The Bald and the Beautiful
Mara Caldwell (left), founder of Belle of Hope, with Belle of Hope clients
Most people associate balding with men and old age. It’s that thing that happens to grandpa as he gets older – more age spots and less hair.
The unfortunate truth, though, is that there are also groups of people whose baldness is a result of something much more different – burns, diseases, illnesses and treatment for those illnesses. It is for these groups of people that Belle of Hope was founded.
Belle of Hope offers affordable, quality wigs, head coverings and accessories to care for human hair and wigs. Their prices range for any budget – from $39 to $2,624 – all dependent upon the type, style and length or name brand. They also offer “how to” classes, such as eyelash and eyebrow application, wig washing tips and several others.
“The emotional pain that accompanies hair loss and balding caused by Alopecia, cancer, chemotherapy, burns or other serious illnesses can be devastating to anyone,” says Mara Caldwell, founder of Belle of Hope. “My main focus is geared toward women, men and children whom have suffered from hair loss or balding. Just like me.”
Caldwell is no stranger to the struggles of being bald. She has suffered from Alopecia Universalis, an autoimmune deficiency disorder involving the rapid loss of all hair, since 1999 and Alopecia-like symptoms for 28 years. Caldwell bought new wigs almost every 6 months, trying to maintain a similar hair style with each one – it was important to her that her co-workers were not aware of her disease, let alone that she was bald.
“Many times I would find a wig that I loved and would either not be at the store any longer or they would be sold out,” says Caldwell. For this reason, in 2009 Caldwell started to make her own wigs – something she says was “so fun and exciting.”
The other problem that Caldwell found was that not all of the wigs were as comfortable as they claimed to be. “The marketing teams for these wigs truly have not been bald,” says Caldwell. In order to solve this issue, she began to purchase more and more different wigs to find what truly worked.
“I began to become in expert in wigs, caps, style and construction purely by being forced to wear them every day,” says Caldwell. “Earlier this year, I built up the courage to begin my own wig business purely built on the fact that I have had so much experience in picking out quality, comfortable and affordable wigs for the past 15 years.”
Now, Caldwell offers more than 80 different wigs in colors and styles along with accessories for anyone. One of their newest wigs is made by Jon Renau and is called the “Evolution.” These wigs achieve vibrant natural hues without dyes, creating an evolutionary way to color wigs.
Within the next 6-12 months, Belle of Hope will be evaluating its first options for opening a brand new store name Belle of Hope Wigs and Beauty Supplies. The two locations that they are focusing on are in the Dayton and West Chester Areas. These are two key areas where there are cancer groups and teams along with multiple dermatologists and oncologists. Caldwell wants to make sure that anyone that comes into her store can get all the help that they need.
“Our services are not just limited to offering products,” says Caldwell. “We are a well rounded full service beauty company where every day is a great hair day.”
To learn more about Belle of Hope Beauty, visit their Facebook page.