‘What I do is make survivors smile’: Albany stylist helping cancer survivors

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women and can also take away confidence by taking away a woman’s hair.
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 3:15 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women and can also take away confidence by taking away a woman’s hair.

Losing your hair has become synonymous with being diagnosed with cancer and in turn, can take a huge toll on a person’s mental health.

Iris Hawthorne, Owner of Kindness Kure Inc., is a hairdresser and a breast cancer survivor who wants to help women going through the same struggle.

“What I do is make survivors smile. Let’s say you know of someone who has cancer. Call me. I even help people with mammograms if I can. If I don’t have the money, I’m gonna show them where to go get it.” said Hawthorne, who is also the owner of Dare to be Different Beauty Salon.

Hawthorne was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2019. Since she beat cancer, she has been working with women across southwest Georgia by collecting and revamping donated wigs.

Not only does Hawthorne help survivors by providing wigs, bras and hats, but she also connects...
Not only does Hawthorne help survivors by providing wigs, bras and hats, but she also connects them with mental health services and encourages women to keep up with their mammograms.(Source: WALB)

Hawthorne said serving the community this way is part of her calling. Not only does Hawthorne help survivors by providing wigs, bras and hats, but she also connects them with mental health services and encourages women to keep up with their mammograms.

“A lot of us can’t deal with the fact that we lose our hair. There’s a lot of mental illness going on that we aren’t dealing with because we get chemo, radiation and go to the doctor. We think that’s all we need, so therefore, I am here to help them,” Hawthorne said.

Doris Sanders has been one of Hawthorne’s clients since the 1990s. She said it has been an inspiration to watch her friend beat cancer and use her talents to give back.

“She wants to give back since she is a survivor, so it’s heartwarming to see that,” Sanders said.

Hawthorne said she will be hosting a gala in April to honor survivors in the Albany area and will be hosting a walk in November. She’s based in Albany on Clark Street. She wants everyone who is fighting their battles in silence to know that they don’t have to do it alone.