College Park is wigging out in style

1540267_613147955424400_669542699_oSilver linings don’t always have to be visible. In fact, some people might prefer them that way. Take, for example, a person undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer who is slowly losing her hair. She searches for a seamless, perfect wig that will restore former beauty as she battles cancer. In this case, the lining should be invisible, but the silver lining … that is worth seeing.

Leigh Shannon of Ritzy Rags Wigs & More is no stranger to this type of unique advocacy. As a supporter of the American Cancer Society, Shannon has been styling people in their battle with cancer since 1990.

For Shannon, combating cancer has been something he has dealt with personally since losing his mother to the disease. Familiar with the draining burden cancer can bring, Shannon and his business partner, Page King, offer discounts of 10 to 15 percent for their wigs.

With wigs ranging in price from $100 to $400 dollars, this can considerably lower the price tag.

Moreover, Ivanhoe Village’s Copperhead Salon offers hair cutting services for little to no cost for customers who come to them from Ritzy Rags Wigs & More.

“We deal with cancer every day,” says Shannon. “We try to make the initial visit comfortable and we kind of screen their mood. Some are ready to go, some are so upset, some are wanting only to have their own hair style, and some are in denial.”

Pam Potenza, a College Park real estate agent, experienced the services provided by Shannon and Ritzy Rags when she began to lose her hair.

Potenza shared her personal story with the Paper, explaining, “I had just started a new real estate career and my life was upside down. I was particularly self-conscious about my appearance because I was meeting all new people like real estate professionals and calling on customers. Wearing a wig was very uncomfortable to me.”

And then, in 2005, Potenza held an open house and met Leigh. It was here that she learned about how wearing a wig could help assuage the discomfort associated with chemotherapy.

She says, “Leigh made me feel comfortable and loved. He shared his expertise on choosing the right wig, but he also shared compassion for me and my self-consciousness.”

As Shannon explains, “It’s so much more than a business.” He and his business partner develop client relationships that span years.

However, Shannon is quick to point out that Ritzy Rags is not only a resource for cancer but for simple hair loss too. The clientele is as diverse as the wigs displayed in the store, with both men and women coming in to change their styles.

“So we take these moods and we react to what best fits the situation. Our end goal is that they leave with hair, self-worth, a smile, hope and knowing we care,” says Shannon.

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