Lynda Harper knows when she has found the right wig for people who have lost their hair to medical conditions because their eyes smile.
The Hair Razing Design salon owner says it's a great joy and privilege to be a part of making those people feel comfortable again.
So when she got a call early Wednesday morning saying her Whangārei salon had been broken in to, and she arrived to find more than 40 medical wigs had been taken, she was angry and disappointed.
"I thought that it was just somebody who had thrown something through the window. I never thought I would be walking in to something that is pretty devastating," she said.
The wigs taken were specifically for people who have lost their hair because of medical conditions - like people with cancer and those with alopecia. None were left behind.
It meant people who were waiting on those wigs now have to wait longer.
"We had people in that day and no wigs. Some of these people travelled from up north to come down specially and when they are not feeling 100 per cent - that's where that emotion comes from.
"We saw them and we explained and with social media it got out to quite a few people. We have reassured them, and want to reassure anybody who is travelling this journey, that we are here and we will take good care of them."
Harper has owned the salon for 30 years and has stocked the wigs, which she gets through Wigs by Haircreations, for about 16 years.
A bag filled with turbans and hats, several products, vouchers, the kettle, and coffee machine were also taken but every year Harper gets hundreds of people coming in for the wigs so when she discovered they were gone it upset her the most.
"With hair loss for a woman it's portraying to the world that 'I have cancer' or 'I am not well' and it's really hard for these ladies to walk across that front door because it becomes reality to them.
"Working with these ladies for so long it's a great pleasure and a joy and a privilege to help those ladies through a part of their journey.
"I know when I've got the right wig on them because their eyes smile and that tells me that they know that they can feel comfortable."
Harper said if the people who took the wigs, or anyone who knows who did, wanted to "get into the Christmas spirit" they could return them.
"I would like to think that they have enough conscience to see what this impact is having on these people. If they wanted to, no questions asked, leave them at the front door. Somebody just drop it."
If anyone has any information they can contact Whangārei police on 09 430 4500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.