Amy Dowden had one thing that was especially important to her when having a wig made amid her ongoing cancer treatment.
The Strictly Come Dancing professional, 33, first revealed her stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis in May.
Despite remaining optimistic about getting back out onto the dancefloor, unfortunately, Amy is unable to take part in Strictly this year after doctors discovered more tumours.
After previously having a single mastectomy, she’s now having chemotherapy and has been documenting the very emotional journey for her fans in a bid to raise awareness.
One of the nicer moments, however, came when Amy first laid eyes on the wig that was specially made for her to boost her confidence after Amy previously shared her worries about losing her hair.
The gorgeous wig was made by Charlotte Price of Be Unique Wigs By Charlotte, who shared with us exactly how the collaboration came about and a special requirement Amy had.
‘I’m not sure why Amy reached out to me. I think it was from making wigs for the lovely Nicky Newman who also has a big platform on Instagram and is living with incurable stage four breast cancer – I’ve made a few wigs for her and she regularly posts about them,’ Charlotte began.
‘When Amy messaged me, she asked if I was Welsh, which I am and I don’t live far from her home town Caerphilly, so I think she wanted to support a fellow Welsh girl!’
She went on to praise Amy for being ‘so easy to work with’ and very chilled about the whole process.
‘My work is mainly custom made so customers send me pictures of their hair or what they would like and I match it for them, so it was the same process for Amy,’ Charlotte explained.
‘She sent me some pictures of herself and what she would like and I copied them. I watch Strictly Come Dancing so I had a very good idea of what her hair is like, she was super laid back and it made my job very easy!’
As for the wig-making process, Charlotte said it’s different for all wig makers, but one wig tends to take her around two days to complete now she’s mastered the art.
She was then blown away by Amy’s feedback after the ballroom star received her first images, telling Charlotte how much she ‘loved’ the finished product and immediately wanting to purchase more.
‘Amy’s feedback was so lovely as I was super nervous when I posted the wig, but she messaged me straight away to say how much she loved it and wanted to get another as a spare! It was a great feeling! Not just because she’s in the public eye, I feel the same about each customer who loves the wigs I’ve made.’
Charlotte commended Amy for how she’s shared her cancer treatment experiences so publicly, encouraging others to check their own breasts and get any unusual symptoms looked into.
Although, she admitted it’s a bittersweet feeling to have made a wig for a TV personality.
‘I’m super excited to say to my family and friends that it’s something I’ve created when we see her on the TV, but I also find it sad that she needs a wig in the first place,’ she said.
‘It’s mixed emotions.’
As for Charlotte’s story, she started out as a hairdresser with more than a decade of experience. Once lockdown hit and she was forced to down tools, she ended up colouring wigs – but couldn’t help but feel like customers weren’t getting good value for money.
So, curious to see if she could do better than the wigs she was colouring for another company, she began making her own, which she admits was a huge career risk – but it certainly worked out for the best!
‘I love this job so much,’ she said proudly. ‘I’ve said for years to my husband that I love hairdressing but something was missing and I never knew what until I found wigs.
How to check your breasts for signs of cancer
CoppaFeel! offers three simple steps on how to check your own chest for signs of cancer.
- Look at your boobs, pecs or chest.
- Look at the area from your armpit, across and beneath your boobs, pecs or chest, and up to your collarbone.
Be aware of any changes in size, outline or shape and changes in skin such as puckering or dimpling.
- Feel each of your boobs, pecs or chest.
- Feel the area from your armpit, across and beneath your boobs, pecs or chest, and up to your collarbone.
Be aware of any changes in skin such as puckering or dimpling, or any lumps, bumps or skin thickening which are different from the opposite side.
Notice your nipples
- Look at each of your nipples.
Be aware of any nipple discharge that’s not milky, any bleeding from the nipple, any rash or crusting on or around your nipple area that doesn’t heal easily and any change in the position of your nipple.
‘I’m making a difference. Losing your hair is a horrible experience, so to be able to give someone that little bit of confidence back through a tough time is very comforting to me.’
Meanwhile, Amy has also been wearing a cold cap amid her chemo, which is a hat worn during treatments with a cooling effect.
As explained by the NHS, it reduces blood flow to the scalp, which also reduces the amount of chemotherapy medication that reaches this area. This helps to prevent hair loss.
Macmillan cancer support
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.
You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their webchat service, or visit their site for more information.
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