By Angela M. Coggs
Bette Graff, owner of Graff Hair Technology, describes herself as an entrepreneur and a risk taker and within the Inland Empire community, she is a trailblazer. Graff has been transforming people’s lives for decades and she loves every minute of it. As a stylist since 1965 and an Inland pioneer in hair replacement since 1984, she has brought a new outlook to an otherwise grim situation facing many residents of the Inland Empire.
Graff offers many forms of hair replacement from extensions, hair enhancements, synthetic line, laser therapy and wigs. She does it all; with the only exception being surgical transplants but she does refer interested clients to transplant doctors. She has hair for all clients, including hair that’s considered African American textured.
Graff opened her first salon in 1965 in Colton with ten stylists. In 1978, she launched Simply Us, a dress store in the Riverside Plaza. In 1984, she opened Graff Technology and has been at her current location near downtown Riverside for more than 10 years and has four stylists who work on men and women clients.
Graff Hair Technology continues to train in the latest techniques and goes to Beverly Hills regularly for seminars and workshops as well as New York for trade shows. Graff has won many awards in her industry that are based on before and after results. As an associate of the Wigs for Kids Foundation, Graff sends all hair donations to Cleveland where they’re crafted into hairpieces and given away to needy children.
“This organization is very near and dear to my heart,” states Graff. She has become an educator of the Virtual Reality system which can best be described as a contact lens for hair. She has been featured on KTLA and Good Morning America.
When asked how she went from hair stylist to hair replacement specialist, she stated that she had met and began dating a man that obviously wore a bad toupee. She noticed that his hair did not match the hair piece. He asked for her help but she was not familiar with the process of hair replacement. She enlisted the expertise of a leader in the field and she was hooked. Although she is no longer in a relationship with that man, he is still a current customer of hers.
As a way to promote her services in 1984, Graff was advised to advertise in the sports section of the local newspaper to draw in male customers. As the years progressed, she noticed that more and more women were in need of her services and there were no facilities in the Inland Empire that marketed to female clientele. Currently, Graff has approximately 400 customers and women comprise 50% of her patrons. Seven years ago, she sold half her business to a multi-million dollar company, which owns or partially owns seven salons, including hers. All are affiliates of the Virtual Reality hair replacement system.
Due to an injury that she received after a fall a few years ago to her right wrist, she maintains three days a week light work schedule. Graff, who recently celebrated her 82nd birthday, says she has about two to four years left before she retires. She wants to rest and appreciate the years that she has worked and live comfortably.
On September 25th Graff Hair Technology is hosting a special event, the Women’s Hair Loss Seminar at 4148 10th Street, Riverside, CA 92501. During the event, guest will have the opportunity to view demonstrations, gather information and listen to a panel of actual hair replacement customers. This event is open to the public and Graff Hair Technology welcomes everyone who would love to attend.
For more information on the event, contact 951.251.0961.