- A successful salon owner specializing in hair and wigs. Nicola expanded her business to support people needing wigs and created a safe space supporting over 10,000 people battling hair loss.
- Expanded her company’s remit providing wigs and positive body image support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Supports children across the country, providing wigs and making them in her kitchen.
Nicola Wood is a hairdresser from Sunderland and the owner of successful salon business Kitui, specializing in hair, and wigs. As a woman living with rheumatoid arthritis, her medication has caused her various struggles and side effects including hair loss for many years.
Following a diagnosis of breast cancer at just age 36 and the discovery of poor services for those with hair loss, she expanded her business to support those needing wigs and created a safe space and support network for those facing cancer and hair loss.
Throughout her cancer treatment, she researched the whole wig industry and started a second business, The Wonderful Wig Company. Nicola expanded the floor space of her salon to create a purpose-built support studio for clients in the area with hair loss and has since supported over 10,000 people. The Wonderful Wig Company now employs 11 people and has secured national contracts with the NHS to support people with hair loss all over the country. The small team now have their own range of wigs specific to the needs of their clients, designed and unique to them.
I will be able to inspire people to take on challenges in their community!
Nicola describes herself as “a hairdresser for one day a week and spends the rest of the week trying to change the world for people with cancer and hair loss”.
Her company is the recipient of a host of awards including those for corporate social responsibility, special recognition, Entrepreneur for Good, and Best Wig Supplier UK. The salon is also recognized by the Little Princess Trust charity globally, as one of their 17 Gold Salons.
Most recently, Nicola has expanded her company’s remit, providing wigs and positive body image support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Nicola has set up a non-profit company called the “Inclusion Hair Network” whose mission is “to provide and promote inclusion for all within the hair and beauty sector”.
The salon runs wellness events and workshops online and in person enabling boosted confidence and to live life with a renewed sense of emotional wellbeing.
In addition to her salon work, Nicola also visits hospitals and hospices to deliver talks on wellbeing to those who are vulnerable and sick. Nicola is an inspiration; she has turned her diagnosis not only into a positive for herself but has also reached many communities and individuals with her passion and drive to make a change.
As Nicola copes with ongoing health difficulties, she will use her recovery time, when she can’t physically work or when mobility is difficult, to study. This year will complete her qualification as a Trichologist, a scalp and hair specialist.
Nicola has been chosen as a Batonbearer as somebody that is always willing to take on a challenge and has a unique and inspiring story.
Frederick Marfo is a sportswriter and social worker well known for his advocacy for equal chances and rights for all athletes, especially those with disabilities.