Photo by Heather Middleton
By Valerie Baldowski
In observance of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness month, a local hair salon is giving the color pink some added significance.
Damon's Design Team Salon, at 1963 Ga. Highway 42 North, in McDonough, is selling hair extensions for $10 each, through the end of October, during its second annual "Pink Hair for Hope" fund-raising campaign.
The business will donate $6 from the sale of each extension to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, said salon co-owner, Damon Bohan.
The salon also offers another fund-raiser, "Condition for a Cure," Bohan said.
Customers may purchase a $20 conditioning treatment, and $15 from each treatment benefits the Susan G. Komen foundation, he said.
Bohan said he knows first-hand of the devastating effects the disease can have on a family.
"I had a cousin, [who] very early on -- she was 37 years old -- she died of breast cancer," said Bohan. "My father passed away from lung cancer back in 2001, so even though it wasn't breast cancer, it's still cancer.
"I think it definitely makes you look at the world a little differently, when you lose somebody to cancer, and you realize how little we really know about the disease," he continued. "As far as we have come with technology, and what medical science has done, there's still a lot that we don't know."
Customer, Lindsey Wells, sat in the salon chair at Damon's, holding her head still to make it easy for the hair stylist to attach pink hair extensions to her hair.
Wells, 21, of McDonough, said she made the decision to add the extensions to her hair, because of a family member involved with an event designed to raise awareness of breast cancer.
"My mom is actually doing a three-day walk next weekend, so I got it for her," she said. "They start in Gwinnett, and they end up at Turner Field ... [and] they do 60 miles."
Wells' mother, Fran Vardy, was not diagnosed with the disease, but has a friend who died from cancer. A family friend of Wells was also touched by cancer. The friend, she said, has been in remission for three or four years.
Wells said knowing someone who has been touched by the disease changes a person. "It makes you more aware, and makes you want to check yourself, so it doesn't happen to you, [to] prevent it before it happens," she said.
The bright pink hair extensions are attention-grabbers, with an important message, continued Wells. "It shows awareness, and lets others know that it [cancer] is out there," she added.
Lindsey Coggins, the stylist who attached the extensions to Wells' hair, wore pink extensions of her own while she worked.
"I had an aunt who had breast cancer. It was about seven years ago. She's in remission, and she's fine," said Coggins, 22. "One of my friends who works here at the salon, her mother had breast cancer, and actually passed [away] from it."
She said learning of their experiences reinforced the fact that cancer can affect anyone.