Not many stories about hair extensions are guaranteed to make you weep, but when you see how 30-year-old Kat Roberts, a mother of two from Plymouth, England, got her luscious locks, your screen might go a little blurry.
At 26 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she was able to fight with chemo and radiation, according to a story in the Plymouth Herald. She wasn’t given the all clear, however, because DNA testing found she had the BRCA2 gene, which put her chance of recurrence at 80 percent. To improve the odds that she could watch her children grow up, she had her breasts and ovaries removed.
“I went in instant menopause; it was really hard,” she told BBC One’s Inside Out South West. One side effect was her hair growth.
“When [it] started growing back really fine and patchy, at an incredibly slow rate, I was devastated,” she told the paper. “I stopped making an effort with my appearance and stopped socializing. I just didn’t feel like me.”
Thin hair like Roberts’s meant that regular hair extensions wouldn’t work, so she found Gemma Hayes, the owner of GG’s Hair & Beauty Salon. Hayes employs a special hairpiece system in which they apply mesh attached to rings and then sew in hair extensions so that natural hair can grow in underneath. The piece woven into the top of her scalp will last three to six months, while the rest will last six to 12 months, Hayes explained to the Herald. The system is expensive — according to GG’s site, it starts at $745 — and exceeds Roberts’s budget. So the salon owner teamed up with Roberts to raise over $1,200 through events at the salon and on the crowdfunding site JustGiving.com. The money they raised beyond the cost of her hairpiece system is going to charity.
After seeing the look on Roberts’s face when she saw her new hairstyle for the first time, it’s clear that the investment was worth it.
“I’m so happy and feel pretty,” she said. “My husband said that I make more of an effort now [than] I ever did before, without even realizing.”
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