Hair’s a happy festive gift for our Shamiam

Shamiam Arif in the wig from The Little Princess Trust
Shamiam Arif in the wig from The Little Princess Trust

Courageous Luton teenager Shamiam Arif has a brand new look for Christmas – and it’s all thanks to The Little Princess Trust, writes Bev Creagh.

The Challney Girls pupil, who was badly burned as a baby, has been given a beautiful wig made of natural hair that’s almost identical to her own in colour and texture.

It’s a bespoke creation from Liz Finan and her talented team at Raoul wigmakers in London and contains a custom-made polypropylene plate, fashioned by clinical specialist orthotist Lisa Mitchell at Great Ormond Street Hospital, that slips into a specially designed pocket to protect her head.

It has a silk lining and is kept in place with a velcro strap.

And the bubbly young schoolgirl couldn’t be more delighted. “I‘m so happy,” she said. She was even more thrilled when her new hair piece got the thumbs up from her Year 9 classmates.

Shamiam’s head was burned down to the lining of her brain when a candle fell into her cot when she was a baby. She suffered life changing injuries and lost both hands in the blaze.

But her beloved ‘Uncle Doctor’ - Professor Peter Dziewulski at St Andrew’s Burns Unit in Broomfield Hospital – saved her life when she came to this country as a tiny tot. Since then she’s had numerous skin grafts and operations and has always worn a helmet to protect her sensitive skull area.

Wendy Tarplee-Morris of The Little Princess Trust said it was a joy to see Shamiam looking so good in her new wig and added: “Due to the complexity of the design around Shamiam’s injury, it’s been a long time in the making so I was thrilled to see her finally wearing it and looking so fabulous.

“Liz has done such an excellent job and has loved working with such an amazing young girl.

“It’s been an absolute privilege being able to help her.”

Shamiam’s mum Tahira has been having fun experimenting with different styles.