Working as a Hair Loss Specialist to Help Change Lives
Talking to a loyal client about hair loss is something that most barbers and stylists experience at some point in their careers. And while hair loss is so very common, walking a customer through that emotionally difficult period takes training, expertise, and emotional intelligence.
Adriana Jenkins has all of these qualities and so many more. She owns and operates her own business called Blossom Hair Boutique. And she has spent over 10 years working as a hair stylist and hair loss specialist. Without a doubt, Adriana understands that part of her job is to help her clients look their best. But it’s more about helping people feel their best.
Through her research, Adriana has learned that hair loss affects over 80 million Americans. It’s so common that by the age of 35, roughly two-thirds of men will experience some form of hair loss. Surprisingly, about 40% of Americans who experience hair loss are women.
Being able to educate and improve the lives of people affected by hair loss took Adriana years of dedication, research, and education. And over the years, her efforts have produced real results. So, she keeps giving people the opportunity to experience the change they seek.
Keep reading to learn more about Adriana, who has changed hundreds of lives for the better. This dedicated hair loss specialist has eased the pain and minimized the difficulties associated with hair loss for so many people. Her commitment has earned her a place in our Women’s History Month campaign that’s dedicated to female professionals who go above and beyond.
Becoming a Hair Loss Specialist
Even though Adriana is a hair loss specialist, when she started working with clients about ten years ago—it was solely as a stylist. But people throughout Tampa Bay knew the name of this animated hairdresser with an affectionate smile. Clients loved the way Adriana creatively combined youthful pixie cuts with advanced coloring treatments.
But things changed in a dramatic way when a client named Tina started undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Of course, Tina came to Adriana for hair loss advice and therapy. So, Adriana rolled up her sleeves to do everything she could for this client and friend. Within months, Adriana started taking classes at Florida Career College of Cosmetology.
“Tina is the main reason I attended cosmetology school—because I know a woman's hair is her crown and her glory. When Tina’s hair fell out, she was really stressed. She was just not herself. It was like she became just a whole different person overnight,” said Adriana.
Hair loss was making Tina lose her confidence. Some days Tina didn’t want to get out of bed. And most of all, Tina didn’t want anyone to know she was bald. The intimate salon conversations the two shared left Adriana feeling that graduating from cosmetology school was just the first step. After earning her degree, Adriana started taking steps to become a licensed hair loss specialist.
“I was doing everything I could—both inside and outside of the salon. Sadly, Tina passed away a year or two ago. But I have a few of my haircuts named after her, because she really inspired me to get more educated with regards to hair loss and the things that can cause hair loss and why some women can get their hair back and some women can’t,” said Adriana.
Facts for Industry Professionals
Many people think hair loss is much more of a problem in men. However, women are almost just as likely to lose their hair or experience thinning. Most women notice hair loss between the ages of 50 to 60 years old. But hair loss in women can happen at any age, Adriana said. She added that she mainly works with women, because her styling services cater to female clientele.
Adriana said some of her clients experience hair loss because of their hairstyles. For example, hair extensions or braids can cause damage due to tension placed on the roots. This tension can lead to traction alopecia, which happens when pressure on the roots damages hair follicles.
She added that androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss. It affects over 50 million men and 30 million women in America. More commonly known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss, androgenetic alopecia is a hereditary condition that happens with aging.
Since every client is different, Adriana has to know a wide variety of treatments and retain an expert level of knowledge. She understands that it’s possible to prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles. Adriana also knows it’s possible to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet, which offers necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
At times, some of her clients are suffering from hair loss because of vitamin deficiencies. According to medical professionals, iron deficiency in pre-menopausal women is one of the main causes of hair loss. Vitamin D deficiency may also cause hair to thin or stop growing. Zinc deficiency can also cause hair loss and may damage hair follicles.
Working with Clients Experiencing Hair Loss
There’s no denying the fact that a wide number of factors contribute to hair loss. According to Adriana, some of the other causes of hair loss include hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, radiation therapy, weight loss or gastric bypass surgery, crash diets, or stress.
Because such a wide range of factors can cause hair loss, Adriana starts each meeting with a new client with a thorough consultation session. She recommends that each newcomer to her salon meets with a medical professional.
“We deal with the external. But I always try to tell my clients to go to a dermatologist and get some kind of blood work done,” said Adriana. According to medical professionals, preliminary blood work is taken to make sure the thyroid gland or an autoimmune disease isn’t the problem.
There are shampoos formulated for hair loss, which can help with shedding. Adriana also offers steam treatments and laser treatments. But every time a client leaves her private salon suite space, Adriana makes absolutely sure that person leaves with a clean scalp.
Adriana said it all depends on what exactly the client needs, because every person is different. A client may benefit from a topical treatment that prevents shedding. Others may require vitamin supplements. And still, it may be necessary to help a client undergoing chemotherapy by creating a stylish wig, since their hair may not grow back for some time.
Another way that Adriana supports her clients is by making sure they avoid treatments and services that can and will damage the hair they have left. For example, Keratin treatments, chemical relaxers, and certain hair straightening methods can contribute to hair loss. Those services may need to be avoided to help her clients keep the hair that they have left, she said.
The Road Ahead to Help More People
Regardless of the treatment method that Adriana recommends or the service she provides, the feeling she gets from being a hair loss specialist is always the same—she feels a profound sense of joy to be able to help clients regrow their hair and feel more like themselves again.
To make sure that she stays in touch with new advancements in the industry, Adriana plans to keep attending hair loss conferences and relevant industry events. She is currently registered for a course at a neighboring state, where recent advancements in hair loss research will be discussed.
“I’m actually doing a class in Georgia next month. It’s going to cover stem cell therapy, where they can actually go under the scalp. But that’s a class that I’m investing in next month. So, hopefully, we get to the promised land, because I really want to help more women. Especially the ones who are even scared to come sit inside a salon,” she said.
Adriana wants to keep welcoming women into the private salon suite where she currently provides services as a hair loss specialist. The privacy that it offers makes her clients feel more comfortable, while discussing such a personal issue. And it's important for any professional who wants to become a hair loss specialist to always put the needs of the client first, she said.
“The main goal is to make them feel comfortable. Once they know you’re knowledgeable on the subject then it’s easier. Because by the time they’ve scheduled a session, they’ve already tried every home remedy and Googled a variety of treatments. And they’ve had a lot of people staring at them. Just make sure to offer a private, comfortable setting and be prepared to listen,” said Adriana.