February 13, 2020

Transforming Trauma Through Beauty

Inside A Hair Boutique, a young woman sits in a cosmetic chair while LaToya Johnson-Rainey, the shop’s owner, slips a curly, shoulder-skimming wig over her head. Toya adjusts the wig and starts snipping straggles of hair that float down to the floor.

Inside A Hair Boutique, a young woman sits in a cosmetic chair while LaToya Johnson-Rainey, the shop’s owner, slips a curly, shoulder-skimming wig over her head. Toya adjusts the wig and starts snipping straggles of hair that float down to the floor. The woman, smiling in the mirror, says, “This feels like the texture of my real curls.”

LaToya Johnson-Rainey founded A Hair Boutique in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood in 2014, and since then, she’s been helping clients find wigs that make them feel beautiful and restore their sense of self. For women who have experienced hair loss and hair thinning from chemo treatments, stress, auto-immune diseases, divorce, and other traumas, a wig can be much more than a beauty product—it can be the thing that empowers them to live every day fully and comfortably, and help them feel like themselves again.  

“The world keeps going…and if you can look and feel like yourself, you can continue living your everyday life, and that’s mostly what people want.”    

LaToya Johnson-Rainey, founder and owner of A Hair Boutique
Toya, founder of A Hair Boutique, and her team member (center) style a wig for upcoming social media campaign.


At A Hair Boutique, Toya and her team take great pride in offering high-quality wigs, toppers, and hairpieces to their clients, including: human hair wigs, high grade synthetic wigs, blended wigs, and custom wigs. Because of their quality products, A Hair Boutique has also supplied wigs to the Fort Pitt museum, theatre and art productions, and professional women who want a convenient, ready-to-go hairstyle for working and traveling.

For all of their clients, the Hair Boutique team provides compassionate, customized service; helps customers find the wig that’s right for them; cuts and styles their wig; and teaches clients how to care for it. With their loyalty program, clients can also return to the shop every three months for a touch-up. In addition, the Hair Boutique staff provides mobile services for groups and hospitals; regularly attends educational seminars around the U.S. to stay certified on best hair practices; and searches for innovative ways to break the stigma against wigs.  

A couple of years after Toya founded A Hair Boutique, she joined an eforever group and went on to found the Women Rock group in 2017, which she now facilitates. As an eforever member, facilitator, and board member of eforever’s parent organization, Toya has a unique view of the program and the bonds that form between group members and facilitators.    

“As a facilitator, I still feel like a group member because I learn from them, too. And facilitating is just keeping things going—it’s not like you’re the overall expert in it. I’ve done extra research because I’m working in business, I went to school for it, and I’m showing it to someone else. It’s not that I actually know more than someone, it’s that I’m repeating it more, and it becomes second nature. So I’ve got to be on it.”

LaToya Johnson-Rainey, founder and owner of A Hair Boutique

In 2014, Toya also published her first book, “The Hair Commandments: The Shalls and Shall Nots of Weaves, Wigs, and Naturals.” Toya’s shop, built on a lifelong experience in the beauty industry and personal journey with hair loss, is still a vital part of Toya’s life purpose, in addition to her growing dedication to helping other entrepreneurs as an eforever facilitator and as an active participant in Pittsburgh’s small business support ecosystem. To book a consultation at A Hair Boutique today, visit A Hair Boutique Shadyshide.com

Entrepreneur: LaToya Johnson-Rainey

Business:  A Hair Boutique

Website: www.ahairboutiqueshadyside.com

Social: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest

Pittsburgh, PA

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