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Client J reviews her experience of losing hair after cancer

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Client J, a New Yorker living in London, talks about losing her already thinning hair after cancer treatment and seeing Sara Vine's article in The Times. She recounts the dramatic effect that the Intralace Systme has had on her life, including completely reversing her decision to retire, the attitude her customers have to her and the demand for her business advice, and the energising effect it has had on her outlook.

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Transcription of interview - Client J

For those who are unable to view the video, prefer to read, or who have difficulties in hearing, this is a transcription of the interview

It's hard to tell what age I was when I first noticed, because it was so gradual, but then I was diagnosed with cance and had chemotherapy, and of course I lost all my hair and everyone says it grows back but in my case it really didn't very much.

I didn't get a professional opinion about my lack of hair re-growth after my cancer, but I did get some professional opinion before I had cancer, but what was recommended didn't work at all.

My life was more stressful with my hair the way it was. I didn't deliberately try to conceal it, I did have some hair, I got it professionally coloured and I used volumising products - not that they did very much - but I thought I would have to live with it the way it was, and I didn't realise how that was altering my lifestyle.

When I was dealing with my lack of hair I would never let anyone take a photo of me. The only photo I had taken was one where the image was very blurry; you couldn't really tell. I never would have considered swimming, going out in the wind without a strong scarf keeping my hair all together.

I thought I was lumbered with it, I wore a wig while I was having chemo but after my hair came back to a certain extent then I thought 'well this is it, I'm not going to wear a wig for the rest of my life, so I guess I have to deal with it'.

So I read Sarah Vine's Sunday column in the London Times and she had, one of the reasons I like her column is that she had always talked about her hair problems and she'd come to Lucinda Ellery and been so happy with the results that it just made me finally get over my inertia and do something.

When I had the Intralace done I was amazed that it was fine - I felt absolutely fine. It looks so fantastic and looks so natural and it wasn't at all uncomfortable.

Having the Intralace System done to me has had an unbelieveable effect on my life. I thought it would just be a cosmetic effect but it's really affected how people relate to me. Because I had been sick, people took it as a sign when my hair hadn't grown back well and was dead, they thought it meant that I was still sick, they didn't have a lot of confidence in me. I just went to a recent conference just a few weeks ago where people saw me, and it was unbelievable their response - I was so touched. People kept hugging me, they kept telling me how wonderful I looked, they kept telling me how happy they were that I was well, and since then I have been inundated with people wanting me to help them in business.

At this point I feel like my hair is actually my hair. It's part of me, I can't, well this is the hair I always should have had. Even when I had hair I never had hair this nice. So this is me now, this is the me I was always supposed to be.

It's a pleasure to dry my hair and style it because it's coming out so nice I don't have to brush so I can hide away from myself.

I hadn't realised how much my hair was affecting me, but I was actually thinking of slowing down and maybe even retiring because I'm 65 years old. And now I'm totaly revitalised; there is absolutely no way I would retire because I feel wonderful and I look so much younger and I feel so much younger that I can't imagine what I was even thinking of.

I have a fantastic job; I really love my work, I really love my customers and my colleagues. I'm really good at it and why woudl I want to retire? You know, and why should my hair sort of be a influence on me in terms of my retirement? It's ridiculous now that I think of it.

Anyone who is in a situation where, for whatever reason, they have hair loss, their hair is looking just really... doesn't reflect who they are and wanna be, they could be so much more - I feel that I'm so much more, because now I'm allowed to be out again. And it took some courage because I knew I would look different, although not everyone understands why I look different, but it's actually changed my life so much, I really encourage other people, other women, to do this for themselves.

When you're used to going on public trasportation all the time, and having people always offer you a seat, one of the best things is that no-one ever offers me a seat on the bus anymore!

I'm a native New Yorker, I've been over here for quite a few years now. I of course travel back to the US quite a bit. Now I think I'll just keep going to the London branch, but, and this may sound really silly, it's conforting to me to know that, and I hope that you'll end up opening in New York, just in case I ever decide to move back. I would really hate to do that if you weren't there. I do know that you're opening a branch in Los Angeles also in 2012, so either way I think I'll stay in London but west coast or east coast there'll be a place for me.