I have struggled with the diffusion between my university life and the driving force behind this project: undergoing a hair transplant, and dealing with the effects. I have been using high levels of medication to suppress the speed of my hair loss. These drugs and cocktails of drugs I have been using have enormous side effects, the challenge of managing depression, physical impairment, energy loss and mood swings, has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
The experience and challenges faced in this project have increased the justification to share this experience. I had no idea of the emotion cost of this process, and people who have not walked this path can’t understand this experience either. Spending the first 3 months looking like Frankenstein, being stared at, people asking questions, pointing, and laughing. Standing out was the reason I had this operation in the first place, and had no idea that in doing so, I would exacerbate this experience and turn me into a recluse; depressed and emotional.
Despite the struggles I have created what I set out to create, with some alterations. For example, I have agreements to receive pharmaceutical information and consult as part of the process, by the summer from Craig Alexander, a Bath University graduate, who is fully qualified once he completes his papers have served his year in industry. He is unable to provide them sooner – despite being an ‘MPharm’ and practicing pharmacist, he is unable to provide private consultation before August (much like passing the ‘bar’ exam in law). He is partnering on the project once he receives his papers.
I had a 4,000 hairs removed from the back of my head and placed in the front.
The operation takes 18 hours, I was conscious for the process, and just had considerable botox injections to paralyse the nerves and tissue. It was one of the most painful things I am likely to experience, both in operation; with 30-40 injections, and in recovery; the nerves are still not ‘happy’ and constantly give me the feeling of the hair being on fire, or ice cold, or being stabbed.
There i more detail to be found on the blog posts on the website: www.romancityhair.com
The idea of this blog is to map my experience in one post, and not to provide constant – demanding updates. The project is to be dormant in its successful completion, all the information needed there, with an opportunity to experience more when they contact me.
The company name is designed to be discreet. I wanted it to sound like to could be a salon, or barbers. This is so people would not feel embarrassed taking messages, or entering a premises with the name above the door.
The website for roman city hair, was created with the expense purpose of being a targeted, and specific consultancy. This is not my main source of income, and will act as a social enterprise, and connector between myself and anyone who would like to learn more about the process.
A decision was therefore made regarding the format, detail, tone and presentation. This would be simplistic. clear, concise, and informal. Navigation accessibility and a lack of complicated ‘nonsense’ was avoided. This is a social enterprise, informal and not a pressured sales environment, the purpose is to deliver my experience, and offer my consult, not to encourage people one way or the other.
The logo reflects the tone, lower case, with recognition of the city, the name was designed to anchor the business to Bath. The front page offers an image of a Bath landmark, and simple selection options. If the user scrolls down they are presented with further options.
This section introduces me, my basic experience summary, and some visualisations of my experience as well as a representation of a consultancy I provided to a client in the area. The images and headings act as links to other areas in the site, finally the first page shows my blog.
The most important element of the site is the blog. This is where I deliver my experience. This section is the reason clients will contact me, this area introduces what the client can expect, how my experience can add value and inform them and why I am best placed to provide this experience. I decided to title the blog “being samson”. This is because of the story of Samson, who’s wife cut his hair removing his power. I felt that as a metaphor this was powerful and oddly relatable. I was really happy with the titling and how this section informed context. I am not familiar with ‘blogging’ but I felt it was humanising, and served it’s purpose well.
The site is basic, clean and uniform which is exactly what I wanted it to be, it had automated booking and text message syncing, clients can see my calendar, book the type of consultancy needed, and then receive a text conformation, as well as reminders for the appointment. Please try it out, it works great.
There is a detailed breakdown of my marketing approach, and the justification for this in the appendix.
Essentially, the marketing is informal and targeted. I use salons and barbers in Bath to display business cards and handouts, I also discussed the process at length with hairdressers, they are notorious gossips, and I felt that frequent visits and chats, would be well placed to stimulate this process.
The business cards mirror the website, and provide information clearly and concisely.
The PNG file created in photoshop for the logo, was easy to display on an image, and I felt that this licensed image used in the site was the best fit model for that purpose.
I have provided several consultations. These involve using the 400x digital microscope I purchased to show clients how their hair is ‘suffering’ and what that means. This is explained in the blog and on the site, but basically hair suffocates under high volumes of testosterone. These hairs appear clearer and more fragile, often scared. The also are red (like a spot) on the root, and much thinner than their neighbours.
This visualisation provides clients the opportunity to view the loss in detail. This is not something they would have been able to do previously. This is the enabling phase. The secondary phase is the support in experience. I tell them about my processes and answer questions in an evidenced way – I have a lot of core knowledge, I have accumulated and I am happy to share it.
The microscope was purchased on Amazon, for around £100.
I used it daily with my transplant to see what was going on, and found it very useful. I have two images here which show the progress in development of thickness.
The right image is taken in October, and the left was taken in April. Both from the same area and show significant improvement. This is the benefit of this tool in consultation.
John Dimberline was happy to provide images for this project and my site. Linus was also kind enough to provide me with a review and some feedback, the evidence of both of these interactions can be found in the appendix.
Overall I am happy with how this project has evolved and developed. I believe there is tangible evidence to suggest its effectiveness and realistic scope for its future development. This project was intended to provide an outlet for my experience, and has give me as well as those I have engaged with a feeling of comfort.
I began this project with a sense of injustice and am happy to see that this project combats that, and has helped me support others. The support and sense of purpose has really helped me cope with the stresses of this project, its demands and the fallout from my own engagement. The conversations I have had as a result have been meaningful, engaging and beneficial to my clients, we have discussed a partnering of this process, incorporating experiences in a social community to provide multifaceted consultation. From clients who explored the process and thought better of it, to clients who went ahead with medical provention, and finally to clients who decided to engage in surgical but not medical experiences. This will provide an outlet which is impartial, constructive and robust.
The involvement with Wimple Clinic in London has given me a wealth of knowledge, which I am proud to say benefits not just me but has a wider reach, and a reach that I can see growing.
This project is not meant to be a blockbuster, or get awards, it’s meant to inform, support and engage the correct people. In this, it has performed better than I had expected and I am proud of what I have achieved.