Jon Renau Blog

Real Women, Real Stories: Ella

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m an Chinese-American mom who just became an empty-nester. On a good day, I’m a whopping 5’ tall with my heels on.  I also decided to leave the corporate world after 25 years to pursue on of my passions, love of bunnies. So, I founded and curate all kinds of cute stuff inspired by bunnies.

How long have you been wearing wigs or hairpieces?

I started struggling with on & off hair loss probably about 20 years ago. My dermatologists were hoping it was going to be just Alopecia Areata. So, they tried injecting cortisone on the quarterly sized bald spots. But unfortunately, all that did was put dents on my head! It was around the time of treatment that we decided to start a family. So, I chose to stop the injections in case it may affect the baby. During the pregnancy, all was fantastic, and my hair grew back nicely. But shortly after my son was born, I lost all of it rather quickly. I think it happened during the course of 3 months. It was quite devastating back then since there was no Internet to connect with other people with the same condition. So, I wallowed in my sadness for quite some time. My first experience with wearing a wig was a HORRIBLE one. I walked into a dark wig shop where they had old-fashioned type barber chairs. The lady who came to help me meant no harm I’m sure. But she said “Oooh, you’re so cute. I have the perfect piece for you. It’ll make you look like a China doll!” I was going to run away just on that remark alone. But I wanted to see what she brought out. Yep, it was the blackest almost blue shade and it had super blunt & heavy bangs, and the rest of the hair was super thick, and all ended at just above my chin. I’ve always despised blunt cuts when I was young. So, when that China doll image emerged, I literally ran sobbing back to the car where my husband was waiting.

I remember he asked me why I was crying. He said it’s ONLY hair. And THAT made me sob even worse!

After that awful experience, I preferred to buy my wigs online. And actually found a pixie that my family & friends adored. So, I stuck with pixies for at least 10 years. Then I slowly got braver and experimented with other synthetics, eventually graduated the human hair pieces after 15 years into my journey.

What advice would you give to a new alternative hair wearer?

With the huge selection of alternative hair available today, I feel very blessed to have so many more options. And with the internet and social media, anyone dealing with medical hair loss does not need to suffer alone. The support groups online are great for sharing good days & bad…good hair days and bad too. I would say acknowledge that hair loss sucks! And it will lead to a general sense of sadness in the beginning. It is normal and you will feel better! Reach out to all the social media groups and start making very supportive friends. The best thing about having alternative hair…no one can get ready faster than me. And if I’m wearing a synthetic in the rain, no one has better hair than me either! Try to view it as a new opportunity to use hair as your new accessory. It got easier for me once I really started experimenting with different styles.

What do you love about our brand?

Jon Renau was one of the first brands I tried where felt fashionable & on-trend. I have a very sensitive scalp. I started with their synthetic 100% handtied wigs. And I wore Jon Renau’s lace front synthetic bobs for another 5 years. NO one at the office detected I was wearing a wig. And I just use it as a conversation starter. There is such a wide selection. Eventually I saved up for my first human hair wig. And to this day, Carrie is still my workhorse of a human hair wig. I’ve also noted on various occasions that Jon Renau’s latest styles are sooo much more natural. And even with my small frame, I do not need to thin them at all.


Would you like to share your story? Contact us or find us on Facebook.