YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a Boardman hair stylist talks about her survival through breast cancer and how she is helping other women who went through the same things she did.
Doctors diagnosed Patricia McSuley with breast cancer eight years ago, resulting in her having to go through many surgeries and treatments.
But as a hairstylist, losing her own hair was another harsh reality.
“The places that were available, they were basically just wig shops and the people that ran it just really wanted to sell a wig. They’re not into the full-service type thing,” McSuley said.
One wig shop she stopped at charged her $2 for every wig she tried on, so she was inspired to open her own full-service wig shop inside the Salon At Creekside in Youngstown, called Compassionate Wigs.
“It’s full-service here, so it’s not like going to a wig shop,” McSuley said.
Along with helping women feel beautiful during a very tough treatment process by helping them find the perfect wig, she also helps her clients through the emotional battles that come along with breast cancer.
“It’s very rewarding to put them in a nice wig and then see them leave and they’re happy,” McSuley said.
Having 10 years of experience in the cosmetology business, McSuley knows what she’s talking about when it comes to hair.
“They do leave with a great experience. It’s really my goal to get them their wig and I don’t give up until I get them an awesome wig,” McSuley said.
Susan Farkas was one of McSuley’s first clients, she was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago.
“We tried on every wig in the shop, so she tries to make it fun,” Farkas said. “Your doctors say, ‘You know, you’re going to lose your hair,’ but you don’t realize you’re going to lose every hair on your body, your face, everything.”
Farkas found out about Compassionate Wigs from her doctor.
“It’s just wonderful to know there’s someone like Patty that you can go to and not feel like you’re this sick cancer patient, she doesn’t make you feel that way,” Farkas said.
Wigs range from $200 to $350.
“All of this is hand tied, and if you look really close, you can see right down through there, so it’s like the actual hair is growing through the scalp,” McSuley said.
Compassionate Wigs has been open for six years.
“With all the wigs here and everything here, it just made you comfortable, you’re in your own little space so you don’t have to worry about anyone watching you,” McSuley said.
The wig shop does accept insurance, but for those who may not have insurance or are in a financial hardship, McSuley has a generous private donor who will help fund the wigs.
“When she set me up with my wig, it almost looked like my natural hair,” said Barbara Alexander, a current client.