Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls has met with a Morley businesswoman to talk about her specialist wig studio.
After opening The Hairoom in 2010 Andrea Long has enjoyed a successful few years building up her business by herself to provide support and advice to people suffering from a variety of illnesses which can affect their hair.
Andrea Long, 40, originally from Lancashire, said: “It was fantastic, I had invited some of my clients who came along as well.
“It is not an easy thing to talk about, hair loss, but they wanted to tell him about their experiences, we had a laugh talking about all things that go wrong if a wig is not fitted properly.
“He was really interested in everyone’s stories, it was great.”
The Shadow Chancellor visited Andrea at The Hairoom on February 18 after the local branch of HSBC, who have supported her throughout her business venture, contacted him to say how well she was doing.
She says she was inspired to help people losing their hair by going with her niece to a wig fitting after she began to lose her hair at the age of four due to alopecia totalis.
After working with professionals and learning how important fitting a wig is Andrea became the manager of the shop she started out in.
She worked with a range of different customers from local celebrities to cancer patients and alopecia sufferers.
Andrea then moved to Morley and set up The Hairoom on Troy Road, it did not take long before she secured an NHS contract which saw patients from all over Leeds referred to her if they had an illness which could lead to hair loss.
Since setting up her own business she has not looked back, she said: “I have been doing this job for 23 years and have been running this shop for three and a half, I would go to the ends of the Earth for my clients, it is very humbling.
The Hairoom also works in partnership with charity the Little Princess Trust who provide children suffering hair loss so Andrea invited one of the girls the charity helps to the studio on the day of the MPs visit.
She said: “The wigs would normally cost around £500 but the family did not have to pay anything and now this little girls gets to go back to school where the kids will have to find someone else to bully and tease because she has her hair back.”
After working closely with local GPs Andrea has also been invited to talk at a conference for doctors and dermatologists about the options to provide patients with if they suffer from an illness or have to undergo a treatment which causes hair loss.
She says they do not see it as a problem they have to treat whereas she understands how hard it can be for people who have lost their hair but she is hoping to change this view.
Visit www.hairoom.co.uk for more information on hair loss and how Andrea can help.