Catching up with our Pelo hair transformation candidates

It’s been another four weeks since we last caught up with our Pelo hair transformation candidates.

We travelled back to the Pelo Hair Salon in Kildare to see how our incredible ladies are getting on. Lucy, Carla, Carol and Susan have all experienced hair loss due to mental or physical health issues, and have been undergoing treatment with Pelo Haidressing’s owner Denise Phillips.

Denise has been working with each of the candidates to help to treat their hair, whether that be using specialised scalp treatments or making use of wigs and extensions.

She shares that over the last eight years they’ve worked with a number of different clients, but there’s something really special about this particular journey.

“We’ve been looking after dry scalps, oily scalps, psoriasis, hair loss due to trauma or surgery… we see everything coming in through our doors. What’s been really breathtaking is these women going in front of the camera. Sharing their journey, sharing their story with others,” she says. 

Let’s take a look at how everyone’s been doing!


Carol has been living with Cystic Fibrosis. After spending two months in hospital following a coma, her hair started falling out. When it eventually grew back, it was unlike before, with a coarse and unmanageable texture.

Denise is treating Carol with a 12-week smoothing system from Alaparf. It’s a treatment that works by supplying nourishment and rejuvenation to restore the health, shine and manageability of the hair.

Speaking about Carol’s experience, Denise tells us that she hopes people enjoy watching Carol’s journey, and her new “amazing hair”. She stresses that when it comes to women in Carol’s position, even though they’re happy their hair is growing back, it can still be difficult to come to terms with how different it may look.

“Although [they] feel very honoured, and grateful that [their] hair has grown back, [they] now have a new journey,” Denise says.

Carol tells us that she’s been loving her journey so far, and seeing how her hair has come on. “It’s been amazing getting to know all the team here at Pelo…I’ve been pampered within an inch of my life!

“The difference in my hair… it’s glossy, and shiny… I love how it makes me feel. I think that’s really important. I love how I feel and how my hair makes me feel too.

“I’m so looking forward to what’s coming ahead.”


Lucy is 14 years old, and has been suffering from Trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder. She’s proud to tell us that things have been improving over the course of her Pelo journey, and she hasn’t pulled her hair in four months: “[I feel] so good… I thought I could never stop”.

Denise is assisting Lucy’s hair growth by using oxygen therapy, with the Kemon Oxygen Machine. This natural therapy promotes a clean, balanced scalp and healthy hair growth. The oxygen encourages nutrient-dense blood flow, and revitalises the roots.

It’s important to Denise that she remind people that hair loss can be deceiving, and many women and girls suffer behind the scenes. “Women are suffering out there… but they’re hiding it. As you can see from our candidates, they’re happy, they’re full of life. You’d never know… and I think that’s important to share. Sometimes, our battles are silent”.

Lucy has also been fitted with a ponytail to boost her confidence, and so she can feel what’s it like to have her hair back while she waits for it to grow.

“I love it so much. It’s human hair, so you can wash it, curl it, style it anyway you want… I just love it”, she says.


Susan was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma (brain cancer) in May 2020.

She’s been through surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy as part of her treatment, and has lost hair on the right side of her head.

Denise is also treating Susan with oxygen therapy, to revitalise her roots and promote a clean, balanced scalp and healthy hair growth.

When it comes to women who are on journeys like Susan’s, Denise shares the importance of being transparent with clients. “There may or may not be new hair growth… we always try to be honest with our clients and put our best foot forward.

“With Susan, her hair did grow back within the six weeks [of treatment], so then we went hell for leather! And the growth has been exceptional.”

Susan tells us that she’s delighted “to see the progression”.

“To see all the new hair appearing is great… and the length. I can tell by the grey roots!” she says.

“I thought I was going to go bald. It’s great now that I’m starting to get my swish back! It’s a nice feeling, after everything”.


Carla was sadly diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2022. After undergoing chemotherapy earlier this year, her hair began to thin and fall out.

Denise is treating Carla by helping her to learn how to handle her new hair with special products, and is also installing a topper to help boost Carla’s confidence. “Carla has been through a traumatic time… she’s learning to deal with her new hair and she also has a new T-parting (wig) to tide her over while she waits for new hair growth”.

Carla has another surgery coming up, so they’re not sure yet where her hair journey will go.

She shares that while she’s nervous, she’s looking forward to how things can improve in the future. “I am scared about the surgery, but at the same time I’m happy to have the ball rolling,” she says.

“When I look in the mirror, I don’t really see my own self looking back. But day by day, I am starting to feel a little bit more like myself. And my hair is coming on… it’s definitely helping with my self esteem”.

At the end of our visit, Denise tells us that she hears stories like the ones from Carla, Lucy, Carol and Susan every day.

“I know by these women putting their stories out there, it will help so many others.”


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