Letter to Founder of HairClub for Women:
My name is L.S., 36 year old, single mother of a 7 year old son who works as a Executive Assistant earning fair wages.
I came into your facility in Oakbrook, IL (2 Transam Plaza, Suite 390, Oakbrook, IL, 60181) approximately 6 months ago after an accident which caused hair loss sporadically over my head. I was self-conscious about my appearance and looked for a solution. I had witnessed your commercials for many years but never thought I would become a client. Who knew? I walked into your facility on a Saturday and was filled with so much hope from Scott and Britana White that I decided to proceed with the process. After I was quoted the fee for this service, it was a bit hardening being that I had other responsibilities but still a choice I made nonetheless to acquire the full head of natural looking hair that was promised to me. I signed the agreement and 6 weeks later the hair arrived. I was informed by Britana White that I had to have the top part of my hair shaved to inch for this procedure and I believe I signed something that stated that I understood that. However, Ms. White shaved the top half of my head with a razor until it was completely bald and advised me not to turn around and look in the mirror because it's too traumatic, and then left out of the private room. Of course, I turned around and looked and was absolutely devastated! I cried and she consoled me. She placed this hair on my head that wasn't natural looking at all. It clearly looked as if I was wearing a wig. I was so exact when talking with Scott and Britana about what I wanted and they assured me that this is the look that would be delivered for approximately 4K. I paid 2K via credit card and financed the other 2K through Care Credit which is charging astronomical prices to people who come in there with hope to build their esteem from their hair loss due to whatever the case may be and they are blatantly robbed by Care Credit. After the first visit, I was told that it is protocol to leave a gratuity of $100 to the stylist because of the time that is spent on the person's head. This is after I just paid $4,000. I'm unable to decide what I prefer to give the stylist for a poor job. I left your facility and went to my stylist to cut and style my new hair from HCW to make me look normal.
After several, scheduling issues with Oakbrook, IL, I asked if they could refer me somewhere else. They did.
I contacted HCW in the Chicago Loop area (625 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1800, Chicago, IL, 60611) and spoke with the Director, Mrs. Joann Ross-Wells. I told her the experience I had from the beginning to having my hair shaved completely. There was a pause on the phone. She then, stated that, I'm sorry, the information Britana gave you was incorrect. You did not have to have your hair shaved for that procedure. They [Oakbrook Center] could have sewn it in'. I did not have words. I began to cry on the phone. She commented again, I would have not recommended to a new person coming in to the center shave their hair because it's too traumatic. They are unable to go back and remove if they don't like the procedure after a few weeks because they don't have any hair. LS come in and we can work with you. My first visit went well and she talked again about the errors Britana made and informed me that they train at the Michigan Ave. office; she trains the representatives. I cried some more. I was distraught that this young woman misled me because apparently she was just unaware of how to do the the sewing in of the hair and its much quicker, faster and easier to just simply shave someone bald and add hair. Joann also pointed out over the course of the months that I visited with them the many errors made with hair type and sizing of the matrix.
On Saturday, September 6, 2008, I traveled to Michigan Ave. for an appointment that was given to me by Joann Ross- Wells. I was informed that I was not on the schedule. I was upset because I know that she had provided me a reminder card of this date (see attached). I was told that they were full and couldn't accommodate me for my 6 week service. I explained that the hair is lifting and simply need some adhesive glue added and she informed me that there would be a wait. I had an appointment that was given by her and felt that I didn't need to wait. Nevertheless, they did not accommodate me and so I left. However, I promised Joann and the person at the receptionist desk that when I got home I would fax the reminder card to confirm that I had an appointment that day. I left the building and went to my stylist and she fixed my hair and noticed a medium size ball spot (no hair in this area) which is evident from not letting the solution soak long enough and pulling the hair off. I specifically asked Joann and Tonya Stigger [Stylist at HCW] will there be any damage to my own hair if I don't get it shaved. They told me No. The both said that we can let your hair grow and change the procedure to the sew in (not sure of the proper name that procedure is called by HCW). I did not get my hair cut anymore and they knew my ultimate goal was to one day wear my own hair again. I repeatedly stated this each visit. Anyhow, my stylist pointed the spot out and I could not believe it (photos will be forthcoming). I cried because the whole experience with HCW has been so traumatic and now this.
She believes that the spot will be permanent because it appears that there aren't hair cells there any longer (surface of scalp is real smooth). Her professional opinion is to have the hair removed and wear a wig, as she states, this will give my hair some time to heal.
My final decision is to not receive the 2 heads of hair that I have left, remove the current hair, and go and purchase a wig. I do not believe that I should be forced to pay a bill for the disservice that has been given to me by your staff at both facilities in Illinois. I was given false information by the Oakbrook Center which resulted in a traumatic experience and then after repeatedly stating to Michigan Ave. the importance of keeping my hair; they managed to damage the hair that was finally growing back by not performing the removal procedure accurately
I don't ever want to see anyone be treated in this manner ever again and spend the type of monies that I have invested for such poor care. It's not right! It's not moral! It feels like I was taking advantage of because I came in there so distraught about my hair loss and I feel as if, I was taken complete advantage of because I was at a weak point in my life. The evidence I have is a invoice that I have to pay, HCW hair currently on my head that looks awful and when you life the hair up, missing hair from where the staff damaged it, an appointment to check out wigs and a heavy heart because I know I was treated unprofessional and immoral.