Jim Hatton has years of experience as a top hairdresser. He builds lasting bonds with his many clients and he noticed over the past few years that more and more people were beginning to suffer with cancer. He felt so strongly that these clients needed a special, private space in which to go through the changes in their looks and to try out wigs, that he opened up a lovely dedicated salon in Rathgar, JH Haircare, with this in mind. His care for his clients has become legendary, and we asked him about it…
How do you find treating people with cancer personally? I find it very rewarding, when someone is told that they have cancer they go on an emotional roller-coaster. Through our initial consultation, and listening to the needs of the client we advise on which is the best option available. We tell all our clients “you worry about getting well and let us worry about your hair.”
Explain the journey that you witness them embarking on. It is a huge shock when someone starts to lose their hair; we find it very important to be honest. Cancer treatment is different for everyone and affects everyone differently! When a client comes to us, we make sure that we have a style of wig that suits the client’s lifestyle rather than a lifestyle fitting the wig.
Do you shave off hair as it begins to fall out? This is very personal; it all depends on the client’s family situation. Some clients will go back to their regular hairdresser to shave the hair alternatively we can shave the hair off in our private consultation room without any mirrors so that you do not see the hair being removed; if there are young children sometime we will shave the hair off at the clients home with the children watching so that when they see their mother or father without the wig they will not get frightened and scared.
You have longstanding strong relationships with your clients; do you develop an even stronger bond as you go? Very much so. Clients looking for wigs tend to be very low emotionally when we first meet. It’s not every day that you are told that you have cancer; therefore 100% honesty is important. As our wig consultants are professionally trained hairdressers we make sure that the wig colour and style will look perfect. We like to keep in contact with our clients also and invite them back into the salon to have their wig serviced complimentarily.
Can you explain what is important for people to know or to think mentally and emotionally as they go through hair changes? For most women “their hair is their frame” whether it’s a wig or their natural hair, therefore we only stock the best quality products available. Not everyone will lose their hair, some people will experience thinning hair, others will have no change; it all depends upon how the body reacts to the treatment. The main point to remember is that your hair will regrow and that myself and my team are here to help you.
For some more of Jim’s wisdom on hair loss during cancer see here
Ellie Balfe @EllieBalfe
If you want to make a donation to the Irish Cancer Society you can CallSave 1850 60 60 60 or visit here.
If you want to fundraise to help support those with breast cancer you can join the Irish Cancer Society’s Get the Girls campaign by ringing CallSave 1850 60 60 60 or visit www.getthegirls.ie