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how we're supporting breast cancer awareness month, and you can too!

Out of respect for a patient's right to privacy and a sense of normalcy in trying times, Bethany Hornthal, Executive Director and co-founder of HairToStay, set her sights on making scalp cooling, a treatment designed to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss, accessible to cancer patients nation-wide.

A change in appearance due to cancer treatments comes with unsolicited comments and questions about one's health. Oftentimes, the consequences of being seen as sick involve change in employment options, worried family members, or looking in a mirror and feeling as though you have fallen victim to the disease. You may not be able to control cancer, but you can research treatments that help you look and feel like yourself while undergoing chemo...that is, if you can afford the expense. Medical bills are a stressor for many cancer patients and most insurances do not cover scalp cooling as they would any other treatment for chemotherapy side effects. Enter: HairToStay.

10 years after proposing a project code-named “HairToStay”, Bethany has succeeded in helping to bring cold caps to the United States through FDA testing, providing an educational website for cancer patients who may not know a lot (or anything at all) about scalp cooling, and awarding over 1,500 subsidies to patients without the means to pay for this costly treatment. “It insulted my basic sensibility” Hornthal said, “to think that in infusion centers all over the country one patient could be wearing a cold cap and saving their hair, while the person next to them did not have this as an option”. For some, these subsidies are the difference between undergoing chemo, and choosing not to treat their cancer in order to preserve their hair.

Bethany recalls one HairToStay subsidy recipient who was about to get married when she was diagnosed with cancer and considered foregoing treatment to avoid being bald or having to wear a wig to her wedding. After learning about scalp cooling treatments and the financial support provided by HairToStay, she opted to proceed with treatment. Knowing that she could keep her hair for her wedding day was enough to convince the bride-to-be to treat her cancer in a timely manner. HairToStay comforts patients with messaging that conveys their understanding that keeping your hair is about much more than vanity. It’s about control, privacy, and feeling like yourself. And sometimes, it is about your wedding day.

Since its inception in 2016, HairToStay has raised nearly $2 million with the help of their friends in the hair care industry. Salons nation-wide host fundraising events offering cut-a-thons, raffles, and asking for donations—especially during October and May for Breast Cancer Awareness month and Mothers Day. Stylists have shown a special interest in preventing chemo-induced hair loss because they are frequently among the first to hear of a diagnosis. More often than not, clients come to them asking for a “chemo cut” once they begin treatment. Beyond this, stylists understand the importance of hair as a medium for self-expression. To be able to tell their clients that they do not have to lose their hair or put themselves into debt trying to keep it is a real gamechanger. That being said...

amika is proud to announce that our website will feature a limited-edition can of the best-selling Fluxus Touchable Hairspray throughout the month of October. The traditionally white bottle got a pink makeover for Breast Cancer Awareness month. amika’s signature print intertwined with luscious locks and voluminous braids puts the best of amika and HairToSTay on display. For every Fluxus sold, $1 will be donated to HairToStay.

Help us support this amazing cause and organization! You can find more information about amika x Hair To Stay here.

By Dayna Lawrence, Strand Contributor

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