Look Good ... Feel Better helps raise confidence of cancer patients
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Oct 06, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carolyn Merrick, a hairdresser for more than 40 years, has also been working with Look Good … Feel Better for more than 20 years.

Look Good … Feel Better is non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment and increase their self-esteem, said Merrick.

“The name is truly what it says. If a woman looks good, she feels better,” Merrick said. “That’s our main goal, to help any way we can as hairdressers.”

Merrick says that she also has some personal reasons for being involved with the program.

“One of the main reasons that I’m involved is because … when my brother died … I really became compassionate about it,” Merrick said. “Whenever I do a session, I get more out of it than they do. You can see how much happier they look with their makeup.”

The program is made up of three partners – the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), the National Cosmetologist Association (NCA) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), Merrick said.

The CTFA provides free make-up kits, valued at around $250, to women going through chemotherapy or radiation, while the NCA is made up of hairdressers that teach women how to apply skin care and make-up, how to care for wigs and style them and how to wear scarves around the head, Merrick said.

The ACS schedules the sessions that LG … FB has with such women, provides literature and distributes the make-up kits, and they also provide the wigs and turbans to women that need them, said Merrick.

The ACS also joins with Beautiful Lengths, which encourages people to donate 8 inches of their hair to be made into wigs, hair that must be freshly washed and dried, said Merrick who added the BL doesn’t sell donated hair.

“When they get the donated hair, they make it into wigs and distribute them to the different ACS branches,” said Merrick. “And then the people that donate their hair … get an appreciation/thank you letter after they receive the hair.”

The sessions are generally about two hours long, Merrick said. Although Merrick is one of only a few hairdressers in Trigg County that are certified as a LG … FB partner, many more in the area give their assistance, she said.

“(To be certified) you have to go to a class and learn how to have a session. It took at least six hours, the one that I went to,” Merrick said. “But if you’re a hairdresser, you can help Look Good … Feel Better in all kinds of ways.”

Those who are certified with the program also should belong to the NCA, she added.

In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects, according to the LG … FB web site.

“The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room. Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but her outlook as well,” the web site stated.

Look Good … Feel Better group programs are held in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using products donated by Personal Care Products Council member companies.

More information can be found at http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org or at beautifullengths.com.
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