“You are not original. It’s what I tell each one that walks in…you are not original”, Shanna Moll, owner of Shanna Moll Studios, explains.
I had the pleasure of meeting Shanna at her studio when I was in Austin recently. The trip was a little bit taco (and ohhh, the tacos I had!), a little bit Capitol Building, and a lottafresh bit hair.
I’ll fill you in on the tacos in just a bit, but, have you been to Austin, before?
I’ve been a few times since I only live a few hours away, but me and my family love making the trip here since it has such a fun, different vibe than Dallas.
It’s very different & original.
Which I (and you) are not, according to Shanna. But let me explain.
Shanna tells me that every woman walks into her Studio thinking they are the only woman going through this hair loss thing. But she assures them that this issue is far more widespread than you might think.
Making no one that comes into the Studio, in fact, original.
She tells me that hair loss affects all ages, and both sexes…in fact, the majority of her clients are under 40 and men represent a growing segment at her Studio (so much so that she had to de-feminize the place, a bit!).
Oh, and see that little dog? More on the pooch, in a minute.
Check out how beautiful the studio is.
She’s got several rooms for chatting, ordering, styling…you name it. 100% privacy, guaranteed!
In fact, if you want privacy from YOURSELF you can have it; many of her mirrors are curtained.
Shanna Moll Studios helps women who have Androgenetic Alopecia (like me), Telogen Effluvium Alopecia (TE), Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA), loss from cancer treatments, and any kind of hair loss in between.
Shanna sells wigs and toppers in all shapes and sizes (custom and stock), and specializes in semi-permanent long-hair bonding. While she also sells clip in toppers, her long-hair bonding technique piqued my interest.
Most people hear “bonding” and immediately think they need to shave their heads.
Not so fast…Shanna can work around your own hair!
The cool thing about long-hair bonding is that it’s practically “set it and forget it”. You can swim with these systems, shower with them, do extreme sports…the list goes on and on.
Shanna does this with a few different systems: Jon Renau, her Shanna exclusive line, and Cesare Regazzi. The pricing for this is tiered, based on the piece (Jon Renau is the least expensive, and Cesare Regazzi is the most expensive).
Check out this video of how realistic the Cesare Regazzi system is, even when wet (I’m going to start the video showing it wet, but feel free to watch the whole video as it’s kinda fascinating!).
Both of the other lines available in the Studio will give you a similar look.
No matter if the client chooses the Jon Renau line, the Shanna exclusive, or the Cesare Regazzi, the piece is applied in-studio with a strong-hold adhesive that will stay in place for several weeks. You can wash and style these pieces just as you would your bio hair.
Over time, the piece will loosen a bit, and that’s when it’s time to come back into the studio to get it thoroughly cleaned & refreshed, and expertly reapplied. This will happen every 4-6 weeks.
Because it takes some time to refresh the piece and it helps to extend the life of the system, Shanna sells two pieces at a time, and those two pieces get rotated. That way the hair lasts twice as long and you’ll always have one piece on stand-by.
(Note For my FFA readers: bonding is such a great solution for you! I saw a gorgeous brunette walking out of Shanna Moll Studios as I was walking in, who was wearing a custom Jon Renau piece that expertly matched her FFA. It was flawless.)
Definitely something for me to think about and budget for, for the future! It would be amazing to swim and shower with hair!
What I was looking for today, though, was something a little different.
I’ve been searching high and low for (literally) years for a clip-in human hair topper with a color match to my everyday synthetic Jon Renau piece. I want the ability to mix-and-match the two different fibers.
But I struggle – oh do I struggle – with color. I know you’ve heard me say it 12,493 times, but I just can’t wear super-warm colors. And, I prefer my human hair and synthetic hair colors to be a close match.
Shanna is going to try her darndest to do this for me…yes!!
That’s the beauty of seeing someone in person: you can talk through all the tiny nuances that makes ordering online sometimes difficult.
We started by taking measurements. Shanna measured my area of loss and we discussed that the base size that I typically wear is spot on (8×8 or 8×9 or so).
Throughout our chat, I had a little friend to keep me company.
Booboo is Shanna’s (toothless!) rescue dog that hangs out in the Studio and loves to jump into clients’ laps and just snuggle.
While I held Booboo, Shanna asked me some questions about my lifestyle and preferences. She explained that learning these things are very important to getting a piece “right” for a client, and one of the advantages of picking out a hair solution in-person.
She gets down to the nitty gritty, and will even discuss wearing hair in intimate situations, if the client wants to talk about it.
Y’all KNOW you’ve had the same concerns. Because I’ve gotten emails. 🙂
As part of the measuring, we talked about how much hair/density I like to have. Obviously, the bigger the piece, the more hair it will have.
