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Retired, 74, remains in tears after hair replacement

A retiree who was too embarrassed to look in the mirror or pose in photos for years because of her balding head was given a new lease of life after a hair transplant.

Brenda Vickers, 78, from Walkergate, Newcastle upon Tyne, said her confidence had been shattered after 20 years of irreversible hair loss and a dramatically receding hairline due to her celiac disease.

Earlier this month, she was in tears after getting a hair replacement from Durham-based company Novo Cabelo and her husband of 56, Brian Vickers, 81, loves her new look.

Owner Rob Wood shared the moment Brenda burst into tears after seeing her new look for the first time after putting a £350 piece of real hair on her TikTok and the images have been viewed more than half a million times.

Brenda Vickers, 78, from Walkergate, Newcastle upon Tyne, said her confidence had been shattered after 20 years of irreversible hair loss and a dramatically receding hairline due to her celiac disease

Brenda Vickers, 78, from Walkergate, Newcastle upon Tyne, said her confidence had been shattered after 20 years of irreversible hair loss and a dramatically receding hairline due to her celiac disease

Earlier this month, she was left in tears after getting a hair replacement from Durham-based company Novo Cabelo.

Earlier this month, she was left in tears after getting a hair replacement from Durham-based company Novo Cabelo.

Earlier this month, she was left in tears after getting a hair replacement from Durham-based company Novo Cabelo.

Brenda, before getting her £350 piece of human hair put in earlier this month

Brenda, before getting her £350 piece of human hair put in earlier this month

Brenda was delighted with the results of her hair replacement

Brenda was delighted with the results of her hair replacement

Owner Rob Wood shared the moment Brenda burst into tears after seeing her new look for the first time after he confirmed a piece of human hair worth £350 on TikTok. Brenda is pictured before and after her hair replacement

“It feels good that I don’t have to be self-conscious when I go out. I don’t have to feel ashamed anymore and think “I don’t want to look at myself,” Brenda said.

The celiac says the transformation boosted her confidence, even claiming that “her head should be huge” with all the compliments she’s showered with.

“It changed everything,” she said. “I’m going out more now because I can feel confident and that’s an incredible feeling. Everyone I spoke to was so complimentary and friendly.

“People say I look 20 years younger, but I still have the brain of a 78-year-old. My body is old, but my hair is young. I haven’t seen myself look like this in so long.’

Brenda's husband, 56, Brian Vickers, 81, loves her new look

Brenda's husband, 56, Brian Vickers, 81, loves her new look

Brenda says her new hair makes her feel like a younger woman

Brenda says her new hair makes her feel like a younger woman

Brenda’s husband of 56, Brian Vickers, 81, (pictured right with Brenda after her hair replacement) loves her new look (LR) and says ‘it’s like being married to someone 20 years younger’

Brenda, pictured on her wedding day, said I had tons of hair in her younger years.  I had the beehive haircut and the fashion came three times.  I had piles of dark hair'

Brenda, pictured on her wedding day, said I had tons of hair in her younger years.  I had the beehive haircut and the fashion came three times.  I had piles of dark hair'

Brenda, pictured on her wedding day, said I had tons of hair in her younger years. I had the beehive haircut and the fashion came three times. I had piles of dark hair’

Brenda, pictured as she started losing her hair, thinks her hair loss is due to the immune system condition celiac disease

Brenda, pictured as she started losing her hair, thinks her hair loss is due to the immune system condition celiac disease

Brenda, pictured starting to lose her hair, thinks she's been suffering from the disease for 20 years

Brenda, pictured starting to lose her hair, thinks she's been suffering from the disease for 20 years

Brenda, pictured as she started losing her hair, believes her hair loss is due to the immune system condition celiac disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2017 but says she has suffered for 20 years.

Brenda admitted she was anxious about the procedure but was “stunned” after seeing the results, which she called “astonishing.”

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease in which gluten leads to damage in the small intestine, causing inflammation that affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.

The condition is estimated to affect one in 100 people worldwide, with about three million Americans living with the disease.

There are more than 200 symptoms, the most common of which are abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, and fatigue.

The only treatment for the disease is a strict gluten-free diet.

Source: Celiac Disease Foundation

“I was nervous because it was the fear of the unknown. It felt like I was having major surgery without anesthetic, but I just went with the flow. I couldn’t imagine how it would turn out.

