Making the Cut

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
Stylists at Allure Salon in Montrose, with other shopping park stylists, will cut hair that will be donated for wigs to help cancer patients.


When people are diagnosed with cancer, there are many things that run through their mind. How it will affect their family to treatment options are just some of the issues that have to be dealt with immediately. There are side effects to treatment that patients must deal with and, according to the Mayo Clinic, both men and women report hair loss as one of the side effects they fear most after the cancer diagnosis.

A local hair salon owner knows how hair loss from cancer can affect both men and women. For the last decade, she has helped to lift the spirits of those who are going through cancer treatment by donating locks of hair to organizations that create wigs for those who have lost their hair after chemotherapy.

“It has been a passion of mine for the last 13 years and finally I have a shop with enough room I can have an [event],” said Patti Cook, owner of Allure Salon de Beauté in the 2400 block of Honolulu Avenue in Montrose.

Over the years Cook has seen many of her customers battle cancer, and has seen how they are affected when they lose their hair. On Saturday, Oct. 13, she is hosting an event where people can donate their hair to help create wigs.

Her salon will host the event through Pantene Beautiful Lengths from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Montrose Shopping Park Association and, in addition to stylists from Allure Salon, there will be representatives from many Montrose hair salons and barbershops on-site.

“It takes 10 to 15 ponytails to make one hair wig,” Cook said.

Those who would like to donate must have at least eight inches of hair to be cut and the hair must not have any dyes or coloring. As of Tuesday morning, Cook had 25 people signed up to donate their hair.

“The youngest person is Olivia. She is 6 years old and is donating because her godmother had cancer,” Cook said.

Hair is lost when chemotherapy drugs damage hair follicles, making hair fall out. Radiation therapy can also lead to hair loss. The loss of hair often begins within the first two weeks of treatment and gets worse one to two months after starting therapy. However, hair often starts to grow back even before treatment ends, according to the American Cancer Society.

The ACS suggests looking for a wig prior to beginning treatment if the patient is hoping to match his/her original hair color.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths has partnered with both the American and Canadian Cancer Societies since 2006.

“I wanted to go with Pantene because they do not charge [people] for wigs,” Cook added. “They have donated 44,200 wigs [since 2006].”

Cook said she likes that this event involves so many from the Montrose Shopping Park.

“What better way for you to give back to your community with this precious gift of kindness that helps people and helps them feel whole again?” Cook said.

The event is still looking for donors. People who would like to donate, or have questions about the program, can visit or call Allure at (818) 249-1040.

Those who donate will receive a free haircut and style, $10 in Montrose scrip and each hour will have a chance to win a $50 Apple gift card. An iPad will be awarded to the donor with the longest hair that is cut.