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Local stylists help cancer patients cope with chemo

The American Cancer Society recently recognized local cosmetologists for their volunteer service to the Look Good…Feel Better program.
The program, a joint partnership of the American Cancer Society, the Cosmetology, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation, and the National Cosmetology Association, utilizes licensed cosmetologists to teach beauty and skin care techniques to women undergoing treatment for cancer.
Look Good…Feel Better is a free program open to any woman with cancer who is in active treatment.
Hair stylists and other beauty professionals teach patients how to care for fragile skin and nails, and how to disguise thinning or loss of scalp hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as demonstrating makeup techniques to help them feel attractive during a very stressful time in their lives.
Volunteer, Tina Malphrus, was recognized for her two-year dedication to the Look Good…Feel Better program. She said the feeling she gets from helping cancer patients is overwhelming.
“These women come into a session mentally fragile and leave with such self-confidence, just by adding a touch of make-up and knowing how to position a wig ‘just so.’ It’s heartwarming and very gratifying,” she said.
According to Malphrus, it’s not unusual for a cancer patient to burst into tears as she watches her hair, ravaged by lifesaving chemotherapy treatments, fall in clumps from her head.
“What is gratifying is watching that same woman transformed into a person at ease with her looks,” said Malphrus.
The program is well worth the time and effort, agrees volunteer hairstylist Lori Strausser of Movements Hair Design.
“When you’re going through cancer, everything changes,” she said. “You lose your hair and your skin color changes. This program was designed based on the theory that if you look good, you naturally feel better.”
Group Look Good…Feel Better sessions are offered on a regular basis at the East Lincoln Community Center in Denver and the Lincoln County Family YMCA in Lincolnton.
For more information or to find out about volunteering, contact the local office of the American Cancer Society at 704-500-2036.
by Staff Reports

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