Niccola Henry has a passion for making women beautiful, especially if they’re undergoing treatment for cancer.
Two years ago, Henry, owner of Niccola’s Hair Salon, 434 Belmont St. in Geistown Borough, decided she wanted to offer a wig service to women who were battling cancer that would help them feel more like themselves.
“I’ve been touched with so many people in my life who have had cancer and I wanted to help them,” she said. “My cousin got breast cancer, she was 40 or 41, and she was devastated. At the time I didn’t have the wig service, so I bought a wig and cut it, and that’s what made me notice that we need a service like this in our area.”
Henry said when a woman expresses an interest in the wig service a free consultation is set up.
The private consultation includes determining the best custom wig to fit the client’s lifestyle, needs and budget.
The client has the opportunity to look over a variety of wig styles and they’ll discuss hair length and color.
“When I started the wigs were 100% human hair, but the wigs now are real and synthetic, so it’s a combination,” Henry said. “With human hair you have to curl it and style it all the time, but with these you don’t have to and it feels like natural hair.
“You can curl them and straighten them, you can’t perm or color them, but there’s so many combinations of colors and we can get it right.”
For women who are losing hair due to chemotherapy treatments, she can cut it or shave it off – whatever makes the woman feel most comfortable.
“I’m here for them at all times from the beginning to end. They are not alone,” Henry said.
Once the wig is received, the client comes in and its customized to fit the women’s features including texturizing it to get rid of the bulk so it looks as natural as possible.
“We make them great, just like they want to be,” Henry said. “My goal is to make these women feel better about themselves so they can beat cancer.”
All services, including upkeep on the wig, is offered free of charge to cancer patients.
Henry offers $200 off the cost of a wig, and some insurances will cover additional costs.
To date, 150 women have utilized the wig service.
“I want to make these women feel 100% beautiful,” Henry said.
Cancer patient Loretta Troup received her wig from Henry in the spring and couldn’t be happier with the results.
“Niccola knew what color my hair was, and she ordered the wig and it looks just like my normal hair,” the Friedens resident said. “Some people say they like the way I have my hair fixed and I thank them, but I say it isn’t mine.”
Troup said the wig service is wonderful.
“The (American) Cancer Society will get you a wig but it’s not the quality of these wigs, these look more like your natural hair,” she said. “It makes me feel more at ease and gives you a little bit more confidence.”
Three-time cancer survivor Bernice Wagner wears a hairpiece that Henry, who is her niece, styles regularly for her.
“I started losing my hair, and my sister got me the hairpiece and I feel so much better with it because my hair was so thin and I didn’t care for it,” the Woodvale resident said. “I feel so much prettier. I don’t like to take it off.”
She said the hairpiece makes her feel brighter and happier.
“I get a lot of people telling me my hair looks really pretty since I got it,” Wagner said. “I think this is such a wonderful thing. I tell a lot of people about Niccola. She does beautiful work.”
Henry said what drives her to continue to offer this wig service is her love of helping people.
“When I’m working with these women, it makes me cry because I know how they came in and then what I do for them, they are so grateful, and we build a friendship,” she said. “I am blessed to be able to work with these women because they are wonderful.”
For more information on the wig service or to set up a consultation, call the salon at 814-266-5059 or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/niccolashair.