A Q&A with trichotillomania and extension expert Lucinda Ellery

One of the things that can never be underestimated is the power of hair. According to The Telegraph, around £5bn a year is spent at the 34,000 hair salons and 3,000 barber shops in the UK - that's a lot of time, effort and cold hard cash spent to help us feel good about ourselves. Have you imagined what it would be like to lose your hair though, either through illness, stress, a side effect or even an impulsion? Over six million women a year suffer from hair thinning and loss, often not knowing which way to turn or who to ask for help and support. I've written previously of Lucinda Ellery and her expertise in helping women with hair loss, but here I got a chance to ask her some direct questions on her passion and career to date. Lucinda specialises in helping suffers of Trichotillomania, a condition where a person has an irresistible urge to pull out their own hair. It's believed to affect up to 2% of the population; the hair pulling may provide a short term distraction from immediate worries such as depression, anxiety or anger, but the pulling will most likely then fuel a new cycle of these feelings, so only making the sitation worse. Lucinda uses specially bonded hair extensions to not only give suffers a full head of hair (and a hugely powerful smile,) but to break the cycle of pulling by breaking the satisfying feeling of pulling hair away from the scalp. Lucinda has also worked with cancer patients and even does Katie Piper's hair after the horrendous acid attack which left her facially disfigured. She really is a fascinating woman with an amazing story to tell, helping women from across the globe with their hair hangups when there's no other answer. Read on for a mini insight, but if you have any other questions don't hesitate to leave me a comment so I can pass it on to Lucinda directly.


What does hair mean to you as a woman?
Everything. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and last thing I think about when I go to sleep. I am totally and utterly obsessed with hair – any hair at all.

Why did you first become interested in hair and hair loss?
I do not know a time when I was not interested in hair. From the moment I could hold a pair of scissors or a brush, that was that. I am so obsessed with hair, that losing it completely changed my life and made me want to help everyone other woman out there. 

What benefits can hair extensions bring to those suffering from hair loss?
It is as long as a piece of string. For someone whose hair has reduced by 50% in a short space of time, the knock on effect it has to their being and the way they feel cannot be underestimated. It is not about confidence, it is about self-esteem. So to add 50, 60 or 70 connections to thicken hair delicately can make women instantly feel wonderful about themselves, and we all know what you feel… You attract more of the same.

What do you love most about your job?
Everything. I don’t feel like I work – when I just love everything about what I do. It doesn’t feel like a job to me. I am obsessed with hair, I am completely smothered in it morning, noon and night and if I could, I would sleep on a bed of hair.

How do you believe you help people after they've experienced your service?
Because I personally know what it means to have a place to come too to feel safe amongst women that really understand the effects of hair loss, I know what they need. I must believe what the gorgeous girls I meet tell me everyday, to have their hair restored to their former glory. The hundreds of cards, letters and hugs a I get a day tells me that what I do makes a difference… I don’t even think actresses get this everyday. I think that every woman who has lost her hair are the best on the planet.

What’s your favourite story from your career so far?
One of my favourites has to be the story about the birth of little Lucy. Her mother wrote to me and said ‘I have you to thank for my child as I would never had a daughter because I was so miserable about my hair. Until I met you, it wasn’t an option.’ I have never, and will never forget that.

Who has been your favourite client and why?
Barbara Windsor is one of my favourites, as she is such an inspiration. She has taught me that it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can look fabulous and be fabulous every day of your life.

Why is the Lucinda Ellery experience different from any other?
I think it is like a cupcake, you always feel better after you have eaten it… You’ll always feel better after you have been to us.

Find out more about Lucinda, trichotillomania and her consultancy here

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