Going to great lengths to make a change
A champion of adult education, body positivity and mental health, Jane Dyminski leads the way in inspiring others to achieve their dreams and overcome challenging times.
Currently studying Level 2 Adult Hairdressing at Keighley College, we spoke to her to find out more about her inspirational story of setting up her own wig shop.
What is your experience of being a mature student?
It was really hard to come to college because I’m 45 years old. Previously, I was in dentistry for 30 years so making this career change was a big step for me. The main battle I faced was having no hair; I suffer with alopecia and wear wigs most of the time. Both of these factors acted as real tough barriers for me to overcome, but I’m incredibly glad I did. The young people weren’t as intimidating as I initially anticipated, everyone was so friendly and made me feel very welcome.
What do you enjoy about the course?
I love learning – I was worried that I may be a slow learner due to being out of education for so long, but the tutors are incredibly thorough and knowledgeable, making it easy to learn.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the social aspect. Being a mature student, the young people often approach me with questions and I’m always delighted to be able to help them.
What inspired you to take this course?
I got alopecia when I was only 24 years old – all my hair fell out and I discovered how challenging it was to find good quality wigs. It had always been a dream of mine to set up my own wig shop, so I made the leap of faith and opened the doors of Big Wigs!
After completing a wig-making course, I learnt how to create my own bespoke wigs for my clients. I have always wanted to attend Trevor Sorbie’s wig cutting course, who set up the charity ‘My New Hair’ for his sister who had cancer. To complete the course, you need to be a Level 2 Hairdresser, so this is where my journey at Keighley College began. The course has really shaped my career path – I’ve discovered how much I love hairdressing and my end goal is to be a hairdresser and wig maker.
Is there support for other people experiencing similar challenges?
I run a support group once a month called ‘Friends of Hair’ for anyone experiencing hair loss. Regardless of people’s gender, hair loss can be a devastating confidence knock. The group provides a safe and comfortable environment, where people can discuss their experiences and get support.
How do you promote body positivity?
I use my social media to champion positive body images. Since I set up an Instagram page, I’ve got over 1,000 followers and I’ve also created a blog and website. Many people have found my story and platforms really inspiring – I’ve had messages from Cornwall to America commenting on how I’ve helped transform people’s confidence.
Being different is ok and that’s a message I’m truly passionate about. Social media can often make girls feel as if they’re not good enough, so it is incredibly important for me to show them that it’s good to be unique through posting photos without my hair.
What challenges have you faced?
Attending college as a mature student with no hair was really intimidating. I made sure to change my wig every week so the students got used to seeing different colours and styles. One student told me how nice my hair was – she was so surprised when I told her it was a wig! It was really nice to break the ice and talk openly about my alopecia.
I’m a real advocate of mental health and having alopecia can really affect anxiety levels. It’s important to keep positive and work for something you feel passionate about. It’s great to see so much mental health support within the college.
How does it feel knowing you’ve helped others?
I really like it. I’m trying to spread the word and I really enjoy helping people feel good about themselves. I felt so rubbish for so long at the early stages of alopecia that I wouldn’t want other people to feel like that and I am doing everything I can to empower people.
For more information on Keighley College’s hairdressing courses, click here.