People don’t talk about hair loss, and especially not cancer-related hair loss. That’s the first point that Hether Campbell, a stylist at Issaquah Highlands, WA's Grand Ridge Plaza’s Sorella Salon, wants us to know. And, when you’re experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments, it’s difficult to access the few resources that do exist.
Today, Hether and Sorella Salon are working to change the status quo. Not only are they encouraging hair donations, they’re also offering support services to those undergoing chemotherapy.
Lighten your locks at the Hair Donation Drive From July 29 to August 26, Sorella will welcome donations at its second annual hair donation drive. Anyone with 10 inches of hair or more can donate their hair to the Revolve Glamour Foundation, which supports those who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. Men, women and kids are encouraged to do a free consult to learn if their hair is suitable for donation. The only cost is a $20 donation to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
It’s exactly what four-year-old Kate Cameron recently decided to do with her gorgeous locks. Kate, who is the daughter of Eastside Macaroni Kid editor Katrina Cameron, grew her hair for two years to reach the desired length. First, Hether cut 10 inches of hair and tied sections with bands. Then, she gave Kate a luxurious shampoo and style. During the experience, Kate learned that it takes donations from seven to 10 people to make just one wig.
Facing hair loss as a stylist For Hether, this initiative is personal. A cancer survivor, she experienced hair loss last year while undergoing chemotherapy. Now, she’s helping others navigate the experience.
Having great hair really makes your day; it’s like a security blanket," Hether Campbell said. "Seeing it come completely off your head is in no way easy. People don’t know how to address this type of hair loss and even as a hair stylist, it was an uncharted experience for me. I didn’t know how to get good advice. But it was also a light-bulb moment; I knew that I could help others from what I learned.
Thanks to advice from a Sorella client, Hether learned that she could have a wig made with her own hair. It required cutting her hair short at the beginning of treatment. During the process, sections of hair are cut and affixed to small boards. Each board represents a map of the scalp, so wig makers can match sections of hair and create a style that falls correctly.
“In a way, seeing my hair come off and being in control of the process made it easier,” she shared. “I also learned tips for removing hair follicles, which can be very sore, like pins and needles. It took three months for my hair to start growing back, and my wig was wonderful during that time.”
Resources and support for those experiencing hair loss After completing 16 rounds of chemo, Hether was determined to find a way to help others. She brought her ideas to the Reasy family, owners of Sorella Salon, who gave her their complete support. Upon returning to work, Hether offered a new service: resources and support for those experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy. In the comfortable space of the salon, she helps people learn more about their options.
Now that her cancer treatments are behind her, Hether has her sights set firmly on the future. She hopes to help more women, men and kids during treatment. She even plans to donate the wig she made of her own hair to help as many people as possible.