Salon Strong 2.0 with Nathan Littauer & New York Oncology Hematology a great success

Salon Strong 2.0 with Nathan Littauer & New York Oncology Hematology a great success

Hair dressers and barbers pose for photo during the Salon Strong event at Lanzi’s on the Lake Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

Here’s a news story from our media partner The Leader Herald

Apr 25, 2018/Briana O’Hara/Reporter


MAYFIELD — The special bond between a hairstylist and their clients who are diagnosed with cancer, along with the importance of a hairstylist’s education of how to care for their client’s hair, was the theme of the Salon Strong 2.0 event Monday.

New York Oncology Hematology and Nathan Littauer Hospital teamed up for Salon Strong 2.0 to teach hairstylists and barbers how to treat cancer patients’ hair when going through treatment and after treatment.

Kelly Quist-Demars who is a five-year ovarian cancer survivor said Salon Strong is a nice learning event for hairstylists and it’s a “thank you” event to thank hairstylists for the work they’ve done for cancer patients who lost their hair due to treatment.

“I think it means a lot more women will have the support they need during this,” Quist-Demars said. “I think it will help the hairstylists understand what role they play and what they really mean to people.”

When Quist-Demars was diagnosed with cancer she went to her hairstylist who happened to also be a longtime friend since kindergarten to get her hair cut shorter and eventually shaved.

“It’s emotional, you don’t really know what to expect,” Quist-Demars said. “Most women have never had a shaved head before; they don’t know what their head looks like underneath all their hair and you kind of wonder what that’s going to mean to you.”

Kelly Quist-Demars, a cancer survivor tells her story during the Salon Strong event Monday at Lanzi’s on the Lake. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara

Quist-Demars said it’s a turning point for a patient to have their hair shaved because with hair they can hide that they’re sick, but once they shave their head, everyone will know and they themselves have to accept that they’re sick too.

Her hairstylist had asked why she wanted to get her haircut short and that’s when Quist-Demars first told her hair stylist she had cancer.

“And this is one thing that really sucks about the whole cancer thing is telling people because everyone is going about their normal day and you just drop this in their lap and your poor hairstylist, who wants to help you look pretty, now all of a sudden has to go in a different mode,” Quist-Demars said.

Dr. Arsyl De Jesus, radiation oncologist at New York Oncology Hematology’s Amsterdam office, educated the hairstylists and barbers on hair care for cancer patients receiving any type of cancer treatment that can lead to hair loss or thinning of the hair.

Losing hair, or experiencing changes because of treatment, can be one of the toughest parts of a cancer journey.

“Especially with hair loss, you’re suddenly now different from everyone else with hair and then they feel more isolated because they cannot look the same,” De- Jesus said. “As stylist, what I ask for you to do is offer to help them with something that you guys do best and that is to help them with their hair and skin.”

De Jesus said hair loss happens because cancer cells are rapidly dividing and the radiation therapy and chemotherapy attack and kill rapidly dividing cells. Areas of rapidly dividing cells include the hair and skin and those areas will have side effects because of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is hard to predict which patients will lose hair and what patients won’t, even if they get the same treatment. Some patients will just have hair thinning and some go completely bald.

Depending on the treatment, hair loss can start anywhere from one to three weeks after the treatment begins. It will start to get worse after one to two months of having treatment. De Jesus said patients will gradually notice when they lose their hair.

Dr. Arsyl De Jesus , MD, radation oncologist, gives a presentation to hair dressers and barbers on ways to care for a cancer patient’s hair during the Salon Strong event Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara

Quist-Demars said hair loss was the only side effect that she couldn’t have control over. She gradually worked toward shaving her hair starting from a medium length hair to something a little shorter to really short to shaved.

“I did everything I could at that point to keep my hair,” Quist said. “The good thing is I looked awesome with shaved hair and I think most women really look awesome with shaved heads.”

De Jesus said some treatments can effect hair everywhere. Hair loss can occur for facial hair, armpit hair, pubic hair, leg hair, eye brows and eyelash hair. De Jesus said radiation causes hair loss only in the areas being treated.

In most cases, hair will grow back once treatment is finished. De Jesus said it will take several weeks for the hair to actually start growing, and six to 12 months for scalp hair to grow back completely. She said when the hair first starts to grow back it might be a different texture or color.

“It takes a while for the pigment cells in our hair follicles to regenerate or re-grow back so that it comes out without pigment and later on develops its natural pigment,” De Jesus said.

When it comes to hairstylists caring for cancer patients’ hair, some ways to treat their hair is by going easy on the hair and to stay away from products that contain strong fragrances. Other suggestions include to not color, perm, or chemically straighten the hair when the client is getting any cancer treatment; don’t use rollers, curling irons or straightening irons; and use a soft bristles brushes and let hair air dry rather than a hair dryer because it could cause more damage.

