ALL GONE TO­DAY, HAIR TO­MOR­ROW

In Alope­cia Aware­ness Month, scalp mi­cropig­men­ta­tion is worth ex­plor­ing

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - ALISTAIR IZOBELL Alistair Izobell is an en­ter­tainer, di­rec­tor, writer and per­former

I HAD be­come in­creas­ingly con­scious of the loss of hair on my mid­dle crown at the back of my head.

And about three-and-a-half years ago I was stand­ing at the Arena, GrandWest with my back fac­ing the au­di­ence dur­ing a tech­ni­cal re­hearsal be­fore I sang, and they were check­ing the cam­era feeds with two screens, and there was one mas­sive shark’s tooth in front of me, that is like a cy­clo­rama, a white screen.

They were fo­cus­ing on my back mov­ing up to my head and I then re­alised how very bad my hair loss was.

It was like a 10kg ham­mer knock­ing my shoul­ders.

I was hor­ri­fied, shocked. The van­ity you don’t re­alise you have about your hair only comes to bear when you start­ing los­ing it. And when you see how much hair you have lost…

I al­ways knew that there was a pos­si­bil­ity, be­cause my dad had bad loss of hair at that par­tic­u­lar spot also.

But be­cause I’ve got very thick black hair, I thought, ag, it won’t hap­pen to me. And I ig­nored it for a long time, un­til this re­al­i­sa­tion on stage.

I’m one of those peo­ple who is “all or noth­ing”. So I went into ex­treme anx­i­ety over­drive about it.

I was sud­denly aware of the com­ments around it, to the point where my clos­est friends started rag­ging me.

I would have my hair cut medium length in the front and leave it a bit longer over at the bald­ing patch so I could comb over it a lit­tle. Ouch.

Then my pub­li­cist, An­dre Gil­bert­son, be­gan do­ing pub­lic­ity for a new com­pany open­ing in Cape Town and told me about it. And this got me think­ing.

I have friends who wear wigs and have had hair trans­plants, and none of it looked real to me, so I was afraid of go­ing that route. In the work I do, it’s im­per­a­tive to look great.

All or noth­ing: I’d rather go bald than have some­thing not look right.

Then An­dre asked if I was in­ter­ested in Brand­wood Clinic and told me they had just got to study this tech­nique, non-in­va­sive… and I im­me­di­ately said yes, be­cause I trust her.

I read up on them, checked out the videos and checked peo­ple’s re­sponses to the treat­ment. And I was pleas­antly sur­prised.

When I walked in, I im­me­di­ately felt com­fort­able. The set­ting is not ster­ile like a hos­pi­tal, and Kim and James are lovely.

So, I went into the treat­ment room and James pulled on these sur­gi­cal gloves and I was ner­vous again. But they were just for putting pig­men­ta­tion into my scalp. They have to be ster­ile about this and take pre­cau­tions.

James told me the process would take at least two hours, and he wanted to test a patch of my scalp first.

He as­sured me it would not be painful, and when the first few dots went in, it wasn’t even a frac­tion eina – it felt like lit­tle pin­pricks.

Once my hair was pulled over, I could tell the dif­fer­ence. Not much of a dif­fer­ence, but there was a dif­fer­ence.

The sec­ond ses­sion and third ses­sion were more of the same. Very com­fort­able, very re­laxed.

But by the end of the third and fi­nal ses­sion, boy, oh boy. By the time James had fin­ished I was beyond im­pressed: ex­cited over­whelmed, happy, joy­ful.

I was close to tears be­cause I no longer needed to walk around with that com­plex of los­ing my hair and hav­ing peo­ple talk about it.

And hav­ing my own daugh­ter jok­ing about it, rub­bing my bald spot as she walked by me... Well it ain’t there any more, its gone!

I know that the hair isn’t there, but I know that the patch is cov­ered and the process is non-in­va­sive and it looks nat­u­ral, be­cause it’s 3D map­ping.

And it’s beau­ti­ful and I feel ex­cited and peo­ple are now kind of look­ing at me and go­ing “daar’s iets ver­skil­lend van jou”. Well dear, you can’t joke about the bald patch any more!

So I ad­vise any­one, and I know that it’s a chal­lenge when you lose your hair… if you have that prob­lem, go for a con­sul­ta­tion about scalp mi­cropig­men­ta­tion (very fine tat­too­ing).

A con­sul­ta­tion is free – go and find out how you can change your life.

GIL­BERT­SON

JAMES Han­nah get­ing the pre­ce­dure done. | AN­DRÉ

| AN­DRÉ GIL­BERT­SON

ALISTAIR Izobell with James Han­nah and Kim Jessop at Brand­wood Clinic.

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