Trans­form­ing lives

The wig­maker giv­ing women their con­fi­dence back

EDP Norfolk - - Inside - Chris Chap­man Hair, 11 The Street, Brooke, Nor­wich, Nor­folk, NR15 1JW. 01508 558700 chrischap­man­

THE LET­TERS of thanks re­veal Chris Chap­man is no ordinary hair­dresser. In fact, the Nor­folk man who has cut hair for his coun­try now spends more time adding hair than tak­ing it away.

He be­gan fit­ting wigs a quar­ter of a cen­tury ago and his sa­lon is now ex­clu­sively de­voted to help­ing peo­ple over­come hair­loss. Many have cancer or alope­cia, oth­ers are dis­tressed by male pat­tern bald­ness.

“I re­alised that there was a need in Nor­folk and there was no-one do­ing it at the time. Peo­ple see their hair as a ne­ces­sity,” said Chris. “I like the fact that I am help­ing peo­ple. I re­ceive some lovely let­ters. One re­cently re­duced me to tears. The mother

of a wo­man with cancer, wrote telling me how much I had helped her daugh­ter’s con­fi­dence, how I should have a medal!”

Chris al­ready has many medals, in­clud­ing a sixth place in a world hair­piece cham­pi­onship. As a hair­dresser he took part in com­pe­ti­tions around the world. “I fin­ished up rep­re­sent­ing Great Bri­tain. I came fourth in the world in Dus­sel­dorf, and fifth at a Euro­pean cham­pi­onship in Paris,” he said.

For many years he worked from a sa­lon on Prince of Wales Road, Nor­wich, but is now based in Brooke, south of the city, and lives in nearby Seething.

The rea­son I came out here was be­cause I felt sorry for the peo­ple who had to come in to a high street sa­lon. It gives them more con­fi­dence to come out here where it’s com­pletely pri­vate.”

His wigs are hand-made in Ger­many with sev­eral dif­fer­ent colours in each hair­piece to make them look as nat­u­ral as pos­si­ble. They are elas­ti­cated, with the hair fi­bres at­tached to net­ting so that the scalp can breathe. “Treated with care a wig can last a year,” he said.

And while peo­ple might worry be­fore­hand about wigs blow­ing off or slip­ping – that is con­fined to realms of tele­vi­sion sit­coms. His wigs cost around £340-£400 but Chris said: “My main re­ward is that when they ar­rive peo­ple might be dis­tressed but nine times out of 10 they go out with a smile on their face!”

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