I’m a highly qualified hairstylist who realised how challenging it can be to find a wig when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and, as a result of chemotherapy, faced losing all her lovely hair. Like most people, she needed a wig that made her feel and look like the person she has always been.
Both as a daughter and a hairdresser, I wanted to find her a wig that was going to make her feel ‘a million dollars’!
After intensive searching and investigation, I chose the best wig I could find and then realised it needed to be restyled to make her look and feel the person she was before she started treatment.
The research I did showed me there were other women losing their hair, though not necessarily because of chemo, but for other medical or hereditary reasons.
It was quite ‘life changing’ for me. I decided not just to cut and style natural hair, but to help other people find wigs and – where necessary – to style, cut and even colour them.
Having decided on that, something rather unique happened.
While in Berlin undertaking consultancy work for the French beauty company L’Oréal, I was introduced to Trevor Sorbie, Europe’s leading hair and wig stylist. His experience with his sister-in-law was similar to mine with my mother and as a result he had decided to set up a charity called My New Hair. This would train hairsylists to become specialists in helping people suffering hair loss and who needed to have a wig.
That opportunity to train with Trevor Sorbie gave me the skill, knowledge and most importantly the confidence not only to help choose the right wigs for people but also to cut and colour them to a style that’s similar to how their own hair had been.
I was honoured to be asked by the BBC if they could come to my hair salon in central Bristol and film Trevor helping me to learn the secrets of how to be a top wig stylist. Since then my reputation has grown, and various organisations such as oncology centres refer clients to me.
Since the birth of my little girl I’ve decided to spend more time with her and – while I still work on a part-time basis in my partner’s salon – choosing, styling and cutting wigs has now become an important part of the work I do.
Over the years I have become more passionate than ever about helping people who, whether for reasons of chemotherapy, alopecia or other medical conditions, have lost their own hair but still want to look amazing.