“He said that it actually helped out his relationship.” ~ Darrl Robert
When it comes to male pattern baldness, in men of all races, the “cure” verdict is still out as to what actually is a helpful mechanism to combat the issue. However, when it comes to men of color, some can rock a shaved head very well while others still prefer to hold on to a full head of hair. The question is – Why shouldn’t they?
According to the science behind naturally balding is that it’s caused by the inability for the scalp to convert testosterone in DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) as it comes into direct contact with your hair follicles oil glands. Now those glands have the enzyme Type II5-alpha reductase which serves as a killer of DHT.
As a result, follicles will eventually shrink, blood flow becomes restricted which leads to hair loss that may never grow back. While some people are “okay” with letting nature take its course, others simply want to defy it.
Over the years, we’ve seen remedies such as the Hair Club, Bosley or even local Trichologist that performs hair transplants in your city. While those do help after a certain grafting number is applied to the missing areas the follicles taken from the donor area will leave behind a scar. It’s usually disguised up under the hair once grown back but can lead to a keloid scar for black men.
Another safeguard option has been the use of keratin fibers which is a protein found in hair. Products such as Nanogen Hair Fibers and Toppik have become helpful products but time consuming and don’t fully cater to the hair texture of black men.
Now that you’ve gotten a crash course in men’s health care, let’s talk about Team Hairbenders owner Darrl Robert and the installment of male hair units or “cranial prosthesis.” Black social media has seen the installation of hair units on black men subjected to jokes and criticism. Yet, those same critics may not know the journey that men have gone through or the lack of confidence one may feel when hair is no longer growing. However, Robert takes no interest in internet talk but instead; he takes pride in giving a form of power back to his clients.
He talked candidly about studying the craft of installing the units for two years and his devotion to providing a service to black men to restore a confidence that may have once been lost. Check out what Robert had to say about the units below:
On why he’s introducing this to men in the city of New Orleans:
It’s a lifesaver. It changes people’s lives. When I first started doing it, I wanted to revolution everything to add to my craftsmanship. When I had a client that said, ‘It changed my whole relationship’ that’s what changed the dynamics of it. On the outside looking in, you have your critics that laugh at it, but the people who actually get it; it becomes life changing for them. I’ve ended up becoming a doctor and a psychiatrist [laughs].
On the different styles he installs:
The Wavelength Unit ($175) can last 30-45 days if maintained properly. It’s natural scalp exposure unit. You have the Mesh Unit that can last anywhere between three to four months. The Lace Unit ($600) can last six months and beyond. The longest I’ve seen a lace unit last is up to nine months.
On his views about other products versus the hair units:
Those products are mostly aimed for white men and not really black men. I say this based on statistics and independent cases – It wasn’t created for us. The way our follicles are made are just different. There are men that have gotten the surgical procedures done with the remaining scar on the back of their heads and sometimes the hair doesn’t grow back as full or doesn’t grow back at all. Hair units give you length to where you don’t have to choose surgery unless you want to.
On preparing before the installment:
At least have an inch of hair on your head because the side of the hair on your head is what helps to blend the units in with your hair. You have to have some grow-out in other words.
Robert showed us a briefing on the physical process which is to find your natural hairline, make a few cuts which may have you looking like George Jefferson and then he follows it up with adding the hair then finalizing it with a fade cut style.
Here’s why we recommend hair units versus hair fibers: Consumers will spend close to $25 dollars for 15 grams of keratin fibers or 30 grams for $30 dollars, and depending on how much you use it, you’ll spend close to $1,200 for the smaller bottle as opposed to $360 for the month supply bottle.
You’ll also run the risk of missing spots, constant reapplying, having non-waterproof follicles atop of your head and don’t forget the shipping and handling fees from Amazon or any other leading distributer you will find online. Fibers cover spots but disallows you to “run your fingers” through your hair without disturbing the placement of the fibers.
The hair care units offer more longevity, natural looks without looking questionable in the sunlight, less money spent and most importantly, it gives you style options with growth as opposed to fibers which can only cover to match the current length of your hair. In other words, if you’re in the mood for a different type of style, keratin fibers won’t offer that luxury. Factor in a two week touch up with the unit for about $25 dollars and your investment is a lot more fruitful to your pockets.
All in favor say “aye!”
Robert is the only barber in New Orleans that provides this luxury with reasonable prices, a private area for client’s comfort and will have you looking like a brand new man. He can also match the units to accommodate whatever hair color clients have.
Check out TeamHairbenders.com to set up an appointment. To see more of Robert in action with the units, find him on Instagram at Team_Hairbenders. If you’re interested in learning the craft, Robert hosts classes where he teaches about how to properly install the “life saver.”
All photos are courtesy of Mr. Darrl Robert, himself. What can't he do?