Janine Dawson Case Study photo 11 1

Janine Dawson - Breast Cancer

"I was going through so much emotional turmoil that I needed someone who could really empathise with my situation to help with my decision. Through a personal recommendation I turned to Audrey."

At the age of 45, with a happy home life and a good career in the fashion industry, I received the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. A real show stopper for me, my partner, my daughter and my parents. My family were wonderful and helped to keep me positive... I had to be strong for them, didnt I? 

However, in my quiet moments my thoughts would turn to more personal anxieties. Not only was I facing a life threatening illness, but I knew that the treatment I had to undergo would mean I would lose my hair.

What would I look like without hair? What would my family think? What options are there? What would it be like to wear a wig?

It might seem vain but I'm being honest about how I felt.

I admire women who feel confident and self assured enough to go about without a wig, and I think they often look great, but I knew this wasn't an option for me and my family, it just wasn't what I wanted.

I therefore decided to look into wigs whilst I still had my hair. I felt better being in control and being prepared. What's more I could better compare the wig to my natural hair to get as close a match as possible.

The hospital told me of a preferred list of suppliers that would take a voucher so I went with along with my partner to see what was available. I was surprised by the choice and how up to date they looked. They had so many colours and styles. It was really quite overwhelming. Although the lady was friendly and helpful, I came away unsure. It's such a big decision.

I was going through so much emotional turmoil that I needed someone who could really empathise with my situation to help me with my decision.  It was through a personal recommendation that I turned to Audrey. Her own experience, her understanding and her great personality made me relax at once. She made time to get to know me, understand my fears and was so supportive. She looked great, her own wig was amazing. It gave me confidence in what she had to say. She had so much advice that we were very quickly laughing and had fun trying on various styles. The choices I came up with were perfect for me. 

I can honestly say that no one I came across realised I was wearing a wig, even my own mother, when I turned up unexpectedly after my first appointment. My partner and my daughter thought I was still the person they'd always known and asked me to wear my wig when friends were coming round. I felt as good about myself as possible, which is so important when going through such trauma.  

Incredibly, I had so many compliments about my 'new hair' from friends as well as complete strangers, far more than I had ever had before. It actually became a bit of a joke between me and my family. Looking good is crucial to my confidence and the naturalness and quality of my wigs (I ended up buying two) gave me the boost I needed to help me get through a difficult time.

My message to anyone going through a similar situation is to be positive and get yourself a great wig or two... You can actually have a lot of fun!

Janine Dawson, Lancashire