Bay County native “wigs” out on new job

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) – One Bay County native loves to “wig out” on her job. No, she doesn’t lose control of her emotions, but following her passion can make her emotional. And her idea for a business is anything but harebrained.

From the looks of it, Destinee Steele has found her destiny making wigs.

“It kind of fell in my lap a little,” said Steele. “I always wanted to perform, but there was a need for hair and makeup, specifically for African Americans. But I definitely love to transform the look of people.”

Steele says she married her love for theater with wigs and makeup and became a technician for several productions including those on camera

“Film, television, movies, music videos,” said Steele.

But when she was laid off recently from her current tour as a wig and make-up supervisor because of the pandemic, she started her own online wig making company. You could say she’s the operation’s big wig.

“So what we do here at the Beauty Menagerie is we tie those hairs one by one so that we can control the density and how natural that looks and flows and the direction as well,” said Steele.

And her clients run the gamut.

“Wigs for anyone who wants to change their look, but specifically for people who suffer from hair loss for medical reasons, or alopecia, for any reason as well,” said Steele. “It makes me feel so amazing because oftentimes we feel so small in the world thinking that we can’t make a huge impact because we’re just this one person. But even if I just touch two people, one person, it’ll be enough. All of this will be worth it.”

Some lower-end wigs can take about ten hours to build. Higher-end wigs on the other hand, or head in this case…

“So that could take up to a hundred hours,” said Steele. “And it’s the most natural-looking as if they grew it out of their scalp.”

But it’s certain clients that’ll cause Destinee to experience the greatest emotion.ADVERTISEMENT

“When I built for a lady who was going through stage four cancer, it was that feeling of giving back, like my skills, helping someone else in need that I just like loved,” said Steele.

And not to split hairs, but her clients seem to love it too.

“Lots of smiling, lots of dancing. Very happy, heartwarming moment. Absolutely.” said Steele.

The Mosley High grad and Gulf Coast graduate went on to the University of West Florida and then to the North Carolina School of the Arts. She’s been wig making for five years, and the best word to describe her business right now is “yes!”

“Doesn’t matter. We just want to see everyone smile, honestly, any ethnicity, any color, any texture we can do it,” said Steele.

Steele runs her business from Orlando.

She says they accept all insurance and wigs are no cost to clients if they’re covered.

She also accepts monetary and hair donations to help those who’ve lost their hair.

Otherwise, her wigs range from $400 to $1,500 each.