Cancer survivor mum sets up wig shop for patients

jpco-29-1-14 Hayley Bennion, survivor or cancer, is setting up a wig service  (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-29-1-14 Hayley Bennion, survivor or cancer, is setting up a wig service (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A mother who fought cancer is setting up a wig shop and hair loss clinic to help other patients .

Hayley Bennion, 30, a hairdresser from Furnace Green, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer, in May last year.

She had intense chemotherapy where she was on a chemotherapy drip for 92 hours at a time.

The mother-of-two said losing her hair through the treatment was almost more distressing for her than hearing she had cancer.

She said: “It was a really intense treatment. I lost my hair within 13 days of the first treatment.

“I was told it was such an aggressive harsh treatment and there was no way of keeping any of it.

“My whole life has always been around hair. That’s what I’ve always done. So in a way that was worse than hearing the cancer word.”

Hayley said she had to travel for more than two hours to Essex to get an appointment at a wig shop.

The nearest wig shop to Crawley was in Brighton but Hayley said there were no appointments available when she needed one.

She said: “I was shocked. There’s nowhere in this area that can offer people advice about hair loss.

“When you’re not well you don’t want to be travelling.”

After being given the all-clear in October she decided to set up a service so other people living in and around Crawley would find it easier to buy wigs and get hair loss advice.

She said: “I’m so passionate about this.

“There’s so many women that have no one to talk to and they don’t know where to go. I need to talk to those people and tell them it’s going to be OK.”

Hayley will open a wig shop and hair loss treatment clinic in her salon Duo Hair and Beauty in Horsham.

She will do house visits in Crawley and visit hospitals in the area to speak to cancer patients.

She said she would offer a free head shaving service as she found that experience ‘awful’. and would not want to take payment for that.

Hayley said now she has embraced her opportunity to try a new hairstyle from one day to the next.

She said: “I’m trying to build up my wig collection.

“I always had very long, brunette hair.

“I’ve got blonde wigs, short ones, all sorts. I do enjoy them now.”

The new service will be called Elegance at Duo Hair an Beauty and it is on track to be up and running by the end of February but appointments can be made in advance.

To find out more call Duo Hair and Beauty on 01403 241307.