My New Hair Broadcast on STV 16 February 2015
A journey into the transformative world of wigs, experienced through ordinary Scottish women who have lost their hair. From head shaving to wig fittings, this observational documentary reveals the private world of hair loss.
“What does it feel like to lose your hair..?”
“You feel naked, you feel bare, you feel the person that was there has gone”
“There is a grieving process, it’s a loss of part of yourself, what makes you, you”
Nothing prepares you for the devastating effect that losing your hair can have on your life. With an estimated 800,000 women and girls in Scotland suffering from some degree of hair loss, it is an issue that remains hidden in plain sight.
My New Hair is a journey into the private world of hair loss and the transformative power of wigs through the clients that frequent a small Ayrshire salon, where two amiable wig consultants, Kyley and Amanda, act as listening ears to the women who visit them with a variety of hair loss problems.
From real hair wigs to acrylic wigs, to head shaves and wig trims there’s nothing that these skilled hairdressers haven’t mastered but it’s the women’s intimate stories of self acceptance that take centre stage in this uplifting documentary.
We meet Helen, 36, going through a course of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer:
“I lost my breast in February, but I would say, losing my hair scares me ten times as much. I would rather lose my other breast than lose my hair”
As we witness Helen having her head shaved, adjusting to wearing a wig, a false breast and trying to organise her wedding, we learn how hard it is to love yourself when every part of you has changed
“No bride wants to be bald on their wedding day”
Laura, 30, and her daughter Morgan, 9, who has alopecia, are counting down the days til the exciting moment when Morgan’s new suction cap wig arrives. A wig that will allow Morgan to go swimming for the first time without fear of her hair coming off.
Her daughter’s alopecia has been a struggle to come to terms with
“I don’t know if Morgan’s hair will grow back or not, it’s not a life threatening thing but it’s life changing. People don’t realise how much your hair is part of you”
Back in the Salon at the end of a long day, Kyley reflects
“You’ll never get a feeling like being able to make someone feel better about themselves, to be able to put a wig on somebody and transform them back to.. it’s not even transforming them, it’s making them them again”
My New Hair shares first hand the devastating and joyous moments in the lives of ordinary Scottish women who have lost their hair and who have found themselves.