Posted on Jul 26, 2022, 10:24 AMUpdated Jul 26, 2022 at 10:25am
Surviving hair loss caused by chemotherapy is the credo of Bas Deshichi. Vendée’s little shot was born on the idea of Stéphanie Retailleau. From Herbert in her forties, the young woman, a hairdresser by profession, imagined a hair prosthesis made from the hair of women with cancer, with a turban. A convenient, fast-acting device that she has marketed online since June 2022 with her partners Geoffrey Botwell, her wife, and Alice Roet, a friend of a graphic designer from Les Herbiers.
The concept was born out of his own experience. Stephanie Ritaio, suffering from breast cancer in October 2020, wanted to be able to recognize herself in the mirror as soon as her hair fell out. Neither synthetic “Barbie style” wigs nor those made with real hair (but not her own), do not convince her, more so than her husband or children. So she decided to cut her hair before the chemo removed it and fiddled with a headband with her own locks. Immediate family success! “I was able to retain my identity and this helped me and those around me better cope with the disease,” the now-recovered leader testifies.
15 days to complete
The idea caught the interest of other patients. I saw happiness in women’s eyes. I give them back what they lost.” Do it yourself becomes a business. After a year of research, development and prototyping to ensure the materials used are not damaged and the whole is solid, the company was launched.
The cut hair is received at Les Herbiers where Stéphanie and two independent seamstresses fix it by hand in an adjustable all-terrain headband. A turban (or a hat for little girls) provides volume and ensures comfort. Everything is delivered in two weeks. “We have to move quickly to bring the woman back into character and keep her spirits up,” the young woman says. The average cost is about 390 euros per hair prosthesis.
Stéphanie Retailleau, who has taken over as a hairstylist and coach, hopes to reach 10 orders per week to balance accounts and hire a full-time tailor. She counts on the French network of oncologists and social associations to accelerate the definition of this concept to other women.
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