HONGYUE WU AND STAFF WRITERS
When Gold Coast mother Sam Corbett was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012 and started chemotherapy, one of the biggest hurdles was losing her beautiful brown hair.
But the Reedy Creek woman, who soon became known for her funky headwear during chemotherapy treatment, went on to launch an accessory label in March this year.
The label, called The Bald & The Beautiful, sells brightly coloured turbans for women suffering from hair loss.
Ms Corbett said she was so strongly affected by her own hair loss that she was inspired to create the brand to help other women who were facing the same hair loss challenge.
“Inspired by my own personal experience with cancer, chemotherapy, and hair loss, I began with a mission determined to find that missing confidence and sass that suddenly disappeared from my life,” she said.
“There were many side effects, but by far the most devastating was losing my hair.”
“It was as if I was losing a part of myself and a sense of who I was.”
Ms Corbett said she knew the solution for this devastating sense of loss needed to be something bold and bright.
“It needed to be something funky, colourful, and creative to bring that smile back to my face, the happiness back to my eyes, and beauty back to my expression,” she said.
That decision led to the creation of The Bald & The Beautiful brand.
“What stemmed from a personal setback has now flourished into a brand dedicated to helping other women with their self-esteem during this difficult time,” Ms Corbett said.
Ms Corbett said she had gained more confidence in herself when she started wearing turbans.
“It made me feel a lot better about the whole [hair loss] process,” she said.
“Going out and putting something on can make me feel good.”
Ms Corbett has now designed a range of turbans using different colours and materials to appeal to a range of different style and moods.
Sam Corbett’s daughter, Tayla Corbett, has been very supportive of her mother’s new business, helping with the brand’s social media and marketing.
Tayla said she felt really helpless when her mother was sick.
“The hardest part was feeling like I couldn’t help, but also a sense of anger as she had initially been misdiagnosed and was told she had enlarged lymph nodes due to having a common cold,” she said.
Tayla said The Bald & The Beautiful’s turbans were a special gift for women who were suffering from cancer.
“Having hair to style as a woman is a daily routine, so for those who don’t have hair, wearing a turban that you can match with an outfit or wear for a special occasion can add that missing element of getting ready and make you feel fabulous,” she said.
Griffith University Clinical Psychology Program Director Dr Heather Green said hair loss could have a negative effect on mental health.
Dr Green said hair loss was a signal that could make patients feel really aware of the reality of their cancer diagnosis, although not all cancer patients were affected in the same way.
“Hair loss can be something that really affects [people] and can be unexpected for some patients,” she said.
Dr Green said wearing a turban could be a great way for some patients to deal with the negative effects of cancer treatment.
Turbans and caps from The Bald & The Beautiful start from $24.95 for adult sizes and are also available in children’s sizes from $14.95.
For more information about The Bald & The Beautiful headwear, visit their website.