She said if some of the hair clients want to have their hair cut or shaved in private, to possibly go to that client’s home.

De Jesus suggested for stylists to try shorter hairstyles first rather than starting drastic so they can start getting use to how they look. If a client wants to shave their head, then to use an electric shaver.

“There is a big difference to having control over the hair loss rather than the hair loss have control over you,” De Jesus said.

Tammy Merendo, RN, Ddrector of Healthlink Community Education at Nathan Littauer Hospital speaks during the Salon Strong event at Lanzi’s on the Lake Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)


Arsyl De Jesus, a radiation oncologist at New York Oncology Hematology’s Amsterdam office at Riverfront Center, gives a presentation during Salon Strong 2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield.

A story shared by our media partner at McClary Media – Posted by The Recorder News | Apr 24, 2018

By DUSTEN RADER/For The Recorder

MAYFIELD — A diagnosis of cancer is a devastating moment for many, and the side effects of treatment can further exacerbate the already difficult situation.

That’s why New York Oncology Hematology and Nathan Littauer Hospital have joined forces for the second year to share critical information with hair stylists and barbers about how to support and empower cancer patients.

Dozens of area women, stylists and barbers gathered Monday at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield for Salon Strong 2.0. The event included several speakers, including hairstylists, a cancer survivor, and Dr. Arsyl De Jesus, a radiation oncologist at New York Oncology Hematology’s office at the Riverfront Center in Amsterdam.

The topic of De Jesus’ presentation was Ways to Better Serve Your Clients after a Cancer Diagnosis. The goal, she said, was to provide attendees with skills and insight to be proactive with clients.

Cancer survivor Kelly Quist, of Amsterdam, speaks during Salon Strong 2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield.

De Jesus covered several aspects of the subject, including what to expect, what to say, 10 ways to talk to someone with cancer, how to respect the uniqueness of cancer, skin care, hair care, and how to be a part of someone’s cancer team.

“The purpose of this event is two-fold: Empower hairdressers to feel comfortable with clientele, and let hairdressers know what services are available,” De Jesus said.


A patient of De Jesus’, Amy Karas, of Gloversville, said she got involved in the event to encourage beauticians to cater to cancer patients and the unique needs that they have.

Karas said her friendship with her hairstylist Dottie Detterieder, of Beauty and Beyond in Gloversville, was a major support during recovery.

“They have a big part to play and I don’t know if they realize it or know what to do — it’s a wonderful program and an awesome thing for the community,” she said.

Karas noted she felt encouraged to take her hair off instead of letting the cancer get to it.

“When you take it off, you’ve taken control over it — it doesn’t control you,” she said, adding that even though her hair has since grown back, she keeps it short and still uses the dozen or more wigs she acquired during treatment.

“I had fun w

Jennifer Barnett, who makes pieces for Pinup Jordan’s Mermaid Lounge in Scotia, had several colorful wigs on display during Salon Strong
2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield

ith it because I was bound and determined that it was not going to get me — I was going to get it,” Karas said.


Another survivor, Kelly Quist, of Amsterdam, said her relationship with her hairstylist Amanda Landrio, of Bella Vita in Amsterdam, taught her that when hair begins to come back it’s a time of “reinvention and rebirth.”

“I don’t think I was fully prepared for what it would be like to lose my hair and the journey back from that,” Quist said. “I fully embraced it

and shaved it off. I definitely would have taken advantage of more resources had I known about them. That’s why this program is important, because we have to let all the stylists know the role they play in the lives of cancer survivors and patients. There is a really important bond there, and I think the more information and resources they have the more they can share.”

In addition to De Jesus and Quist, other speakers at the event included: Tammy Merendo, RN, director of Healthlink Community Education at Nathan Littauer Hospital; Jessica Bump, hair stylist, CW Hair Salon, Johnstown; and Cheryl McGrattan, vice president, marketing/public relations/community relations at Nathan Littauer Hospital.

Representatives from the American Cancer Society were present with wigs and beauty products.

Jennifer Barnett, who makes pieces for Pinup Jordan’s Mermaid Lounge in Scotia, had several colorful wigs on display during the event.

Although only in its second year, Salon Strong has spread beyond hairstylists to barbers to be more inclusive of men. Barbers Michael Medina and Jamie ‘Pito’ Ramos, of the Fulton County Barber Shop in Gloversville and The Other Shop in Canajoharie, were excited to receive Salon Strong decals after participating the event. The barbers will be able to put the sticker in their window to let customers know that they have taken steps to be sensitive to the needs of cancer patients.

In addition to the Salon Strong event, a workshop is being planned for June. For more information, call 518-736-1120.

American Cancer Society Program Manager Wendy Stickley-Ocker poses with wigs and beauty products to demonstrate to attendees of
Salon Strong 2.0 held Monday, April 23, at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield.