MURRAY HILL — Jade started losing her hair in the fifth grade.
Now she’s 24, and is missing roughly 75 percent of her mane.
“It’s pretty hard to deal with,” said Jade, who declined to give her last name or specify the medical condition that is causing her hair loss. “I missed throwing my hair up in a ponytail and stuff like that, moving your hair out of your face. I didn’t do that for a while.”
Then, about a year ago, she went to Salon Zeviar on Park Avenue between East 30th and East 31st streets, where the owner, Jilena Zeviar, specializes in non-surgical hair replacement services.
Jade was outfitted with a wig that was cut and colored to suit her face shape and her personal style.
“It was crazy,” Jade said. “It was just a huge sense of, like, relief.”
Her boyfriend was similarly thrilled, she added.
"His face was priceless,” she said. “He didn’t really even say anything. He was just in shock.”
Jilena Zeviar has been a hair replacement specialist for six years. She opened her Park Avenue salon about a year ago with the hope of fulfilling a need.
“A lot of women don’t want to walk around with no hair. They lose their confidence. Their life is in shambles,” Zeviar said.
In her line of work, she continued, “you give them back their pride. You give them back their self-esteem. You give them back their life.”
The salon has nine stylists, each with more than 15 years of experience. They service a range of clients, from those craving an updated ‘do to those in need of a new head of hair, Zeviar said.
Hair pieces can range from $350 for extensions to as much as $3,500 for a human-hair wig, but Zeviar said her salon offers payment plans to help her clients afford the augmentations and the maintenance.
And regardless of a client’s needs, the reverence for hair remains the same.
“I have a lot of stories,” Zeviar said. “I’ve had women literally cry.”
One such client came all the way from Bermuda to take advantage of Salon Zeviar’s services, she said.
The woman had been diagnosed with cancer. She was devastated, Zeviar said, and she didn’t know what to do.
When the woman’s niece came across Salon Zeviar, the woman got on a plane and headed to New York immediately, Zeviar said.
“She cried like a baby, she was so excited that she found me,” Zeviar said.
After Zeviar outfitted the woman with a new wig, the woman’s husband sent Zeviar a bouquet of flowers to thank her for giving his wife back her self-esteem.
“[These women] look better and they feel better,” Zeviar said. “That’s why I do it.”