NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – At closing time Saturday afternoon, The Hair Studio on Church Street in Whitinsville took on a festive air.
Its owner, Lee Ann Schotanus, celebrated the love and admiration she has for her mother with a donation to Locks of Love, an organization that collects hair to make wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer or other diseases.
Saturday morning, Schotanus had long, dark hair. At 1:30 that afternoon, two long pigtails were cut from her head by stylist Tanya Janovsky. They were placed in a plastic bag and readied, along with 11 other donations, for shipment to Locks of Love.
Facebook fans chose, from four possibilities, a new hairstyle for Schotanus; the color – blond with pink highlights – was chosen by Janovsky.
Schotanus’ mother, Linda Ratcliffe of Northbridge, said she was happy voters didn’t choose the Miley Cyrus. “I guess I can get used to the Mohawk,’’ she laughed.
Ratcliffe is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Her first cancer diagnosis was in 2005. The second came in January and led to a double mastectomy in April. She is just finishing the last of her chemotherapy treatment.
“My mom is an amazing person. She’s the most selfless person I know,” Schotanus said. “It’s never about her,” she added.
But the month of October at The Hair Studio has been all about Ratcliffe, honoring the courage she has shown in her personal battle and bringing awareness to the public about a disease that, when discovered early, can be overcome.
Until the end of this month, The Hair Studio is accepting hair donations of 10 inches or more and also donating a portion of the cost of the cut to Locks of Love. It takes 10 donations to make one child’s wig.
“I’ve been seriously gearing up for this for two years,” Schotanus said. She chose Janovsky from the many stylists working for her “because she’s very creative, artistic and not afraid to take chances.’’
As far as Schotanus being worried about her makeover: “Not at all,’’ she said, “just very excited."