OTTAWA -- Akosua Asare started losing her hair at 16.

At first, she did not realize what was going on. The teenager tried to hide her hair-loss from her friends and family.

"It was not like I woke up one day and all the hair was gone. It was a gradual process, which started with thinning, patches stated going completely bald," Asare said. "I was so timid and shy about it and so insecure about it I did not even tell my mom this is what’s going on and I don’t know what to do."

The aspiring model spent years trying to hide her condition but eventually Asare started wearing wigs to cover her baldness. After getting married and moving to a remote community in Alberta, she found herself with nowhere to get good hair.

"My husband said why don’t you try to do this yourself," Asare said. "At first I was like ah no, I don’t know, but then it got so bad I was like you know let me just try and see how it goes."

Now living in Deep River, Asare’s business "Essence Luxue Couture" has started to take off. Customers appreciated that she understood what they were going through, battling hair loss.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania resident Michaela Peterson started losing her hair after a difficult divorce. She feels Asare offers more than just wigs to her customers.

"It’s not just about making the quick buck or changing my look, it’s about something a little deeper than that." Peterson said. “To have her empathize with how it felt for me to start losing my hair at 24, it was one of the biggest things that attracted me to the company.”

Asare’s latest success is being one of the winners on Dragon’s Den. She now has a partnership and $150,000 to help grow her business.

"It’s painful when you are going through something like this and then the shopping experience for wigs makes you feel even more embarrassed. It’s even worse, it’s like putting salt in a wound," Asare said. "Just being able to elevate wigs for the average person so you don’t have that misconception about them is what my goal is."

You can find a link to her virtual store here