It wasn’t long after Alice* had turned 18 that she was told that she had cancer.
“I was diagnosed with a tumour back in May – and my biggest fear was having to shave my hair,” she told Lovin Malta.
Just on the cusp of adulthood, looking and feeling good was, and is, important for Alice. But when her hair began to be seriously affected, she was at a loss at what to do.
“They only shaved a bit of my hair at first, but then the complications started and with so many operations it looked like a birds nest and it could lead to infections so they told me it might be better to shave it off,” she continued. “So I had to shave it all off.”
The thing is, after she lost her long hair, she felt like she had “lost a huge part” of herself – and she began looking for hair alternatives to help her feel good again.
It wasn’t long before she came across Shyli Rose‘s wig company, Empire. And seeing the confident Maltese rapper/OnlyFans star living her best life while showcasing all these different hair styles, Alice was ready to try out wearing a wig.
However, she was not ready for the death threats that came right after she posted a couple of TikToks with her wig.
It was tough enough battling cancer, but having “ignorant people” say they wish she’d drown under her wig and making fun of her for her condition broke her spirit again.
“I just want people to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong in wearing wigs; no one should be ashamed, and that one should totally consider wearing them if they feel like obviously,” Alice said clearly.
Still undergoing treatment, Alice needs to regularly shave and deal with hair patches that grow back, and will be shaving her head totally in the coming days ahead of another big operation – but she’s no longer ashamed of her wigs, no matter what people try to tell her.
“Unfortunately, I have to shave my hair off again as I have another operation coming up… but I’ll definitely keep on wearing them since they’re very comfortable and I’ll be wearing them until I need them,” she said.
“No one should laugh at anyone in this situation – illness isn’t something that should be joked about, the sad truth is today it’s me, tomorrow it’s you. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a wig,” she ended.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Shyli said she started Empire “so women won’t have to face these problems”.
Aside from people undergoing cancer treatment, Shyli spoke about women who have skin conditions like alopecia who also found solace in wearing wigs.
“There are girls out there who for, whatever reason, lack confidence. They’ll try things, like practically frying their hair or dying it every colour thinking it will boost their confidence when in reality it makes things worst because it’s unhealthy,” she said.
“I am one of those women who have bad hair days as well – and hair effects women on a daily basis. It means a lot to me to know we’re helping these women, because I know what it feels like to stress out over your looks… what used to get me feeling depressed the most is knowing my hair may be affecting me and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Shyli ended.
*Names have been changed for the individual’s protection