Wendy Elbers has run a hairdressers in Costa Teguise for 8 months, and among her services is providing wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or other treatments. It’s a hugely valuable job, providing self-esteem to people at their most vulnerable.
How did you start doing this, Wendy?
I began in the Netherlands, where wigs are usually available to cancer patients as part of their health insurance scheme. It’s different here, where patients have to buy them out of their own pocket, and this means that I generally have to use more affordable material.
How does it work?
I order the wigs in, consult with clients as to what they want, and then style the wig to their wishes, dying, cutting and steaming it as required. Most clients are looking for a style similar to the one they had before treatment, so it helps if they attend as early as possible, so I can see their hair and work towards the best result.
I often advise them to go for a shorter style, so that when their hair grows back and they remove the wig, it’s not such a big transition.
How do your clients get in touch with you?
I advertise, there’s word of mouth and an oncologist at the hospital has told many patients about my services.
Is it just wigs that you sell?
No, I sell partial hairpieces, caps, hats and other accessories.
What about real hair wigs?
They’re far more expensive, as every hair has to be attached by hand. I do collect hair for them, and take bags full of braids to the Netherlands to donate to charities for children with cancer there.
You’re working with people who are going through one of the most difficult times of their lives. Is it hard?
It can be sad, but it’s harder for them. There usually comes a time when patients decide to cut off what remains of their hair, and that’s always a very tough moment. But there’s also a kind of beauty in being able to help at such a time.
Wendy’s Peluqueria & Pelucas is at 22 Avenida de las Islas Canarias, Costa Teguise. Tel. 663 219 770 Facebook: Wendy s’ peluquería & pelucas.
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