My name is Elline Surianello, and I have a condition called Androgenetic Alopecia, which is unfortunately a common pattern of hair loss in women caused by hormones, aging and, in my case, genes. Having hair loss as a teen and, today, as a 56-year-old woman, is not a walk in the park. I know first-hand what it's like to not look and feel attractive and to face judgment due to my hair loss. In high school, where most girls my age were preoccupied with the latest trends in fashion and makeup, I was losing my hair in clumps and couldn't look at myself in the mirror -- let alone land a date to the prom!
Rather than indulging in self pity, I decided to learn everything about hair and hair loss and to test every hair loss treatment and quick-fix remedy on the market (and believe me, I tried them all -- from creams to implants to pills). When those didn't work, I turned to wigs. But I quickly realized that none of them really looked natural -- they just weren't me.
So, in 1987, I started making my own hair systems and founded the LeMetric Hair Center, a Midtown Manhattan salon that provides high-quality, non-toxic hair systems that fit women of all hair textures and hair conditions like a glove. Today, LeMetric hair systems are available in over a dozen cities across North America and our Manhattan flagship salon is the premiere hair care destination for women with hair thinning or hair loss in New York.
I created my own hair systems because I did not want other women -- regardless of age or ethnicity -- to go through the feelings of hopelessness that I felt growing up. I feel like it is my personal calling to help women feel better about themselves -- both inside (with my regular, women's empowerment workshops and events) and out (with my hair systems). I've had thousands of women come into my shop and tell me how they've never felt beautiful and how their hair has stopped them from living their lives and being who they were meant be. My biggest satisfaction is when a customer tells me that my hair system has changed their life. It's an incredible feeling knowing that you've created a business that is truly rewarding and that matters.
My next goal is to demystify women's hair loss and hair thinning and to encourage women to share their most personal hair issues on YouTube, whether they've got a little thinning at the top or all-over baldness due to chemotherapy or other factors. I'm running a summer-long video contest where I'm asking women to share their hair story online in a public YouTube video. The creator of the most compelling video will receive a free LeMetric hair system and makeover (over $5,000 value) in September, 2012. By making his a public contest, these videos will impact thousands of women who will hopefully feel more comfortable opening up themselves and talking about their hair struggles.
I hope you'll join me in my mission to empower women with hair thinning or hair loss and to help them reclaim control of their lives and be the strong, confident woman they were meant to be!
Elline Surianello is the founder/CEO of LeMetric Hair Center and will host "An Evening with Style, Nutrition, Exercise & Hair Health Experts" on June 19, 2012 during S.H.E. Summit Week. S.H.E. Summit Week, taking place June 18-24, is New York City's first "women's week," with 35+ events designed for, by and about women to inspire each other in work, life & everything in between. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit shesummitweek.com.