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Revive Hair Is Making A Real Difference

by Gene Marrano

Star-Sentinel contributors often have interesting “other lives” as well. Carla Bream ran for Commissioner of the Revenue in Roanoke County (she lost to the incumbent) and Melvin E. Matthews Jr. just released his third book, Duck and Cover. Count Christine Slade among that group – her Revive Hair Restoration Solutions, profiled when it first opened last April, has been helping people deal with hair loss since then.

Slade’s journey to Roanoke included a barrier-free salon in New Jersey, where the Connecticut native was determined to open a shop that would be easy for the wheelchair-bound to maneuver in. She had an affinity for those with serious medical conditions – Slade said she battled multiple sclerosis for 16 years, before waking up one day to find that the symptoms had disappeared, something that baffled her doctors as well.

At her shop in Roanoke, Revive Hair, Slade uses low-light laser therapy to rejuvenate hair follicles, leading, she said, to hair growth. “There are none [others] in the region and few in Virginia,” said Slade, who is a physician-directed practitioner.  That means “constant access” to doctors and nurses if she has questions. Slade said she has been growing hair for clients since 1995. It’s a more commonplace technique in Europe, but “nobody… sought to concentrate on that area,” locally in the past.

“It’s the opposite of most of the lasers being used in the Roanoke Valley.” Since April she has seen people, both male and female, from “lots of different age groups … and demographics who are losing hair or who have lost hair in the past.” Slade is a licensed cosmetologist who “always knew I would [serve] people with special needs.”

Hair loss can be due to an illness or treatment (like chemotherapy) or just the ravages of time. “It’s an emotional thing,” said Slade, “they have to deal with the fact that [we’re] stirring up their hope [for new hair] again.”  She also is a wonderful hairdresser and cuts and colors hair using only organic products and can fit clients with undetectable wigs when necessary. Those seeking laser treatments usually come twice a week for up a year; pricing varies per client and specific therapy program but can be less than $50 per visit.

It’s also a misnomer that women are much more prone to seek hair replacement therapy than are men, according to Slade. She recalled talking to a client – a young male – who had put together a training video for his business. When he watched it, “he said, who is the bald guy? Then he realized it was him,” said Slade. “He was talking to me with tears in his eyes.”

Slade has also discovered that, at least in this area, the “shave it off and be okay with it mentality has developed because people don’t think they have an option. Most men – or women – didn’t want to shave it off; they just felt they didn’t have an option.” Slade, who said she could provide that option, has even been approached about leading a support group for women that are coping with hair loss.

Slade has been promoting the service as an option for those with hair loss. She’s appeared on WSLS and will be a guest on Joy Sutton’s new Oprah-like program, Hour of Joy, after it debuts in the new year. “Lots of people can have a concern that I’m a snake oil salesman,” said Slade, “and it concerns me a lot that they think that. Dealing from a level of integrity, education and transparency is very important to me. Sometimes it has been more of a mission and less of a business.”

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