At first, they walk in with doubts but as soon as he works his magic, they always walk out of his salon with a broad smile - feeling more confident than ever.
This is his bread and butter, but also something he’s been passionate about for as far as he can remember.
When Patrick Missile Embole was approached by a male customer who needed a hair extension, he didn’t think it would be a gateway to his new niche.
“I started with designing and making hair for ladies, until I was approached by a male customer who requested for a toupee [the name for male hair extensions]. With my knowledge and skills, I already knew that the toupee existed before I got myself into it. That is where I got the inspiration from.”
He tells TRUELOVE that, at first, it was a challenge because most of the men didn’t quite understand the concept.
“It was not easily accepted by some men with egos, there was a lot of judgement. So, it was a serious challenge to accept and [prove] that a man can rock an extension.
“It was not easy, to be honest, but some were very impressed by the results of my work, you know seeing a man who had a bald hair transforming with a perfect hairline in a minute, while for others it was kind of a taboo, they didn’t accept it easily,” he says.
But it didn’t take Patrick long to be fully booked, with lots of customers queuing outside his salon in Pretoria for hair extensions.
“I developed quite a lot of male customers eventually because most of them understood and started booking for appointments but they’d be the ones walking in without appointment just for consultations. So, currently per month we can have up to 20 male customers coming in.”
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At first, they’d pop in once in a while, he says.
“It could even be a month before we see another male customer coming for the hair extensions or get the same customer from the last time. But now we are getting new faces, it has grown.”
Patrick owns a salon he named Pat Perfect Beauty in Heuweloord, Centurion.
He says he has been doing hair extensions for 15 years and has got the pleasure of opening his doors for even the rich and famous.
He can’t stop gushing about how he loves his work. He says when he grabbed the opportunity of his first toupee customer, he was only challenging his creativity.
“Wig designing allows me to be more creative and as an artist. So, when I was approached by that gentleman who need a hair extension, I used that opportunity for me to express my skill through it. I knew about its existence but was something I’ve never done before.”
He says also gets the demand of beard extensions for men who can’t grow facial hair. He gives us a glimpse of how he does it.
“Because it is for the face, the skin is a bit sensitive so in most cases, we design beard extensions for certain events or special occasions. It is not like an everyday kind of look. So, it is usually for your dinner dates, concerts, or want to be different than usual.”
He says they’ve got a variety of designs for all the races.
“We have two kinds of designs for the male hair extensions. We have one with a clip on for Caucasian hair, even for African hair. So, we put a clip on the side so that it can stand still. Another one is the one that we install with glue, which can last for a long period. It can start from two to three weeks and the customer has to come back for treatment and can stay with it for up to three months as long as the customer comes for treatment.”