NORTH PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An Olney Hair Salon has launched an effort to help women cope with hair loss from cancer and other disorders. The woman behind it and the innovative way she's helping women regain their confidence.
Myisha "the Hair Diva" Miller knows a lot about wigs because she's made thousands of them.
"We can set it in rollers, we can do parts," she told Cherri Gregg during a tour of her shop, D.D. Daughters Wig Boutique at 424 Chew Avenue. "We do left side parts, middle parts- we can even show scalp."
She recently started a wig exchange to allow women to donate their gently used hair pieces. She cleans them and gives them to women suffering from hair loss. But Miller's passion for hair pieces comes from a place where many find pain.
"At the age of 19, my own hair started thinning," says Miller, who learned she has hyperthyroidism. As a hair stylist, she had to find a solution- hers was to make her own wigs. Pretty soon, she started selling her creations to clients with hair loss caused by lupus, cancer and other disorders.
"They really taught me so much," she says.
In 2008, Miller began collecting the gently used wigs clients would leave behind after they finished their treatments.
"They would tell me to trash them," says Miller, "but you look at the wig- and they looked fine."
So Miller began cleaning and refurbishing the natural, human hair pieces that run anywhere from $300 to $600 each. She then donated the wigs to women in need who were suffering from hair loss.
"No matter what- it wasn't about the money," she says, "I just wanted that person to be okay."
Three years ago, at age 35, Miller discovered a lump in her breast. Vigorous testing determined it was breast cancer. She soon lost all of her hair, learning first hand the pain of hair loss and chemo. It renewed her dedication to helping women by making more wigs. She's donated 800 wigs in eight years.
"It feels good," says Miller, "women come in here- limping, talking about chemo- but once they have their hair done- they're energetic, saying they'll come back and get a new color."
Miller's newly launched wig exchange is a way for the community to get involved. No wig, she'll take donations. It costs $35 to clean a wig, a little more if the wig needs additional hair.
For more on the effort, go to https://www.gofundme.com/wigs-for-cancer-and-hairloss.
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