REAL LIFE

I Make Wigs For Kids

Holly’s changing the world, one wig at a time!
  • When Holly Faller, 33, was diagnosed with alopecia areata at age six her whole life changed.
  • With limited variety in the children’s section, Holly resorted to wearing synthetic wigs that were itchy and uncomfortable.
  • She launched the Lusta Children’s Project in January 2023. The initiative gives free wigs to kids with alopecia and medical-related hair loss. 

Here Holly tells her story in her own words

Twirling around in the playground with my friends, I was having fun when suddenly a gust of wind blew my short, light-brown hair right off.  But I wasn’t too worried.

Living with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that caused my hair to fall out, I’d recently started wearing a wig.

Aged six and carefree, it sat there until the bell rang for the end of lunch!

When I was just one, my mum Lee-Ann had noticed a small bald patch on the left side of my head.

The older I got, the more bald patches I’d developed.

When my dark blonde hair grew long enough, Mum always styled it in a way that you couldn’t tell.

She even sewed headbands with big fabric flowers on them to disguise my missing hair.

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Me after I lost my hair (Credit: Supplied)

But by the time I was five, all I had was scraggly tufts.

‘Hair grows faster when you cut it,’ Mum suggested when I was six, snipping off the tufts.

Waiting hopefully for my hair to grow, I soon realised it wasn’t coming back and disappointment set in.

Mum was desperate to find a fix.

She took me to the wig shop at the local shopping centre, but I was limited to just two synthetic children’s wigs.

I picked a light-brown bob and, while it covered my head, it didn’t look like real hair.

Still, despite it being itchy, uncomfortable and fitting loosely on my scalp, I felt more confident with it than without it.

My wigs generally lasted for about six months, so I’d often come to school with a new one.

‘Why don’t I have hair? I just want to be like all the other girls.’

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Wearing my first wig (Credit: Supplied)

‘I love your hair. It looks so pretty,’ friends gushed.

Other kids who didn’t know my background story weren’t so kind.

‘If you don’t have hair, you must be a boy,’ they’d tease if they saw me without my wig on.

Still too young to really care, I used my wig much like a hat, whipping it off if it got too hot and sweaty in the playground.

When I wore my wig styled into one long plait, I’d play tricks on classmates, putting it on backwards!

By 11, I began to realise just how different I was to other kids my age.

‘Why don’t I have hair? I just want to be like all the other girls,’ I said to Mum, frustrated.

‘You’re beautiful the way you are,’ she always said.

“if you don’t have hair, you must be a boy.’

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Me recently (Credit: Supplied)

A hairdresser who attended our local church had an idea, and an acquaintance of his helped fit me with my first wig made from human hair.

There were limited options, but I chose a long, dark blonde wig.

Pulling it on, it looked way more natural than the synthetic ones had, and it was more comfortable with less itch.

As a teenager, I was embarrassed by my baldness and refused to look at myself in the mirror without my hair on.

Years on, when I was 25, in 2015, and working a stressful job managing a paediatric practice, I was devastated when my eyelashes, eyebrows, nose and arm hairs fell out too.

Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I was distraught.

After joining a Facebook support group for people living with alopecia in Adelaide, I was able to start accepting my condition.

Meeting up with other members, it was the first time I’d seen people who looked just like me.

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Me recently (Credit: Supplied)

We learned from each other, and I discovered hacks like temporary tattoo brows and stick on eyelashes, which made me feel so much more confident.

That’s where I met Kimberly, then 28.

Diagnosed with alopecia at 19, Kim was so open with her journey, sharing on social media.

We quickly became best friends. After we’d known each other for a few years, Kim launched a business called Lusta Hair, selling hair toppers – a mix between hair extensions and a wig – for people struggling
with thin hair.

The toppers blend in with the person’s own locks.

Made from real human hair, Kim’s toppers were incredibly natural and durable.

They were perfect for people like Kim who hadn’t lost all their hair.

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With Sasha before… (Credit: Supplied)

By now, my hairdresser contact had fallen through, and I was back to wearing synthetic wigs from the old wig shop.

‘Please make wigs,’ I begged Kimberly. ‘I’m desperate!’

‘Let’s do it together!’ she suggested, and I started working for Lusta as a consultant.

By February 2020 Lusta Hair had expanded to making wigs.

Not only did they look amazing, they were comfy to wear and hassle free.

You could even swim, play sport or go on a roller-coaster in them, they were that secure!

Soon we were matching hair to heads all over the world – and I loved every second of it.

‘I really want to do wigs for kids,’ I told Kimberly in October 2021.

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And in our new wigs (Credit: Supplied)

‘I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.’

So in January this year, we launched the Lusta Children’s Project, giving free wigs to kids with alopecia and medical-related hair loss.

Watching the joy on their faces as they take in their new tresses is amazing.

‘I love it!’ four-year-old Sasha, who lives with alopecia, beamed when I fitted her with a black wig.

Since we launched the Children’s Project, we’ve changed the lives of 10 families affected by hair loss, and we’re excited to help many more.

Losing my hair changed my life, but I’ve found my life’s purpose!

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Me and Kim (Credit: Supplied)

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