I lost my own hair to alopecia at the age of 7. After meeting with many doctors and specialist after specialist, my mother realized that my hair loss was not as temporary as she first thought and purchased my first wig.
This was a synthetic net-based product simply purchased from a store and I found it itchy and uncomfortable, in no time at all it was looking dull and very ‘wiggy’. Worst of all I went through the traumatic experience of having it fall off in front of my entire class during gymnastics at school. My confidence plummeted and I became quite insecure.
Martine at age 7, prior to losing her hair Martine after losing her hair at age 7 Martine’s first wig
I began wearing a suction based product that was the best available at the time. It gave me back the lifestyle I had missed, I could play as a normal child, took up dancing, horse riding and swimming. Whilst it felt secure, and so gave me confidence, it was made on a thick fibreglass base that was a little uncomfortable, and the hair was thick and heavily implanted.
My hair did grow back completely at the age of 11, only to fall out again at 13. This time I really understood what was happening and experienced the distress of having hair all over my pillow in the morning, and the feeling of helplessness and lack of control as I meticulously tried to cover up my ‘patches’ everyday. My hair fell out at a rapid rate and it was back to the wig for me. I certainly did get on with my life but just wasn’t completely happy with my wig. The base cut into my neck and the hair was always too thick. I was continually searching for a better product but there simply was nothing new on the market. This had been the case for 20 years.
I began my career as a flight attendant and moved to Melbourne.
It was at this time that I was introduced to a wig that changed my life. Finally a soft base that was comfortable, and fine implantation that looked so real. My self-esteem soared, for the first time I was proud of my hair, and I could have it coloured and cut like everyone else. It was so undetectable that even close friends, and boyfriends, didn’t know until I told them.
in 2002 I began to be more open about my hair loss and help others to design their own wigs. I was so fulfilled and could see the confidence return to the people I helped. I began to understand how I could turn my condition, that I’d always seen as something negative, into something so positive, and realized that this truly was my reason for being. I am able to communicate so well with manufacturers, hairdressers, and especially clients, because I know exactly what it is like to wear this product.
Helping each of my clients to regain even a little more confidence and increasing the public’s awareness and acceptance of hair loss conditions is about as rewarding as it gets!
Martine before. Martine today wearing a Freedom Wig.