Pensioner, 74, is left in tears after having hair replacement

Pensioner, 74, is left in tears after having hair replacement

Woman, 74, who lost her hair due to coeliac disease and spent 20 years feeling too embarrassed to look in a mirror sobs as she is shown the results of ‘astounding’ transplant

  • Brenda Vickers, 78, from Newcastle upon Tyne, suffered irreversible hair loss
  • She received transplant from London-based firm Novo Cabelo earlier this month
  • Owner Rob Wood shared the moment Brenda teared up at new look on TikTok

A pensioner who spent years too embarrassed to look in the mirror or pose in photos due to her balding head was given a new lease of life after receiving a hair transplant. 

Brenda Vickers, 78, from Walkergate, Newcastle upon Tyne, said her confidence was 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 receiving a hair replacement from Durham-based firm Novo Cabelo and her husband of 56 years, Brian Vickers, 81, loves her new look. 

Owner Rob Wood shared the moment Brenda teared up after seeing her new look for the first time after he attached a £350 human hair piece on TikTok and the footage has racked up more than half a million views. 

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

Earlier this month she was left in tears after receiving a hair replacement from Durham-based firm Novo Cabelo


Owner Rob Wood shared the moment Brenda teared up after seeing her new look for the first time after he attached a £350 human hair piece 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 embarrassed anymore and think “I don’t want to look at myself”, said Brenda.  

The coeliac sufferer says the transformation has boosted her confidence even claimed ‘her head should be massive’ with all the compliments she’s been showered with. 

‘It’s changed everything’, she said. ‘I’ll go out more now because I can feel confident and that’s an unbelievable feeling. Everybody who I’ve spoken to has been so complimentary and kind. 

‘People have been saying I look 20 years younger, but I’ve still got the brain of a 78-year-old. My body is old but my hair is young. I’ve not seen myself look like this for so long.’ 


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

Brenda, pictured on her wedding day, said that in her younger years ‘I had tonnes of hair. I had the beehive hairstyle and the fashion came around three times. I had piles of dark hair’ 


Brenda, pictured as she had began to lose her hair, believes her hair loss is due to the immune system disorder celiac, which she was diagnosed with in 2017 but says she has been suffering from for 20 years.

Brenda admitted she was anxious before the procedure but was ‘stunned’ after seeing the results, which she dubbed ‘astounding’. 

What is celiac disease? 

Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder in which gluten leads to damage in the small intestine, causing inflammation which 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, with the most common ones including abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, and fatigue.

The only treatment for the disease and 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 a major operation with no anaesthetic, but I just went with the flow. I couldn’t imagine what it was going to turn out like.

‘When I saw it I was stunned. I started touching it and I thought ‘I could feel hair’ and I haven’t been able to do that for so long. It doesn’t feel like it’s not yours. I was emotional because it’s astounding.’ 

Before the hair replacement, Brenda was too embarrassed to even have her picture taken and would avoid looking in the mirror so she didn’t have to see her thinning hair. 

‘I just let it grow and put it up with a clip that pinned my hair back and somehow camouflaged the crown of my hair’, she said. ‘It was just receding back and back all the time and it brought my self-confidence right down.

‘When I was younger I had tonnes of hair. I had the beehive hairstyle and the fashion came around three times. I had piles of dark hair. It was never curly but I had lots of thin hair.’

Brian said: ‘It’s like being married to someone 20 years younger. It’s a good job I’ve still got plenty of hair as well.

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

‘I really got a shock when I first saw her. I found her very attractive. She’s not a bad looker, you know?’

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

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

They decided on her bob style and then Rob hired a chair at a salon in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, to carry out 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 ahead of her hair reveal 


Rob is pictured fitting Brenda’s ‘hair system’ which includes a stretchy ‘polyskin’ membrane attached to her head and existing hair with double-sided adhesive tape made especially for skin

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

It’ll last around six months and Brenda will need to have it cleaned every month by her regular hairdresser who she insists she’ll still visit for her weekly appointment.

Rob, who proudly claims he’s on a mission to ‘rid the world of anyone hating their 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 going around like that for 20 years, I knew she was perfect for it.


Pictured, the moment Brenda saw her new hair for the first time 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 before the procedure but was ‘stunned’ after seeing the results, which she dubbed ‘astounding’

‘She relied on the length as a crutch, so we wanted to give her something a little more modern. I envisaged a style that was manageable.

‘She was open to any ideas, so when her character came out that’s when I asked about doing the video with her.

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

‘It shows you’re never too old to get this done. If you’re not happy with your hair you need to get it down. Unfortunately with that generation they tend to put up and shut up and it’s a shame.’ 

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