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Elline Surianello: “Wigs are always an alternative but quality is the issue”

Women-owned small businesses are the backbone of every community and employ more people nationwide than any other sector. By launching The Lifestyle Beauty Network, I hope to give these women entrepreneurs an opportunity to collaborate, learn from one another, market together and refer customers to one another. There is no reason any small business owner […]

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Women-owned small businesses are the backbone of every community and employ more people nationwide than any other sector. By launching The Lifestyle Beauty Network, I hope to give these women entrepreneurs an opportunity to collaborate, learn from one another, market together and refer customers to one another. There is no reason any small business owner has to be out there weathering the economy all alone. This kind of collaboration can help women save their businesses and thrive.


As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elline Surianello.

Elline Surianello is the founder and president of LeMetric Hair Design Studio in New York (www.lemetric.com). LeMetric provides hair replacement systems for women suffering with thinning hair and hair loss using high quality human hair and no chemicals, glue or surgical procedures. Le Metric has been in operation for over 25 years and is the longest surviving hair replacement provider for women in the country.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I suffered with thinning hair as a child and after my sister was murdered during a robbery, I lost much of what remained of my hair. As I searched for a solution that was more comfortable than a wig, I adapted a method used by African American women, refined it and launched the first women’s hair replacement service in the country.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

When I went to the offices of Ladies Home Journal to tell them about my business and hair loss solution, they decided to run my story. After publication, I received 4,000 calls in the first month and over 8,000 calls within a year. This demonstrated to me how prevalent hair loss is for women due to genetics, illness and aging.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

The tipping point was when I had collected over 30,000 dollars in deposits at the launch of my business and had no idea how I was going to deliver the product in such volume. I went to Buffalo to discuss it with my father. He asked me how I was going to do this. I told him I didn’t know, but somehow, I would make it work. I quickly found a location in Manhattan, purchased equipment, and hired staff. It was a kind of ‘build it and they will come’ moment, and they did.

The takeaway is that when you see a window of opportunity, you have to decide whether you are going to go for it or run. I believed I was going to succeed and I had the patience to see it through. When I saw that window, I had no money, no location and no staff, but I knew I could not succumb to fear because fear will destroy you.

In your experience what were the most effective ways for your business to generate leads and sales? Can you share a story or give an example?

Getting a story in one publication led to inquiries from others and since the first, LeMetric has been featured in a number of publications and on the Dr. Oz show. The value of PR is limitless. Today, there are so many more options for publicity with social media, blogs and podcast, all of which we do. I have also used print advertising in the past but today, it is largely social media advertising.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

When I was working at the Barbizon School of Modeling, I heard about a man in Houston who was an expert in doing weaves for African American women, many of whom were performers. I went to Houston and he created a weave for me. He was the one who taught me the mechanics of hair weaving. And then I met a man who specialized in making wigs for the Orthodox Jewish community, and he helped me source high quality human hair which, at that time, came from Italy. Without their guidance, I would never have been able to start this business. Thanks to them, I was able to develop and refine a method of hair replacement for European hair.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Understand the environment. How you delivered products and services in the past may not work in a changing environment. It’s important to master business and finance concepts to ensure that your business is stable and survives. If you don’t know how to do that, collaborate with others and learn from their experience. Failing that, read or confer with experts. Have the patience to weather the ups and downs. Every business has rough patches and the ones that make it are the ones that don’t throw in the towel when times get difficult.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you please share “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

For women who do not have hair or enough hair, there are several options.

  1. Wigs are always an alternative but quality is the issue. Synthetic hair wigs are hot and don’t last very long. They also look artificial. The best choice is an ethically sourced human hair wig that is custom made to fit a woman’s head. This requires finding a service like ours that either has a location or a virtual method that allows for sizing, styling and fitting.
  2. Ready-made human hair wigs are an alternative, but many only come in one size. Make sure that the wig is adjustable. Of course, these come in many price ranges and generally the higher the price, the better the quality.
  3. If a woman has some hair, there are clip-in hair pieces but the same issues of quality apply. They also have to be carefully matched to the women’s hair color.
  4. Extensions work well for a woman with enough hair but wants it to look longer or thicker. Many actresses and on-air personalities use these when on camera.
  5. Then there is a semi-permanent additional hair system where the hair piece is woven into a woman’s existing hair that enables her to sleep, shower or swim with the hair as if it were her own.

A service like LeMetric Hair Design Studio can provide all of these options.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

We have literally changed women’s lives by giving them the hair they always wanted. We’ve had clients who have been through a divorce or lost a job or have become empty nesters and want to venture out and change their lives, but have felt diminished because of lack of hair. After getting new hair, one of our clients began dating again after her divorce, met a lovely man and remarried. Others have reported they have received a promotion after they gained their new look. These cases are all examples of reinvention, something a woman should do periodically throughout her life, and for women, hair is an integral part of that.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Women-owned small businesses are the backbone of every community and employ more people nationwide than any other sector. By launching The Lifestyle Beauty Network, I hope to give these women entrepreneurs an opportunity to collaborate, learn from one another, market together and refer customers to one another. There is no reason any small business owner has to be out there weathering the economy all alone. This kind of collaboration can help women save their businesses and thrive.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite saying is ‘Never stop, keep going.’ I think everything I’ve described to you thus far demonstrates that.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

There are so many but I think at the top of my list would be Oprah Winfrey. She is a creative thinker and successful business woman, and she has a big personality like mine.

How can our readers follow you online?

I am on Facebook and Instagram as @ellinesurianello and @lemetric.

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!


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