For many people living with thinning hair or hair loss, the condition can be life-altering. Some — men and women alike — won’t leave home without a hat, worried about the social stigma surrounding their condition.
“Hair loss is a politically charged topic,” said Sandy Goldsmith, owner of Capilia Hair and Scalp Centre at 3019 Highway 3 in Erickson. “Men can be bald without attracting attention, but women can’t. For women, our hair is our crowning glory. We don’t realize how much it means to us until we start to lose it. It’s devastating to the point where people are afraid to wash or brush their hair. For cancer patients, it has an even deeper meaning.”
But there may be a solution to the distress.
“Our motto is, “If there’s hair, there’s hope,’ ” said Goldsmith. “A healthy scalp grows healthy hair.”
Capilia — which uses exclusive Canadian-made, 100 per cent natural Laboratoire Nature products — offers a variety of treatments, for conditions including, but not limited to, thinning hair, alopecia and eczema.
Goldsmith discovered her new career during many hours of research in a business course. She found Novera International, a Canadian leader in the hair loss and replacement industry. She flew to Toronto to train with Novera’s cutting edge technology and become a trichologist, which made it possible to become a Capilia affiliate.
“Trichology is the science that allows us to identify and treat affections related to the hair and scalp,” she said. “I offer a personalized consultation where I do a detailed analysis of your scalp with a microcamera and specialized software, and I can suggest a professional treatment adapted to your condition.”
Goldsmith has lived in the Creston Valley for 28 years, moving here with her husband, Ken, for the beauty and opportunity.
“It was a wonderful place to raise three sons,” said Goldsmith. “And I cannot say enough about how great this community has been to us.”
She had been a hairdresser since the mid-1970s, and became a master colourist, investing time and money in maintaining and perfecting her skills. But stress and modern diets are taking their toll on scalps and hair, and Goldsmith’s education didn’t cover hair loss remedies.
“None of my training helped when I had a client sit in my chair and show concern over thinning hair or some sort of scalp affection,” Goldsmith said. “To be quite honest, I didn’t have the answers for them other than a one-size-fits-all product that mostly was unsuccessful. If I had a client — and I had many — who went through chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments who would experience hair loss, I had to send them out of town for wigs.”
For medical or non-medical hair loss, the centre offers natural-looking wigs, hair prostheses and systems, made with cutting edge technology. That made becoming a trichologist and opening Western Canada’s first Capilia centre in August 2014 especially exciting for her, with her background as a stylist preparing her for a future in the hair loss industry.
“I’ve been able to be at the cutting edge of my art and offer clients hair replacement services that look completely natural, by cutting, colouring and styling them,” said Goldsmith. “When I first started to do this as a career, I really felt like the stars lined up for me.”
It’s been a surprise for many clients to learn that a hair loss centre is available in the Creston Valley, said Goldsmith, and she’s happy to be able to help them, whether they be male or female, old or young.
“It is such a great feeling knowing when a guest leaves our centre they have a feeling of hope and renewed self-confidence,” she said. “Since entering into this new career, I feel like I not only am changing looks and how people feel, but changing lives.”