“When I saw it, I was stunned. I started to touch it and I thought ‘I could feel her’ and I haven’t been able to do that in so long. It doesn’t feel like it’s not yours. I was emotional because it’s amazing.”

Before the hair replacement, Brenda was too embarrassed to even take a picture and didn’t look in the mirror so she didn’t have to see her thinning hair.

“I just let it grow out and put it on with a clip that pinned my hair back and somehow camouflaged the crown of my hair,” she said. “It just went back and forth all the time and it brought my confidence down.

“When I was younger, I had tons of hair. I had the beehive haircut and the fashion came three times. I had piles of dark hair. It was never curly, but I had a lot of thin hair.’

Brian said, ‘It’s like being married to someone twenty years younger. It’s a good job, I still have plenty of hair.

‘[The transformation] is beautiful, so I’m so happy for her. It’s perfect. You couldn’t ask for anything better.

Brenda’s husband Brian, pictured with her before her hair replacement, said his wife is “beautiful, so I’m so happy for her. It’s perfect. You can’t wish for anything better’

“I was really shocked when I first saw her. I found her very attractive. She doesn’t look bad, you know?’

Brenda thinks her hair loss is due to the immune system disorder celiac disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2017, but says she has been suffering for 20 years.

After she had had enough of her balding head, Brenda asked a family friend if she knew anyone who could help, so she referred her to Rob who invited her for a consultation at his salon in Seaham, County Durham.

They chose her bob style and then Rob rented a chair in a salon in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, to perform the transformation and film it earlier this month.

A family friend referred Brenda to Rob who invited her for a consultation at his salon in Seaham, County Durham.  She is pictured with her eyes covered for her reveal

A family friend referred Brenda to Rob who invited her for a consultation at his salon in Seaham, County Durham.  She is pictured with her eyes covered for her reveal

A family friend referred Brenda to Rob who invited her for a consultation at his salon in Seaham, County Durham. She is pictured with her eyes covered for her reveal

Rob is pictured modifying Brenda's 'hair system' with a stretchable 'polyskin' membrane attached to her head and existing hair with double-sided tape made especially for the skin

Rob is pictured modifying Brenda's 'hair system' with a stretchable 'polyskin' membrane attached to her head and existing hair with double-sided tape made especially for the skin

Brenda had her eyes covered with glasses for the big reveal

Brenda had her eyes covered with glasses for the big reveal

Rob is pictured modifying Brenda’s ‘hair system’ with a stretchable ‘polyskin’ membrane attached to her head and existing hair with double-sided tape made especially for the skin

The ‘hair system’ includes a stretchable ‘polyskin’ membrane attached to her head and existing hair with double-sided adhesive tape made especially for the skin.

It will take about six months and Brenda will have to have it cleaned every month by her regular hairdresser, whom she says she will still visit for her weekly appointment.

Rob, who proudly claims he’s on a mission to “liberate the world from everyone who hates hair loss,” says it feels great to see Brenda so happy after two decades of low self-esteem.

Rob said, “When I met her and heard she’s been around like this for 20 years, I knew she was perfect for it.

Rob (pictured) says it feels great to see Brenda so happy after two decades of low self-esteem

Rob (pictured) says it feels great to see Brenda so happy after two decades of low self-esteem

Pictured, the moment Brenda first saw her new hair and burst into tears

Pictured, the moment Brenda first saw her new hair and burst into tears

Pictured, the moment Brenda first saw her new hair and burst into tears. Rob (pictured) says it feels great to see Brenda so happy after two decades of low self-esteem

Brenda admitted she was anxious about the procedure but was 'stunned' after seeing the results, which she called 'astonishing'

Brenda admitted she was anxious about the procedure but was 'stunned' after seeing the results, which she called 'astonishing'

Brenda admitted she was anxious about the procedure but was ‘stunned’ after seeing the results, which she called ‘astonishing’

“She relied on the length as a stool, so we wanted to give her something more modern. I envisioned a style that was manageable.

“She was open to all ideas, so when her character came out, I asked if I wanted to shoot the video with her.

“It made me feel good to see her so happy. It’s great that she is now more confident going out and the response has been incredible.

“It goes to show that you’re never too old to get this done. If you’re not happy with your hair, you need to take it down. Unfortunately with that generation they tend to stop and be silent and that’s a shame.’

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