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Saturday, July 31, 2021

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    Dawn Harrison’s Vista salon is a restorative oasis for women facing hair loss.
    By Ron Donoho
    Dawn Harrison helps women challenged by hair loss regain confidence and inner peace. Based in the Invisible Hair salon in Vista, she is the owner of two U.S. patents in the areas of extensions and full-head hair replacement systems. No, not wigs.
    For decades, she traveled the world to attend educational conferences on the subject. Now, she trains others in the restorative processes she helped pioneer.
    “This is my calling,” says Harrison, who has a photo on her salon wall of herself as an eight-year-old playing hairdresser with a life-sized doll head. “This is the journey I was intended to take. I take it very seriously and it has been rewarding beyond belief. Most of our clients jump up out of the chair when the see the results we deliver—and they give us a big hug.”
    Astonishing as it might seem today, there was an era when all the time and money invested in hair replacement research focused on the needs of men. Harrison recalls standing up at a 1996 America Hair Loss Council (AHLC) meeting in Fort Lauderdale. She voiced her unhappiness about the lack of available options for women.
    At the time, Harrison already had a booming hair extensions business. But some of her clientele was aging, and others were experiencing medical conditions. Within the same month, two existing clients told her they had breast cancer and were going to lose their hair.
    The simple facts: You can’t add hair extensions when all your hair falls out. And wigs are not a solution for everybody—whether you’ve undergone chemotherapy for cancer, or are naturally losing hair and seeking a solution with more permanence.
    After Harrison spoke up at the AHLC meeting, the room grew silent. Men’s business was driving the market. And the male-dominated industry members didn’t see the need to change the direction of their efforts.
    However, there was at least one person in the audience who knew Harrison was on to something. A subsequent huddle between Harrison and this woman would be the beginning of a big change in the industry.

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