By Helen Owens
Most of the kids in my neighborhood weren’t sure if they’d make it to their 21st birthdays, but at 15 I was going to be a mother so I knew I’d have to make a choice: either follow the path of failure that was pretty much laid out for me, or choose another direction altogether. It’s only when I began to accept that I was going to be bald forever that I found that losing my hair was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.
I got to know 'Granny,’ an eccentric retired woman who lived in my neighborhood, when she found me crying on her porch one day. When she asked me why I was crying I told her I was loosing my hair and that I was ashamed and embarrassed by what was happening to me. She told me this was the “blessing” she’d been waiting for – it turned out Granny was a wig maker for theater, and having had my father’s artistic hands bestowed on me, I knew I’d found a lifelong solution to my problem.
Today I am a successful hairstylist, specializing in servicing women like myself who are losing their hair to a variety of hair loss disorders; I’ve won numerous awards for my work, and have been featured in a variety of local and national media. My life’s work is to ensure that women experiencing hair loss have choices in their appearance. It’s because I chose to surrender to my own illness that I am able to help others.