|Altered Images - Maggie Simpson|
In 1965 Maggie started training as an apprentice hairdresser serving 3 years as a junior and a further 2 years as an improver. During those five years she qualified in cutting, perming, colouring and also hairpiece and wig styling and fitting. After qualifying she spent some time as the resident hairdresser at Killearn Hospital dealing mostly with patients with head injuries, and has worked extensively with older people in Ayrshire. In 1987 she opened her own hairdressing salon in Kilmarnock. Despite the success of this venture, I was forced to retire due to my own ill health in 1991. Maggie returned to work in 1996 when she was employed as a hairdresser within the Ayrshire Hospice. This started her research into cancer related alopecia. Finding work at the hospice to be interesting and very rewarding she dealt with a wide range of clients, each bringing their own challenges. A patient’s body image can be severely affected by hair loss, and through counselling these patients are helped to deal with this trauma. Maggie gained a high degree of job satisfaction from her research and work relating to cancer induced alopecia. Now, in 2004 she has set up her own consultancy, aiming to assist not only those affected by cancer induced hair loss, but also offering guidance to those responsible for treating the condition.