Robert Douglas was given an Awards for Excellence finalist award last year in the Volunteer of the Year category for his achievements in changing the lives of people who are coping with the devastating impact of hair loss.
‘I have clients who go from coming in here and saying: “There’s too many mirrors and I don’t want to look at myself” to going out laughing and joking and saying they can’t have enough mirrors!’ reveals Robert.
We all know the saying ‘bad hair day’: for anyone losing their hair, through treatment for cancer or alopecia, every day can be a bad hair day, and it can mean their self esteem is at a very low ebb.
Robert, who has run his successful Douglas hair salon, The Worx, for 21 years, can offer a practical solution.
Robert is one of a number of experience hair professionals who take part in the My New Hair programme, developed by top London stylist Trevor Sorbie, in response to his personal experience of helping a family member during cancer treatment.
My New Hair is a national independent charity offering information, advice and support for people experiencing medical hair loss. Through their network of Salons that Care, stylists like Robert give generously of their time and expertise to fit and style wigs.
Robert is also on hand to advise with other aspects of hair loss, such as what to do when chemotherapy treatments are over and hair is starting to regrow – often with a different colour and texture from how it was before.
Robert, who also works in conjunction with MacMillan Cancer Care in the island, offers appointments on a Monday when his salon is closed, to give hair loss sufferers complete privacy. He says an initial consultation will take one or two hours. ‘You have to get to know the clients properly and find out what will work best for them,’ he explains.
Robert can supply them with a wig from Trendco, a UK specialist wigmaker and by the time he has styled and coloured it to each individual client’s requirements, it can totally take away any preconceptions about a wig looking ‘fake’.
‘I’ve had cards this week alone from clients saying that everybody loved their hair and no one could believe it was a wig!’ he says.
Robert’s outgoing personality makes the process enjoyable for clients, allowing them to experiment and have fun with their ‘new hair’.
Robert was nominated for the Awards for Excellence by someone who knew of his work and says he was delighted when he became a finalist. ‘I really didn’t expect it,’ he says.
Do you know of someone whose voluntary work deserves recognition? Why not nominate them for the Awards for Excellence in the Volunteer of the Year category? Entry forms are available to download at iomtoday.co.im/afe