Woman Creates Wig Lines For Cancer Survivors With Textured Hair

by Gee NY

Dianne Austin, a breast cancer survivor, felt the emotional impact of hair loss during her cancer journey and decided to make a change.

Unable to find medical hair loss wigs matching her hair type, she co-founded Coils to Locs, a business offering highly textured wigs for women experiencing medical hair loss.

This empowering venture, officially launched in 2019, provides women of color with wigs that reflect their cultural identity, helping them maintain dignity and control during challenging times.

Coils to Locs is making a significant impact by offering options that were previously lacking in the market.

Austin told Boston-based WCVB5, an ABC affiliate this:

“My daughter was about to graduate high school two weeks before, and I’m in the middle of treatment. I didn’t know how if that was going to impact her experience as a student. So that was the other part of wanting to look as much like myself as possible so that she could see me as me you know not looking sick.”

Dianne Austin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and the news that she would lose all her hair was particularly hard to accept. She wanted to look like herself throughout her treatment, especially since her daughter was about to graduate from high school. Austin underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and her doctor recommended medical hair loss wigs covered by insurance. The only problem was that she couldn’t find wigs that resembled her natural hair.

“I walked into like three different spaces and didn’t see anything that reflected my hair preferences. It made me feel almost invisible,” Austin said. She felt that as a patient, her cultural and personal preferences weren’t being considered, making her feel disconnected from her identity.

Despite searching across the country, Austin couldn’t find a medical hair loss wig that matched her hair texture. She ended up improvising with scarves to cover her hair loss. Eventually, she discovered a wig at a beauty supply store that she could recreate. But this solution meant missing out on the privacy and support that a hospital setting provides.

Austin’s frustration led to a moment of inspiration. She decided to take action and make a difference. In 2019, Austin and her sister, Pamela Shaddock, officially launched Coils to Locs. This online business offers highly textured, coily, and curly wigs covered by health insurance through medical prescriptions at cancer centers and hospitals. They’ve worked hard to ensure the wigs they provide are of high quality and authentically match the textures women of color have.

Coils to Locs has continued to grow, partnering with 16 hospitals so far and gaining national attention. Dianne and her sister are driven by the knowledge that having the right wig during a challenging time isn’t about vanity; it’s a lifeline. It empowers individuals to maintain their dignity and feel a sense of control during a difficult journey.

Dianne and Pamela have even expanded their line to include braided wigs and plan to add locs. They are also looking to provide medical hair loss wigs for men and children.

Coils to Locs is more than just a business; it’s a compassionate and empowering resource that validates the experiences of those facing medical hair loss.

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