Sofi Leota in one of Ambience Hair Boutique's wigs. Credit: Ashley J Brooke photography.
Sofi Leota in one of Ambience Hair Boutique's wigs. Credit: Ashley J Brooke photography.

How a cancer battle inspired a new hairdressing venture

AFTER watching her niece lose her hair during chemotherapy, an Ipswich businesswoman has launched a new service to help all women transform their look and regain confidence in a matter of hours.

Ambience Hair Boutique owner Amber Tauapai has started renting and installing high quality wigs to help clients chase a different look without making a permanent change.

The idea came about after her niece Sofi Leota was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at just 23 years old.

“We cut Sofi’s hair short and then we died it dark. Then she messaged me and said ‘I’ve done a “thing’ and she sent me a video of Joe shaving her hair off,” she said.

“My heart, doing this girl’s hair for so long and then seeing it all come off.”

Ambience Hair Boutique's Amber Tauapie with niece Sofi Leota.
Ambience Hair Boutique's Amber Tauapie with niece Sofi Leota.

Miss Leota, who is now cancer free and has just given birth to her first child with her partner Broncos player Joe Ofahengaue, said losing her hair was one of the hardest parts of treatment.

“It’s a huge part of your identity, it’s a confidence thing, there’s so many aspects to it,” she said.

“I thankfully, after going through all that, I came to a realisation that it’s not the be all and end all having hair and I did grow into the confidence of having no hair.

“Thankfully I had been gifted a couple of wigs from family and friends. Nothing like these ones though

“It’s so complex and there is so much that goes into them and applying them right so they do look really natural.”

Mrs Tauapai said it’s a service that could assist a wide-ranging demographic, from those who might be battling an illness to others who might want to make a change for a certain event.

The service has been 2.5 years in the making for Mrs Tauapai and things were pushed back even further when the pandemic hit.

More information on Ambience Hair Boutique can be found at their Facebook page.



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