St. James hairstylist uses talents to help cancer patients

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

GRAMERCY – Joan Tureaud, owner of J Spot Hair Salon in Gramercy, uses her hair styling talents to offer a heartfelt special service for a select few of her client base.
The polished young woman likes to create custom wigs for customers that are dealing with long-term illnesses, especially those who have lost their own hair from cancer. Tureaud prides herself on the loyalty of her customer base.
“I have a customer base that ranges from anywhere between 8-year-olds to 85-year-olds. I have a wide variety, and I have very loyal clients. Most of my clients have been with me for the past 20 plus years,” she said. “I have a very good group of people. We get along like family.”
Tureaud said she can make the custom wigs from human or synthetic hair, depending on her client’s needs or preferences. In the past, she has created between 25 and 30 wigs for previous clients, so creating a wig from scratch takes her about an hour to complete, on average. Tureaud said she does not charge for this service.
“It’s not basically what you can see. I will do things for people on the side, or just anything that will make them feel good about themselves. It’s the quality time that we spend in the shop together, where they can talk and express their feelings and get these emotions out that they normally can’t tell to other people because no one seems to understand,” Tureaud explained.
Though she doesn’t exactly like the spotlight, Tureaud said she provides this service because she has lost a few of her own family members to the disease in the past. She cited two aunts who lost their battles with lung and ovarian cancer. Tureaud also said her nephew was laid to rest at very young age after struggling with leukemia.
“That’s part of healing to me, to be able to release what’s on the inside. Plus, you come out looking good and feeling better. Just being there and being an ear, if they need someone to hear,” she said.
In addition to her wig-making, Tureaud said she is in the midst of planning help raise awareness for cancer with an educational event for The Corinne C Bardell Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, which was created by friend Dana Bardell. Bardell is also the owner of Tatts by Dana, a tattoo parlor in LaPlace. The foundation is named for Bardell’s mother, who passed away in 2011.
Corinne Leralyn Carriere Bardell, 64 years old, a native of New Orleans, LA and a resident of LaPlace, LA for 32 years, entered into the presence of the Lord on Saturday, February 19, 2011 – See more at:
Bardell and Tureaud chose to work together because they are similar people.
“Dana is a very caring and giving person, somewhat like myself. Always wiling to help where she sees a need,” Tureaud said.
Details are scarce at the moment, but Tureaud revealed that the pair is shooting for an October date.  Bardell and Tureaud hope to bring in speakers to educate the public about the symptoms of cancer and encourage survivors to celebrate life. In the future, the stylist said she may also look to expand her wig-making services by working with larger nonprofits such as Locks of Love.
The possibilities are endless. Tureaud said she mainly enjoys being of service to people in need and relies on her faith to keep her motivated.
“I know that without God none of these things are possible. I’m not trying to sound all religious, but he’s my backbone,” she said.