A PINK SCISSOR STORY WITH TALIA GILL
There’s no denying the confidence boost of a ‘good hair’ day – yet many of us take our hair for granted. While we may not appreciate it on a daily basis, it’s easy to imagine how difficult it would be to lose your hair. Join us today as we follow an inspirational story of resilience and optimism with Talia Gill.
What a year it’s been for Talia Gill, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in late April, 2017. Since then, Talia’s life changed drastically as she faced multiple medical procedures and chemotherapy sessions to treat the cancer. One of the common side-effects of chemotherapy is hair loss. In the midst of it all, Talia decided that if she was going to lose my hair, she’d have fun along the way. For Talia this meant trying new looks, experimenting with shorter and shorter cuts and going crazy with wigs!
Talia decided to document her journey and haircuts by creating a blog. The blog invites readers to join her journey of hair loss where she cuts her hair progressively shorter everyday for ten days until the last big shave. You can find the blog here: https://www.halfmylock.com/
We were lucky to pull a little time out of Talia’s between procedures so we could talk about her journey and her experience with the Pink Scissor Program.
DAY 2: THE ROCK CHICK
Q: How did you learn about the Pink Scissor Program?
I actually didn’t know about the Pink Scissor Program when I approached Lea-Ann Suthern at TONI&GUY Newtown with my ten-haircuts-in-ten-days idea — I think the program hadn’t even launched publicly at that point!
To be honest, initially I only chose TONI&GUY because I’ve always loved the T&G look — crazy make-up, punkish haircuts… Then, when I looked at the TONI&GUY website I discovered that globally,TONI&GUY are already actively involved in charity programs, including ones that support people going through cancer.
This gave me the guts to walk into TONI&GUY Newtown to pitch my ten-haircuts-in-ten-days idea. Amazingly, by a twist of fate, it was just one day before Lea-Ann Suthern (Director of Toni&Guy Newtown) rolled out her Pink Scissors program internally to all TONI&GUY salons.
Q: What made you decide to start a blog about this experience?
I’m blogging about this because I want to spread a positive message to other people with cancer facing the prospect of losing their hair. The message is pretty simple:
If your hair’s going to fall out, why not have a bit of fun along the way? It’s the perfect opportunity to try out shorter and shorter cuts, dye your hair all those crazy colours you’ve never dared to try, experiment with dramatically different looks…
The way I see it, we can’t do much about the fact that we’re going to go bald. But what we can take control of is how we approach the experience of hair loss. My blog is about how I chose to approach it.
DAY 7: ANNIE LENOX
Q: You’re an inspiration. Has it been difficult sharing this experience online?
Ha! Nope, not at all. I’m one of those people who have no ‘discretion’ filter. So for good or bad, I tend to let it all hang out when it comes to sharing my own personal experiences with others. Hopefully in this case, it will do good :).
Q: Can you describe your first consultation?
My first consultation was really all about getting to know Lea-Ann (who would be doing my ten cuts). We didn’t know each other from a bar of soap, and suddenly we were embarking on this pretty emotionally intimate journey together.
We started by talking about the practicalities, like When do I start chemotherapy? How long do we have before my hair starts to fall out? and How will we fit haircuts around my busy schedule of medical procedures, which will include surgery and hospital stays?
This was a pretty good way to break the ice! Then came the fun bit. My idea for the ten cuts was to model each one on an iconic hair-do, and Lea-Ann was 100% on board with the idea. Suddenly it was ‘our’ journey, not mine alone. After a lot of googling, we came up with a shortlist of ten looks that were progressively shorter and shorter, ending with Sinead O’Conner ;).
Then it was time for my first cut. We went for a tousled-1990s-rock-chick look, and I loved it!
Q: Can you tell us a little about your relationship with your Pink Scissor Specialist?
My relationship with Lea-Ann Suthern, my Pink Scissors specialist, is pretty special. It’s not like any relationship I’ve ever had before. For one thing, we’ve spent many, many hours together over a short period of time. And during that time some pretty intense things have been happening for me — two rounds of surgery, news that I will need a full mastectomy, my first round of chemotherapy, and an adverse reaction that landed me in hospital for five days. Each time I came to the salon we’d naturally end up talking about these experiences, and so Lea-Ann became part of my broader experience of facing cancer, not just the hair loss aspect.
Q: How has the Pink Scissor Program helped you?
The Pink Scissor program gave me something to look forward to during a pretty difficult time. It provided me with a silver lining that made the whole hair loss thing a lot easier to face. I even found myself impatiently looking forward to haircut number nine, the big shave, because I was so curious to see what I looked like!
DAY 9: THE BIG SHAVE
Q: Do you have any advice for someone going through hair loss?
First, if you’re losing hair in the winter months, arm yourself with beanies!! I cannot believe how much colder I get now that I don’t have hair. I even sleep with a beanie.
Second, be prepared for people’s shock the first time they see you bald — they may not even recognise you at all. My poor toddler ran away from me crying the first time she saw me, the barista at my local cafe had absolutely no idea who I was, and my dad says I now look more like my brother than myself!
Third, the fun doesn’t have to end with your buzz cut. I’m now embarking on the next phase of my hair loss adventure… different wigs for each day of the week, and discovering the answer to the age-old question: Who does have more fun, blondes or brunettes?
Providing exclusive consultation services, a comfortable space and knowledgeable, sensitive specialists, TONI&GUY’s Pink Scissor Program is designed to ease the many challenges of hair loss during cancer treatment.
For more information, click here to Join the Pink Scissor Program