Restoring Confidence, Making Lifelong Friendships
Would you be surprised to learn that women would prefer gaining weight to losing their hair, especially if it’s permanent hair loss? Weight can be lost, but when hair’s gone, it’s gone.
“Hair loss stinks for any reason!” says Rebecca Walden, a Brookhaven resident, proclaimed “Wigspert of Atlanta” by a client, one of many whom she has helped feel more beautiful. Her clients include cancer patients, whose hair loss is typically temporary, and women with alopecia or another physical condition that results in permanent hair loss.
Parker Hammond is a beautiful 16-year old North Atlanta High School junior, with long blond hair, diagnosed in May with early onset alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease resulting in hair loss. After months of feeling low and frustrated, she beamed with confidence brushing her new wig, showing off her “new” look, which actually looks exactly like her beautiful self! Her mother fought back tears of relief and joy. “I am so glad to have my daughter back.” They were at the Steve Hightower Hair Salon in Buckhead where Rebecca is now happily based. Steve was combing Parker’s new hair, showing her how to brush the bangs softly to frame her adorable face. “If it looks good, I feel good,” she says. “It’s so lightweight!”
For Parker and all of Rebecca’s clients with permanent hair loss, Rebecca is a friend for life. She makes them feel confident every time they step out the door. You’ve probably seen some of Rebecca’s clients up close and personal in the past and never even suspected the woman was wearing a wig.
Wigs, particularly among caucasian women, are viewed as a last resort when they experience hair loss. “We only see bad wigs. There are people all around you every day, and that’s not their hair! We only notice bad wigs, so we feel negatively about the word wig,” says Rebecca.
“There is some stigma, true, but most people have no idea I am wearing one,” says Lori Raney, of Honeycutt Creed furniture design in Buckhead. “As a mother of six, my hair was thinning significantly and six years ago I found Rebecca. My new hair has become a part of me.”
“Rebecca is remarkably and uniquely gifted to do what she does,” says Lisa Simmons of Roswell, who also received a cancer diagnosis. “It takes a very special person to remain upbeat and encouraging while dealing with people’s fear and anxiety. She is more than a wig consultant – she is a therapist in leather pants and crazy jewelry.”
Rebecca’s goal is to create the image women are familiar with when they look in the mirror. “Most of my clients just want to look like themselves,” she says. “Working with me is not a make-over experience—it’s a continuation of their lives as they know them and love them.”
Walden is a board member of the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund and enjoys hanging out with her husband Lance in Brookhaven, “usually at the bar at Smash in Town Brookhaven – it’s just the perfect place to meet friends!” That is never a problem for the Wigspert of Atlanta.