40 Under 40 Inspiring Innovators Top 10 Winner
As a teenager, Courtney Howard was diagnosed with a rare autoinflammatory disease called CRMO, which affected her skull and sparked her interest in wigs in the event of future hair loss. After spending time as a patient at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), she realized just how important wigs were to make fellow patients feel like themselves again. So when it came time for Howard to choose a career that would be fun and fulfilling, wig making was a natural fit. Howard began her journey at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts before getting the opportunity to intern at Saturday Night Live’s wig studio in NYC. After her internship, she went on to work in several other wig positions before returning to Georgia, where she perfected wig making and styling at Keune Academy by 124 cosmetology school. Throughout her journey, her desire to help the children she met during her time at CHOA never faded, eventually leading her to become the artistic director and top consultant at Rebecca Walden Wig Studio, a salon that cares for women and children going through difficult life experiences that result in hair loss.
Q: What are ways you stay motivated when setbacks arise?
Courtney Howard: I remind myself of the bigger picture. While wig making is my passion, my work helping women restore their confidence goes far beyond me. I get to show women that there is hope each day and they can feel beautiful again.
Q: What inspired you to team up with Rebecca Walden Wig Studio?
Courtney Howard: My health journey led me to work with Rebecca and become a medical wig specialist. I always asked God, “Why me?” and now this job has truly shown me why! I’m able to relate to my clients which I think plays a huge role in connecting with them to deliver something they love.
Q: What do you wish people knew about medical wigs?
Courtney Howard: Medical wigs aren’t just for cancer patients. I see clients with alopecia, hormonal disorders and just general hair loss. Hair is a part of our identity and wigs often have a bad reputation so I feel it’s my duty to teach people in need that they do have a great option.