DR Sertina McGreggor Fuller knows that necessity is the mother of invention. She learned this lesson after having her first baby when she, like many women do after childbirth, began losing her hair. Not only did the new mother have the severe alopecia to contend with, but she also struggled to breastfeed and bond with her newborn, accept that her career as a physiotherapist was on pause, and adjust to the changes that her body had gone through during pregnancy and childbirth. As she trudged through the darkness of postpartum depression, McGreggor Fuller, who believes that a woman’s hair is her crown, felt dull and unattractive. It was out of this necessity to once again recognise and adore the woman in the mirror that her wig-making and hair product line Sertyfied Hair was born.
“When I hit the third-month postpartum, I started noticing the shedding. My entire hairline was a disgrace. I had anticipated it, but not so much,” McGreggor Fuller told All Woman. “I was always big on self-image; I always wanted to look good. When I looked in the mirror I saw a totally different person from the girl I saw a year before that when I was getting ready for my wedding. I didn’t feel beautiful at all.”
She went on feeling that way until her younger brother bought her a wig, and along with it came a flicker of confidence.
“I was never one of those persons who would wear a wig,” McGreggor Fuller admitted. “To me, the idea of wigs was attached to very old people, or people who were having hair issues or were hiding something.”
But the hairpiece might as well have been a thinking cap, because it inspired and fascinated McGreggor so much that she started researching how to make her own wigs. She watched videos, read magazines, and spent every break she had from the rigors of motherhood studying ‘wigology’.
“Two years later I had my second child. I was still struggling with depression, but I was in a better place, because I was learning how to manage it,” she recalled. “By that time I was a bit more confident in my wig-making, so I decided I needed to get some certification.”
McGreggor Fuller took an online course that was offered by an internationally acclaimed wig-maker, and then won herself an in-person training session with the expert, among many other experienced wig stylists that was happening in Montego Bay.
“I felt very insecure, because there I was, a medical professional, trying to make wigs with all these experts. But at the end of the class she said to me, ‘Do you know how good you are?’ and I was like ‘What? You’re joking’ and she said, ‘You’re very good’,” she remembered, beaming with pride.
On the journey back home, certificate in hand, McGreggor Fuller felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Her husband could not even begin to grasp how accomplished and validated she felt that day, but he was soon made to understand, when she made a wig and asked his opinion.
“He was so mesmerized by the wig!” she laughed. “He gave me the reaction that I needed. He named the wig ‘Miss Classy’ and he also said I should call my business Sertyfied Hair.”
McGreggor Fuller registered the business name, but still she sat on the idea for a while. But the more compliments she got on her own wigs, the more she realised that she could use her gift to help her sisters.
“I felt like I needed to give other women the joy and gratification and empowerment that this wig had given me. Whenever I wore that wig, my confidence was boosted. A few months before, all people saw when they looked at me was the babies. When I wore that wig, they also saw me, and I needed that. I knew there were other women suffering like myself, and I needed to help them. I needed to let other women feel like they had crowns on their heads, too.”
Fixing other women’s crowns doesn’t mean just throwing a wig over whatever hair issues she has, McGreggor Fuller explained. It also means helping to heal and restore her natural hair while it grows under the protective style, so that she feels just as beautiful without a wig. The ‘wig doctor’ discovered her growth oil and scalp treatment after her second pregnancy, and documented its effectiveness after her third.
“I gave birth in April last year, and three months later my hair line started shedding again, but this time I was ready,” she said triumphantly. “I was stronger mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and I had my oils. I documented it, and I was like ‘My God, it worked!’”
It was diving timing, as by then the novel coronavirus pandemic was in full force, and wig sales were down. The mother of three had also reduced her working hours as a physiotherapist at the Revamp Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centre to be more present at home as her two preschoolers attend school remotely.
After a great start to 2021, McGreggor Fuller is optimistic that the rest of the year will be even more successful, purposeful and magical.
“I want Sertyfied Hair to be more well-known, and I want to build myself more, both personally and professionally. I hope to do this by earning more skills and attaining more certifications to increase my qualifications and proficiency,” she shared. “I want to have more self-love, and appreciation for all that I have been through. I want to know that everything I’ve been through is for the next chapter in life, and that nothing happens by mistake. In life, God put passions and purposes into people, and sometimes you never know that you have these hidden talents and gifts, and they’re not just for you, but they are also for other people.”