BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - As the nation recognizes breast and ovarian cancer awareness month in October, a business owner from Roebuck is launching her own brand of beauty for people suffering from hair loss.
Inside Salon Wygs in Birmingham, there is a code of compassion and understanding that how we look impacts how we feel.
"The Bible said 'the hair is your glory,' and now I understand because it's an image thing," owner and stylist Ki Edwards explained. "I used to tell my husband this all the time, my hair is how I embrace whatever I'm about to do in life."
When a client came to Ki for help covering her balding head, the stylist went to work in her kitchen "lab" designing a custom hairpiece to match both the client's head measurements and natural hair texture.
"Millions of people suffer hair loss and don't know what to do. They go to a store and purchase something that is so huge or it looks like a hat that's just sitting on their head," said Edwards of hair systems past.
It did not take long for the business owner to recognize an under-served market in need of more natural-looking options. Edwards researched what it took to qualify as a provider for health insurers and is now able to work with alopecia and cancer patients to make the service and custom hair pieces affordable.
"It gave me the confidence to get out and face the world," breast cancer survivor Sherrie Cowans said during her routine haircare appointment.
Cowans is a single mother of three who endured 8 chemotherapy sessions, a lumpectomy surgery, and 6 weeks of daily radiation before reaching remission this summer.
"I never thought I would wear a wig but the wig looks so good and so natural. I don't look like what I was going through and that helped out a lot," said Cowans.
She recalls Edwards making a house-call at midnight last year when her hair began to fall out. Her unit, assembled in Edwards' lab with materials from a global supplier, will last forever and can be washed, curled and styled as if it grew from Cowans' own scalp.
Similar wigs can cost upwards of $300 according to Edwards.
"If you have a means that you're already paying for [such as health insurance] why not allow them to cover you through this process? To me, that's a hug from them," said Edwards, who emphasizes her clientele also includes quite a few men. "We seem to think men are so strong and they don't know how we feel or that they can just shave their heads bald. But they also have an image we need to embrace."
Ki and her husband Shannon, who is also a barber, are hosting a hair fashion show this weekend to celebrate those suffering from hair loss. The event, hosted by Palmer Williams of Tyler Perry's House of Payne fame, is being held at Boutwell Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Gospel recording artist Zacardi Cortez will also perform at the show that begins at 4 p.m.
For more information, visit www.salonwygs.com.