We spoke to Nicola to discuss all things hair, career highlights and why moths are her greatest fear
Tell us about your background. When did your passion for health and beauty begin?
I have genuinely always wanted to be a hairdresser. I left school and studied for two years to be an engineer, but my heart was never in it, so I pursued my dream career in hairdressing. I trained in some of the North East’s best salons, before opening my own almost 20 years ago.
How did the idea for the Wonderful Wig Company come about?
In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 36. During my illness, I saw other women losing their hair so I began to look at what hair loss solutions were on offer, and I was disappointed. I sat in the hospital and had a bit of an epiphany – I thought: ‘there must be something better’, so I decided to incorporate a hair loss service into my salon – and the Wonderful Wig Company was born.
What services do you provide?
At our two salons in Sunderland and Jesmond, we provide customisable wigs, hair integration systems, extensions, scarfs and turbans – and support and advice. We also now work with the NHS, offering discounted services to those suffering from medical hair loss, and carry out home visits and hospital visits.
What is the Wonderful Wig Company’s mantra?
To be there for everyone’s hair needs, especially the difficult ones. We want to become the best hair loss experts in the North East and beyond, offering an ever-improving service that makes each and every client feel valued.
In your opinion, why is hair so important to people?
Your hair is such a huge part of your identity, so loosing it can take a huge toll on your overall wellbeing. We want to create an environment where no one bats an eyelid at somebody with hair loss, a sanctuary where you can feel comfortable with and without hair.
You’ve won countless awards in the past two years... What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Probably when I opened the email to find out I’d won my first tender at the NHS and was going to be an NHS supplier. I’d worked so hard for months on writing my tender and it was all so new to me, so that was a very emotional day.
What’s been the most challenging moment?
I guess it’s obvious. We often work with some very poorly people and sometimes it can be very close to home, especially if it’s at a time where I’m waiting on test results for myself. I think the balance between helping people, but not taking all the emotional strain home with you every day, is the biggest challenge for both me and the team.
Who or what is your greatest love?
I would have to say my husband Stephen, right? Or Dairy Milk.
What is your greatest fear?
Moths. They just completely freak me out.
What’s your favourite thing to do in the North East?
Climbing Penshaw Monument on a clear, crisp day, or watching the waves crash in to the promenade at Seaburn when the tide is in.