CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Clarksville woman is set to make and donate 100 custom wigs to women and children experiencing hair loss who are struggling to afford a wig.
Markeisha Wardell started as a hair stylist 15 years ago, started her own hair line "Markeisha Rose Extensions" in 2013 and a few years ago, opened her own salon in Clarksville, Rose Beauty Bar.
Over the course of her career she said she has seen too many woman struggling with hair loss, many with Alopecia and chemotherapy as well as other medical diagnoses.
"Everyone who would come in couldn't necessarily afford a quality wig, because we do very high in quality wigs starting at like, 400 and up, you know? So, it really hurt my heart that I couldn't get everyone a wig," explained Wardell. "So I decided that you know in this year. I'm going to return the blessing to those who deserve it because these women have beautiful souls."
Wardell explained she tried to help her clients apply for wigs through their insurance, saying wigs are cranial prosthetics, "I was getting very frustrated with the process. Some insurances turn you down, some need a referral, and I was ready to give like this. So I said, 'you know, instead of waiting on them to approve, I’ll approve them myself.'"
She decided to start a philanthropic arm of her hair extension company and plan a motivational event called "Select Your Crown" for 50 women and 50 children who have experienced hair loss, creating a custom wig for each participant.
Wardell said, "It's kind of gonna be around like a graduation ceremony, call you, you come up and you go behind that special curtain and get your wig applied, and then you come out and there's going to be a runway show."
The event on October 24 will also have oncology massage therapists, wellness coaches, spiritual advisers and professionals to explain the easiest ways to have future wigs covered by insurance.
She explained how she has watched women's confidence take a hit both when they loose their hair unexpectedly and when they have had time to anticipate it.
"We have one lady, this is her third round with cancer and she's literally lost her hair all three rounds," explained Wardell. "So at this point, she kind of gave up hope and, you know, she's sick of wearing the scarf and looking like that cancer patient, so she's, she's really excited to get her confidence restored. We're here to restore and uplift the confidence of these ladies."
She stressed the "Select Your Crown" event is private as she knows there are some participants whose own spouses do not know they have a hair loss condition.
"You applying is not putting you on blast, and there won't be spectators there either," explained Wardell, "There will be people who are going through the same thing you're going through. So, this is going to be such an empowering day, because you're going to have women sharing their stories and pouring into each other and uplifting each other. It's, it's gonna be amazing."
In order to pull off 100 custom wigs in time for the end of October, Wardell said she will not turn down help, "We have had some volunteers come out and I'm so grateful. We have some amazing wig-makers in Clarksville, so anyone who wants to volunteer, I'm definitely asking them to reach out because I definitely can't do it alone."
Although this is the first "Select Your Crown" event, Wardell said she hopes to start putting them on with the help of sponsors twice a year.
To send in an application for the "Select Your Crown" event on October 24 for yourself or someone you think is deserving, click here.