Jun 22 2012 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A FORMER air hostess has turned her hand to offering a hair-raising experience.
Julie Coubrough used to work with Virgin Atlantic and flew on their first flight to New York with Sir Richard Branson.
Now she’s running Brown's Hair and Colour Specialists, West Portland Street, Troon and has taken on a Judy Plum Wigs franchise.
She becomes the first professional in the area to offer customers the Judy Plum service.
Julie, who has owned and run Brown's for eight years, said: “This is great news for people in the Ayrshire area who are experiencing hair-loss.
“Previously they would have had to travel to Glasgow to get Judy Plum.”
The new agency, which will cover Ayrshire and beyond, is now an integral part of the respected Judy Plum Wigs business, which is based in the centre of Glasgow and run by Alan Holms, the fourth generation of the Holms family, who offers one of the UK’s most extensive ranges of wigs. Julie, who was born in England but brought up in Troon, trained as a hairdresser before heading for the bright lights of London and signing up as an air hostess with the fledgling Virgin Atlantic airline.
“It was such an exciting time,” she said. “It was a young company and great fun to work for. I spent five years going backwards and forwards across the Atlantic before I returned to Troon to have my son.”
Julie then spent 12 years in the fast-paced world of newspapers, fulfilling PR and marketing duties with the locally-based S&UN newspaper group, before taking the plunge and opening up her own salon.
She came to work alongside Judy Plum as a result of her hair-extension experience.
She said: “I had built up quite a good reputation doing hair extensions and working with wigs came quite naturally to me.”
Another, rather poignant, reason was that a number of Julie's friends had cancer and she was keen to help them deal with the sensitive issue of hair loss resulting from post-operative treatments.
She said: “Before I took on the agency, people had to make the ltrek to Glasgow to find anything as good as Judy Plum could offer.
“Alan came down to have a look at my salon and we took it from there.
“The wig side of the business is really beginning to take off, with most of my customers coming from NHS referrals, although a significant number of people also come to see me privately.”
Julie is now able to offer clients with total hair loss a consultation and fitting service, even to the extent of making a cast of their head, in order to fit the wig perfectly.
For other sufferers, she will use hair nets to fashion a wig.