Fri, Jan 19, 2018 11:35 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-12-17 schools
Cosmetology program collecting wigs
The Cosmetology Program at Ashland Community and Technical College is stepping up an informal program to collect wigs for people undergoing treatment for cancer or other medical conditions.

Cosmetology Coordinator Patti Banfield started "Stepping Stones" about three years ago to help people who could not afford a wig or hairpiece to replace hair lost as a result of illness or hereditary disorder.

"Stepping Stones is about helping people get through a difficult stage in their lives," Banfield said. "Hair loss can be devastating to a person's self image, and a hairpiece that restores a more normal appearance builds self esteem and confidence at a time when it is most needed."

The program works with local organizations to find cancer patients who need wigs and other cosmetic assistance. Then the program collects wigs and makes them available at no charge to patients who can not afford to buy them.

What started as a service to a few Cosmetology Program customers has grown through word of mouth, and more than 75 people have been served.

The training salon at the Roberts Drive Campus includes a private fitting room for people who want to try on wigs. Cosmetology students sanitize, fix, fit and style the hairpieces for individual patients.

Students can also help people choose the best type of wig for their needs, give advice on maintenance, wash and restyle the wigs on a regular basis, and help with make-up. All services are free for those who cannot afford to buy them.

"Our supply of wigs is low, and we are seeking donations from former cancer patients and others who have unneeded hairpieces," Banfield said. "Donor generosity can help us make a difference for people who are at a low point in their lives."

The wig collection program is one of several on-going cosmetology service projects that benefit area residents while providing students with real-world learning experiences. For more information on Stepping Stones or Cosmetology Program services, call Banfield at (606) 929-2060.

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