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Creative Wig Salon offers hair and hope

It”s not a doctor’s office — in fact the Creative wig salon has no medical affiliation whatsoever — but it’s often a source of healing for customers just the same. Jacqueline Baker is manger of Creative Hair Wig. Many of her customers are undergoing chemotherapy and have lost their hair. Creative Wig and Hair Replacement Salon, 19a Hartington Road Middlesbrough TS1 5ED, is a place where patrons can let their hair down, literally, and not be embarrassed.

The salon offer support and encouragement right along with wigs and hairpieces, information and wig after care products.

I started my business on fun,” said manger Jacqueline Baker, who celebrates 12 years in the wig business this year. “Thirty years ago, it was a fad to wear a wig, and everybody had two or three, but it has graduated to where 50 to 60 percent of the people who come in are actually going through chemo.”
The salon also see a large number of customers who have lost some or all or of their hair due to alopecia, trichotillomania or heredity. Customers range from young children on up to seniors in their 80s, mostly females.

“A woman”s hair is her crowing glory”, and if our hair looks right, we feel good,” Jacqueline said. “But if it doesn”t, we can put on a fantastic dress and beautiful shoes, and we still don”t feel good.”

Having hair makes all the difference in how women feel — whether they go out or whether they just hide away, agreed Donna, senior sales associate.
Consequently, the salon can be an emotional place for people who are just starting to come to grips with an illness and the accompanying loss of hair.

“We see moms come in with their toddlers,” she said. “When you”re 21 or 30 you don”t expect to have to deal with this. You kind of anticipate losing your hair when you”re old, but not when you”re 21 or 30.”

Cancer patients come in with friends or sisters, and they sort of huddle together looking morose and forlorn at first, Donna said. But before long, everyone”s trying on wigs, taking pictures of one another and laughing.
Much of the strength that customers derive in the wig salon comes from fellow customers they may never have met before, she said.

“You would not imagine the amount of healing that goes on between the two chairs when women who are both going through chemo are able to share their experiences with one another,” Jacqueline said.

The employees also help ease potentially sensitive situations for their patrons, who can request a private room to take wigs on and off.

“I”ve been grateful to find girls to work for me who love people and who care about every aspect of (customers”) needs, especially when they”re going through hair loss,” Jacqueline said. “We deal with people, not just hair.”
Perhaps that”s why employees have a few select customers whose needs they attend to in the patron”s home, she said.

In addition, Creative Wig employees visit retirement centers to show seniors different wigs and to deliver wigs for those who can no longer drive. A handful of employees also take their love for styling hair and helping people beyond work, volunteering with the Cancer Society”s “Look Good, Feel Better” program. They meet with cancer patients and show them different makeup and wig options. The cancer society”s slogan mirrors the shops” motto: “Look better, feel younger.”

“We”ve done this for years and felt like we had a lot of compassion, but when a mother has cancer . . . it really brings it home,” Donna said. “Then the daughters coming in and wanting the best for her, wanting her to be comfortable and wanting her to look like herself.”

Despite all of the emotion that can surround hair loss, there”s a lot of laughter and “fun” in the wig salon. It”s therapeutic to laugh and to realize that one can look good — really good in a wig. Usually both those who come to buy a wig and those who accompany them leave with wigs in too, Rhoda said.

That”s because wigs are cute and convenient, Jacqueline said. Women who began wearing wigs while undergoing chemotherapy often continue wearing their wigs at least a few days each week even after their hair grows back in.
One would be surprised at how many people around them are wearing a wig or some type of hairpiece, she said.

More and more young women with healthy hair are coming into the salon and buying wigs for fun, cosmetics reason and for convenience, said Gordon, who works in the Durham store. They want a temporary change that they can take on and off, or they don”t want to worry about fixing their hair day-to-day or while on vacation.

All but one member of Jacqueline staff wears a wig, a hairpiece or extensions on a regular basis, including Jacqueline, who has been wearing wigs a few days a week since she was 20+.

“To do my hair like this would take half the morning,” Jacqueline said. “Wigs are so convenient, and they hold their curl even when it”s wet outside.”
The salon sells several styles of wigs, hairpieces, hats, headrap and clipon hair replacement system from the most reconize companies, but they”ll order from any company a customer requests, she said.

Creative Wigs offers the latest styles in wigs from Trendco — a company endorsed by the Cancer Society — three to five months before the wigs are available elsewhere.

“It doesn”t make me a whole bunch of money, but I stay with it because I love styling and I love to help other people,” Jacqueline said. “It”s just a joy to help men and women feel good.” E-mail: [email protected].

Our company is based on the belief that our customers” needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals

We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry.

Location:

Creative Wig & Hair Replacement Salon 
17a-19a Hartington Road
Middlesbrough
Cleveland
TS1 5ED