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AHair-Raising Trip to Shepperton By Monica Chard, Editor

Earlier this year I was invited to visit a celebrity who happened to be in Shepperton, where he was having his hair seen to by specialists! The celeb in question was Archie Andrews and the new wig was for his “double” which was being made by the Shepperton Wig Com- pany in preparation for his imminent tour, at the ripe old age of 70! I was fascinated to learn more about this unusual business. There are three part- ners in the business, Gill who is now semi- retired, but who started

Archie Andrews with owner Colin Burnett-Dick

life as an apprentice in one of the large wig compa- nies in London, Joanne who trained as a hair dresser and Linda who followed her family into costume making and finally specialised in wig making after 3 years at the Royal Opera House in the wig depart- ment. What glamour! Wig making is surely an unusual career and it is a real art. Shepperton Wig Company has two main sides the business: Commercial and Private. They make and sup- ply wigs for Film, Theatre and TV. They also hire wigs out, each care- fully washed and


before re-hire. They are in- creasingly in- volved in mak- ing wigs for individuals, those who want to change their image,

So, where is the hair from? Joanne produced a mag- nificent glossy hank of hair which had just come in. It is sourced from a hair merchant (yes that job does exist!) and they in turn buy it all over Europe and as far afield as Mongolia. Interestingly the hair in then treated and dyed. A net base is then created and stitched, made to measure. A hair line has to be applied so that they know how the hair will fall over the face. Then the knotting starts. The ladies are unbelievably skilled and fast at their work. Linda demonstrated knotting individual hairs into the net base and I could see a hair line appear before my eyes. Linda and Joanne tell me they take about 40 hours to knot a wig, but this is with years of experi- ence. Interestingly it is not just hair wigs that have been made by the company, but I was intrigued to hear about stories of hairy hands, chests and other body parts that have been commissioned! No wonder the ladies have all got a great sense of humour!

Shepperton Wig Company: and To advertise call Monica on 07979 808991 27 01932 225796

Or email

those who have lost their own hair. They deal with both sexes and all ages and have a very sensitive approach to consultations. A head of hair is our crowning glory, and they talked of the transfor- mation in self-confidence of their clients once they were wearing their new wigs.

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