CINCINNATI — For Barber Nick Baynes, boosting his clients’ confidence is the reason he got in the business of cutting hair at That's the Cut's barber shop in Over-the-Rhine.
Now Baynes has a new tool at his disposal to help balding men regain their self-esteem. It’s called Cranial Prosthesis or a Male Hair Unit. Baynes traveled to Baltimore last year to learn the process with other barbers from around the country. Now he installs about four units per month for men experiencing hair loss.
“They call me a magician, it’s crazy,” said Baynes. “It’s a good feeling to be able to restore confidence in people. That’s why I got into being a barber.”
The prosthesis are made from real hair and are available in three different adhesion-based units that affect how long they last, which is anywhere from two to four weeks to four to six months. Prices range from $250 to about $1,000.
Baynes’ client Jonathan Thomas starting losing his hair in his early twenties. He said his hair loss was hereditary and now both his parents are bald. Thomas turned 30 last month and got a look at himself with a full head of hair for the first time in 10 years.
“I actually have a chance to look good, look better and have my hair match my confidence,” Thomas said.
Bayers said some clients are apprehensive about trying something new, but he said this is not your grandfather’s toupee.
“As for African-American barbers, it’s different in the hair that we provide. It’s all human hair and the way that we apply it.”
Baynes said doubt about the prosthesis quickly turns into a new-found confidence for his clients.
“I mean the first time you got on the rollercoaster you were like, I don’t know about this.” Baynes said. “But now you probably ride all the time with confidence.”
In addition to the cost of the unit, there are monthly maintenance costs of up to $200 and some restrictions, like keeping out of the pool and keeping the hair dry.
But for many young men like Thomas, getting a new lease on their looks is worth the cost.
“I look good and I feel great, I feel as good as I do on the inside,” said Thomas.
WCPO's Anna Becker contributed to this report.