I frequently tell people I came out of my mothers womb wanting to do hair.
My fondest memories as a child were Christmas’s when I would get a doll head, I could spend hours doing their hair and make up. I taught myself how to do corn rows at about age 6, I wanted my doll head to look just like Bo Derick, I even put the beads on the braids. I feel blessed now that I new exactly what I wanted to do.
But my parents had another idea. Go to college…
If you still want to do hair after college then you can own a salon. So I went to college and spent 5 years partying and going to classes on mom and dad’s money. I look back and realize I did learn a lot about people, socializing and Marketing, which was my major. After graduating I went straight out to the working world, in the 90’s when college grad’s could get a job. I started in property management and then fell into an advertising sales position when sadly, my rental guide sales rep passed away in a freak accident while learning to fly. I would say that sales comes very naturally to me and I felt this job was so easy, that I kind of felt I was stealing their money. At this same time I was engaged to be married and cheering for the NFL Chargers. Cheering for the Chargers was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. But it was so exciting to be a local celebrity. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect life???? Engaged to be married, getting paid too much for my job and cheering for the Chargers… Well not for me. I can’t remember exactly why but I decided to break off my engagement, probably had something to do with womens intuition. When I called my parents to share this news they were not surprised and my mom finally shared her true feels about my now X fiancé. Well, during this conversation I said, “I just need to find a man who will put me thru beauty school”… My dad instantly said “you’ve got one” I didn’t get it at first. He then said you have been wanting to do hair since you were born so go ahead and we will take care of your bills. This was the night that changed my life!!!
My life’s purpose
I was born to do hair…. I have been doing hair for over 20 years now and I still love it! I now, specialize in hair extensions and absolutely love the amazing transformation. When I first started doing hair I was 27 years old. I built my clientele very quickly and was happy going to work everyday. I was lucky enough to be chosen to do the hair and make up for the Charger Girls because of my connections. This is when I first met one of my very best friends, Lyly. She was the happiest, friendliest and most beautiful women ever. When she told me she had breast cancer I couldn’t believe it. It was so sad but I knew if any one could beat it Lyly could. She is the reason I started my charity “Back To Life” When Lyly’s hair grew back I was able to put in hair extensions so her hair would look exactly like it was before chemo took all of her hair.
I realized after helping her that doing this for a friend brought me so much joy that I wanted to help other women going through the same recovery. Lyly actually helped me find a hair sponsor so the entire transformation was free for cancer survivors. This service is typically a $1000 service at my salon. Over the years I have been offering this, I have met the most amazing women. And now I want to share my story and try to find hair stylists in other cities to offer this same service for free. I would love for this to also trickel into group meetings for survivors to get together and talk about health and beauty options. Not a group to get together and tell sad stories like most of the cancer groups offer. I believe a positive attitude and low stress is the most important thing to survive cancer.
My mom had breast cancer
About 10 years, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was very lucky that it was caught early and it had not spread. But, she did still have to have a mastectomy on her left breast. Before surgery she was asked if she wanted to do reconstructive surgery so she could get a breast implant but she thought she was too old and it wasn’t nessessary. She had her breast removed and when I saw it for the first time it looked as if the doctor had just taken an ax to her chest. She told me months after the surgery that she was depressed every time she took a shower and looked down and saw the horrible scar. One year after her surgery she couldn’t take it any longer and decided to have reconstructive surgery. It was a much longer process now because she had no skin to work with. So 2 years later my mom looked and felt like herself again. I feel there is a stigma that caring what you look like after beating cancer is vain. This is so not true. The last thing I believe anyone would want is the constant reminder of what they went thru. This is why my charity is for helping women look and feel like themselves as soon as possible after and even during treatment if possible.
As a busy hairstylist it is hard for me to get out and give back to my community, so I decided the best way for me to help is to start offering my services for free to cancer survivors, or anyone who has lost their hair from treatments. I have been offering this for about 10 years and you would think I would have over 40 clients that I have helped but the problem is know one know’s I offer this unless they go to my website. So I went on a couple of morning shows to offer my services and got a couple of clients but to date I have helped only 10 women. I am writing and book now and I am hoping this book will help get the word out and more then that I would like other stylists in other cities and states will start to offer the same thing. I just don’t feel women should have to pay full price for a service that can be considered frivolous, but in their situation is necessary for them to feel like themselves when they look in the mirror. I have had the hair sponsored in the past so everything was free on their first visit. But after a year using this hair, the quality of hair went down so we stopped using it. Now I just have my clients pay for the hair and my service is free. So another goal of mine with this book is to get another hair sponsor or several.
So really my best friend Lyly and my mothers stories are why a started the “Back to Life” charity. I realize what a blessing it was to have met Lyly in the short 40 years she was here because she changed my life. And helping her during her 3 separate recoveries and 9 years of fighting, opened my heart to want to do more.