This is the look I love that I don’t think a topper can quite get to. But, I love the very full, Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) type of look. This is Jon Renau’s Blake.
We talked construction. My wish list included a polyurethane rim (for taping or glueing), and a silk top. Easy peasy.
Then, we got to color.
I explained to Shanna how I preferred to steer clear of warm colors and she gave me the best tip ever: check out the mens’ human hair colors.
While she’s going to match my current color 10RH16(ish), if you need neutral/ashier shades, the mens’ line has next to NO warmth.
I wish I had a picture to show, but think about it: when do you see an older man with really warm-hued hair? It’s kind of rare, right?
I cannot stress this enough: when there’s someone with you, guiding you through the ordering process, it really does make it SO easy.
No second guessing what size to get.
No second guessing what colors are possible.
No second guessing if this piece or that piece is perfect for you.
It could NOT be easier.
Throughout my visit, Shanna told me about a few of the many success stories that have come from women who started wearing hair with her help.
She read me an email that came from a client who was so moved to feel hair on her head in the shower, that she sat down with the water streaming over her and sobbed with relief and joy.
She also told me about a young teenager who survived cancer but his hair never came back the same. His father used to wake up before dawn to shade in his scalp to make sure his son’s hair looked as normal as possible; now he wears a custom bonded hair topper and finally feels like a normal kid (I teared up at this one).
You can really tell the passion she has for her clients, and once you become a client, you are a client for life. She frequently has clients that fly in to purchase new clip-in pieces and wigs because they enjoy working with her so much.
Even those that have opted for long-hair bonding are taking care of, no matter where they are. If they relocate, Shanna will help to find a specialist in their area that can continue the service. If there isn’t one, she offers training to local stylists and hair replacement specialists to get others up to speed on this art.
How’s that for service?
Ok, so she’s obviously got a ton of hair to look at. Her Studio offers wigs and toppers (both synthetic and human hair) for you to browse though:
You can browse the website for a bunch of services offered (cut & color, conditioning treatments, hair loss consulting & solutions, etc.), but you have to pay close attention to the CRLABS Trichology services (CR stands for Cesare Regazzi, which we touched on above).
This service focuses on scalp health. Cesare Regazzi is based out of Italy, and Shanna explained to me that Europeans are VERY focused on scalp health (and this was interesting for me to note, in particular. Some of you are aware I’m an Italian dual-citizen…I think a scalp research trip abroad is in order!!).
I saw a ton of before and afters with my own eyes. The diameter of hair increases up to 20%, and result are guaranteed.
Yep, I said it: GUARANTEED.
Shanna says that if you catch your hair loss early enough, many women can steer clear of helper hair all-together, and instead should focus on growing thicker hair.
As a die-hard hair-wearer, had I not seen it with my own eyes I would’ve discounted this service. But, I’m convinced this is an excellent solution for those who are just starting to notice a widening part.
The appointment concluded with Shanna drawing up the actual topper order, and letting me know it’ll be a bit of time before my custom piece comes in. Once it does, she’ll cut it in for me and make sure that it’s perfect.
As much as I love Austin, I don’t need to see her back there because SHE’S OPENING A SECOND STUDIO IN PLANO, TX! Instead of being several hours away, she’ll now be only 35 minutes away. I had no idea she was opening a studio local to me, so that was AWESOME news!
If you’re in the Austin area and want to make an appointment, check out the Shanna Moll Studios website or call 512-789-5630.
The full info is:
Shanna Moll Studios
3921 Steck Ave. Suite A101
And be sure to watch her site for news of the Plano studio opening!
There’s one thing Shanna mentioned that I noticed when I left. Remember how I said that everything is 100% private when you visit with Shanna? Even her door doesn’t make ANY mention of hair loss, or alternative hair or wigs…it’s just a hair studio.
After I wrapped up with Shanna, my family and I spent a bit of time rolling through Austin. Our first stop was the Capitol Building.
One of my favorite parts of the building are the door hinges!
Shanna recommended Matt’s El Racho for dinner, so that’s where we headed for some Tex-Mex. I’m not a food photographer (and can barely take a decent selfie) so this pic does NOT do these tacos justice. If you’re ever in Austin, check out these Asadero tacos. I’m still dreaming of the grilled asadero cheese and beef tenderloin inside homemade tortillas…yum.
After dinner, we went to Congress Bridge to see the bats fly out. Every night, over 1 million bats fly out from their home under the bridge to start their nighttime party. Sometimes, though, bat-watching is a bust, as it was several years ago when we tried. This time, was a success!
Do tell me what you think about long-hair bonding and if that’s something you knew about or ever considered! And if you’re in Austin, TX (or soon to be Plano!) be sure to check out Shanna & Booboo!