Shortly after the American Hair Loss Council formed in the USA, just across the pond, Dimples came into the picture.
In the summer of 1968 I got into the hair business. Manchester, England was my starting point. It was there in the rain, where I met a beautiful woman with a sweet smile, and unforgettable Dimples. So I named my business “Dimples”.
I started in Retail. My first location was in Cheadle Village across from the local church. Soon after I opened a second location, then a third, and finally a fourth location.
In the beginning we were just selling natural hair wigs and top pieces, synthetic wigs had not broken through yet. There were no custom made hair solutions, only stock. The styles and colors were very limited. Consequently, the wigs were super heavy, hot, and uncomfortable. But, that didn’t matter, wigs were in fashion. Women wore wigs for fun and for glamor.
During the 1970s many businesses were selling wigs. As a result, the prices came down, and instead of selling our wigs as a luxury item, we had to compete with everyone on price. There was even a local petrol (gas) station that sold a few wigs! The image of the industry took a huge turn.
Soon after, I decided that I didn’t want to compete on price. And, because I wasn’t a hairdresser or a cosmetologist, I couldn’t offer any services to differentiate myself from my competition. So, I closed three of my shops (but I kept the Bolton shop). I then went into wholesale.
When I went into wholesale I was lucky to have such a great friend, Mr. Farhad Seka. We soon became business partners. He managed the business while I travelled seeing customers and factories all over the world. I couldn’t have done it without him.
It was around this time that I came across a manufacturer in Osaka Japan called Kanegafuchi Chemical Industry. They created a fiber called Kanekalon. The fiber was a great replacement for natural hair. Kanekalon Synthetic hair was a breakthrough for the industry. Finally we were able to make our wigs with style right out the box. The new synthetic wigs made it easier for everyone. The hair held its style and the colors didn’t fade, unlike natural hair.
I was having my hair products made in Korea. Most of our wigs were now made with synthetic hair, as opposed to just natural hair.
Throughout this time Dimples was also selling a lot of men’s hair systems. There were no programs in England back then. The hair systems had extra heavy density and the bases were super thick. They were built to last. Nobody was bonding yet, so tape was the answer.
I had a fantastic agent who was also one of my best friends. He handled the factory and many quality control issues. We are still great friends today.
I visited Asia several times a year for business. With no email, and the language barrier, meeting face to face was the best way to get things done.
In my travels I came across a top Swedish hair designer called Sture Austin (forgive my spelling). He was living in Korea. He was married to the daughter of a very influential man in the Korean Government. He had a towering figure with long blond hair. Everybody knew of him in Seoul. Sture was a pioneer. He came up with colors and styles no one had seen. He was one of the first to make rooted colored wigs. He was so passionate about the idea, so we put the wigs into production with his rooted colors. But, they didn’t sell. It turned out that the public wasn’t ready for such a radical change. But, years later, his vision came through, today rooted colored wigs and top pieces are hot sellers.**(some of the best selling colors)****
I almost went into partnership with Sture, and a Chinese national to buy a wig factory from General Wig Manufacturers. We had a good plan. I was going to handle sales and distribution, Sture was going to be the designer, and our Chinese national partner was going to manage the production. But, in the end it didn’t work out. We all went our separate ways.
During the migration of natural hair solutions to synthetic hair solutions, there came another shift in the industry, the medical side. Wigs were no longer respected as fashion items, instead they became the savior for those that needed wigs for medical reasons. With alopecia and chemotherapy patients rising, there was now a true “need” for hair solutions.
Over the years we listened to our customers as they asked for more styling options, and more comfortable caps. So, we started making monofilament parts—so that the hair could be parted, simulating a mini scalp. Then we made full monofilament tops so the hair could be parted more freely. We tried everything to make the wigs look and feel more natural.
With our UK manager Ali Noruzi we eventually created the “Feather Premier Collection”—this was a cap concept that was designed for medical purposes. We made a hand tied cap that was “light as a feather” with the softest base materials. We were awarded government contracts in hospitals all over the United Kingdom because of this concept and more. Our distributors in Europe also carry this and our superior natural hair levels Bronze, Silver, and Gold—which were developed by my sons James and Michael Todd.
In last few years, we’ve experienced increased demand for quality natural hair. Many companies have moved “back” to making more natural hair solutions. With bonding, better hair processing, and coloring we can make wigs and top pieces that don’t tangle or fade.
The industry continues to focus on the medical side but also, increasingly, on hair replacement for male and female pattern baldness. Quality natural hair has become the “thing” to have—many are looking for the most natural solution, and many will pay to look the best they can.
The hair industry today in Europe (and in USA) is back with gratitude. We have become accepted, loved, and needed.
Dimples focuses on natural hair solutions in three different qualities: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. From Remy hair to Virgin European Hair wigs and top pieces. Located in Los Angeles U.S.A and Manchester England.