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Bald, Bold & Beautiful

Miss Beautiful Woman - Madame La Belle

Alopecian Wigmaker

(Hey) I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am not your expectations, no, no

(Hey) I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am a soul that lives within

... these famous lyrics from song writer India Arie are so liberating. Little did I know that this song would become my reality. My name is Shelly La Belle and I have Alopecia Areta as a result of Discoid Lupus. For the past 5 years my hair has progressively come out in patches. Being a healthy hair care Beautician who was known for having "growing hands" I was confused on why this was happening to me. For the first 2 years I gradually cut my hair into short styles and lightened it to hide the bald spots. But with stress and battling a Autoimmune Disease I was losing my hair even more. So 3 years ago while I lived in Houston, Texas I began to explore wig options. My very good friend Tasha who is a Professional Hairstylist and Wigmaker introduced me to making my own wigs. I became very passionate about it because obviously I was beginning to accept that wearing wigs was going to be my "new normal". Everyday I was getting better and faster at wig making. This was great, I begin to sell and make custom wigs for others which suddenly shifted my clientale. 2017 I felt led to move back to Virginia to open up a Unique Private Wig Salon for women who suffered with Alopecia or other forms hair loss. Early I stated that I asked the question "why me?" and I felt as if the Lord answered "Why not you?, who better else?" Not only am I a Professional Cosmetologist but now I understand hair loss on a personal level now. Now I am able to empathize and relate to other women who battle with their identity, who struggle with low confidence or who simply need to know they are not alone. Today, Madame La Belle Wigs & Beauty Lounge has been a blessing to countless women who come and literally "take their wig off", relax, get pampered, and beautified in private. I must say even though my hair loss has been very challenging it has also been my biggest blessing. Although I am still learning how to live with and accept my reality, I am confident the more I am transparent about it I will become more comfortable. Its not easy living in a society where vanity is held at its highest capacity but I have learned over the years that true beauty lives within. I have mastered the art of Masking, however today I am set free. I am free from feeling embarrassed. I am free from guilt. I am free from shame. I am free to be me! I am NOT my hair and I will no longer hide who I am from the world, instead I hope to be an inspiration to many. I call myself Shelly La Belle because I am Shelly Beautiful Woman.

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