The Island’s ‘LookAhead’ service, which supports people affected by hair loss due to chemotherapy, has recently been enhanced with the addition of a new volunteer to the team, Robert Kinsman of The Worx Hair and Beauty Studio in Douglas.
Robert self funded his attendance at a course run by ‘My New Hair’ a charity founded by celebrity hair stylist Trevor Sorbie MBE, which provides advice, support and a national network of independent salons and professionals who provide a wig styling service for people suffering from cancer and medical hair loss.
Following his completion of the course, Robert decided to volunteer for the Macmillan Cancer Information Centre at Noble’s Hospital, completing his training in January 2012. Robert is the only ‘My New Hair’ qualified consultant on the Island and can provide guidance in the cutting and styling of wigs, as well as advice when a client’s hair begins to grow back.
'I’ve been styling hair professionally for 24 years, and running my own business for the past 18 years. My decision to undertake the training course really came about from the experiences of my friends, family and clients. I heard about the LookAhead service that Macmillan run on the Island and wanted to get involved and put my skills to use for the benefit of the community.'
The LookAhead service provides those fighting cancer and suffering hair loss as a result of their treatment with access to professionally trained staff and volunteers who are able to offer personal and practical advice on how to use headscarves, hairpieces and hats. All consultations are on a one-to-one basis and held after hours in the private environment of a hairdressing salon.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:
'Self image and self esteem can suffer as a result of cancer treatment, especially where hair loss is concerned. That’s why the Department recognises the value in supporting Macmillan Cancer Support which administers the LookAhead service and is kindly funded by the Isle of Man Anti Cancer Association. Robert’s enthusiasm is to be commended. His time, effort and commitment in financing his attendance at the course is testament to the huge role volunteers play in the Island’s healthcare system.'
The impact on a patient of losing their hair can be profound. The difference that a professionally cut wig can make should not be underestimated. Whilst wigs now look much more realistic, it is possible to transform an ‘obvious wig’ into an individual’s ‘new hair’. Many people are unaware that this is possible and assume that a wig cannot be cut and styled further. However, with the addition of Robert to the team, those who require the LookAhead service can now discuss headscarves, hats and wigs in a single consultation.
For more information about ‘My New Hair’ or to book a LookAhead appointment, contact the Macmillan Cancer Information Centre on +44 1624 650735 or e-mail MacmillanCancerInformationCentre.Nobles@gov.im.