

“I had to go to the U.S. to study. It’s that specialized.” 

Rosario likens his hair loss education to that of a doctor.

“I’ve studied for seven years, and still have formal learning to do. It’s both an art and a skill,” he said. 

A trichologist, he says, works hand in hand with the client’s dermatologist. “I analyze the scalp and hair, while the dermatologist will look at the internal causes.”

Among the many potential causes of hair loss, some are well known, others not.

“You probably wouldn’t think of it as an obvious factor, but stress is a big-ticket cause of hair loss. Daily stress, yes, as well as a specific trauma in someone’s life. Or a person’s hormones may be imbalanced — that reason’s common in menopausal women — or maybe someone’s lacking in iron.

“There are also scalp disorders. If your scalp’s oily, dry, or you have a condition like psoriasis, it can lead to hair loss. Alopecia — where a person’s present, regrowth is possible. But I can’t ‘plant a seed,’ I need to have that starting point.”

Based on his observations under the scope, Rosario will create a three to four-month program.

“The client returns at the end of that time,” he said. “By then, I’m able to accurately assess if the program’s working. I change it, if necessary, and continue to monitor progress. Overall – and of course, every person’s body will react differently – restoration will take six months to a year. This process is a long-term fix.”

A restoration program may include lotions. Other times, Rosario will recommend laser bands, which stimulate the blood vessels in the scalp.

“We have many more and better tools than we had available even five or 10 years ago. We just need to raise awareness.”

And at the same time, reduce stigma.

“A lot of men don’t want to talk about hair loss, because it’s stigmatized. Men make up less than half of my clients. But in some cases, their situation can be remedied,” he said.

Rosario points to a change in male attitudes among generations.

“I’m seeing more younger men, teenagers even. As soon as they detect hair loss, they Google the topic and learn that there’s scientific help available. I can slow the rate of loss or begin a program of restoration. Younger men are more open to seeking help. But with the older generation, I hear more of a ‘whatever’ attitude.”

Not every client can have his or her hair restored, he cautions. But those who do experience positive results make Rosario’s work gratifying. “I love what I do,” he said. “I find it very rewarding when I’m able to help my clients — whether they need preventative, restorative, or with wigs, weaves and hairpieces. 

“I’ve had cases where the client has walked out crying tears of joy after successful treatment. You don’t realize how important that aspect of a person’s look is to him or her until you give it back. 

 “Those are the moments when I know that I’ve really done my job, and the time I feel best.” 

For generations, recovering a head of hair seemed like the stuff of science fiction. But no more. As it is with so many medical conditions in the modern world, science has caught up with science fiction. The impossible has become possible. Just ask Rosario: He helps to make it happen nearly every day.