About a year ago, 2 sisters came into the salon together…..One was cutting off all her hair to give to her sister for a wig to be made. It was a tale of basic human awesomeness on all levels. Read the backstory here and then come back for this follow-up. Last week, I got an email from Katy, receiver of the wig. Here is what it said.
You know, I never thought much about how I looked. Beautiful was (and is) a weird word to me, as my preferred descriptive words were always more along the lines of smart, musical, athletic, or funny.
But, with the brain cancer diagnosis and the direct choices given to me by my neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist put me in a place where I would live with partial, but permanent, hair loss for the rest of my hopefully long life. And that changed my perspective in a way. I became a bit more self conscious about my appearance. The hair loss is localized to the top of my head, which is something I am grateful for. It is fairly easy to hide it under a bandana or a hat, as the rest of my head has healthy hair growth. Even so, I found that it also sometimes made me feel a bit isolated. It can be hard to relate to folks who want to have beautiful hair or don’t care at all, when all I want is to feel like myself when I look in the mirror.
Lucky for me, a family friend had gone through breast cancer and found Anton’s Hair Company in Bellevue. They hand make custom wigs and partial hair pieces for anyone dealing with hair loss. I know of a couple men who have gone to them as well. Their website (www.antonshair.com) doesn’t have a ton of info on it, but Anton is a gentleman who hails from Austria. He learned the craft of wig making by working with the Vienna Opera, making wigs for the costumes. He and his son Kurt hand stitch the hair into a custom fit wig cap that attaches to a client’s head via special tape to or clips for people like me who actually have hair to clip into. They craft them to last, unlike a lot of cheaper wigs that don’t attach the hairs as securely.
The first wig was out of my own hair, saved from surgery, plus some donated hair. Unfortunately, the following hair cut left it crooked and shorter than I like.
The second came from a generous friend whose hair closely, but not exactly, matched mine. I liked that it was longer, but still took a bit of work on my part to get the texture to match. I will always be grateful for this one because it allowed me to play with the length of the layering of my own hair underneath.
The third is the one you helped me with. My sister went to crazy lengths for me… literally! What was it, 20 inches or so? It took a few months for them to get the wig built- good news for their business if they have a backlog of clients. And, it has taken a few more for me to sit down and write about it. (I have a Carepage “blog” update that I have been procrastinating on as well.) Sorry for that, but I’m here now!
Here’s me the day I got the piece. Our hair blends together so well, you really can’t tell the difference!
Here I am after a trip to the salon the next day. It needed some taming after so much time waiting around and then getting stitched into the wig cap.
I liked the curls, so the next time I washed it, I went back.
It doesn’t need to be washed all that often- I am back in hats or bandanas a lot of times when I’m at home or out running around. I may not always curl it after washing, because it is fun to play with as it is.
It’s still a bit weird to see myself as a “baldie” when I “take my hair off”, but the well developed smile lines in my cheeks and eyes still feel like me.
More importantly- guess who looks in the mirror now and feels good about the way she looks?!?
You did a great job with Jenn’s hair, too. We’re both enjoying our new ‘dos!
Katy Wrenn Rock
P.S. If you’re curious to read the rest of my story for yourself, you can find it here: http://www.carepages.com/
Babes, this is one of my all-time favorite hair stories from my career. It was such a pleasure and honor to be a little part of it and I’m glad to be able to share it with you. BTW, here is Katy’s sister Jenn’s hair a year later.
Such lovely sisters.