For several years, Kim Hardesty, owner of Salon Inspire, in Trappe, Maryland, was an American Cancer Society (ACS) “Look Good, Feel Better” program volunteer at the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health. When ACS discontinued the program in 2019, Hardesty was determined to continue helping cancer patients going through changes in their appearance due to cancer treatment. In collaboration with the Cancer Center’s Oncology Social Work Coordinator, Patty Plaskon, Hardesty came up with a new program, “Improving Your LOL” (looks and outlook) program, which she provides free of charge in her private salon.
“If you can help other people by doing what you love to do, that’s my definition of true success,” said Hardesty. “I had to stop during the COVID period when salons were closed, so now that we are open again, I am very happy to be able to offer my services to patients fighting cancer – it’s something I really enjoy.”
Hardesty gives free makeup samples and tips to brighten up someone’s face and enhance their eyes and eyebrows when they lose their hair. “I also give free haircuts to women who are preparing to lose their long locks due to chemotherapy, including a ‘buzz cut’ for those who would prefer a smooth look right away, and even a first hair style when that ‘post-chemo’ hair finally comes back.”
Hats, scarves, jewelry, makeup and skincare products are often donated to Hardesty in support of her services to clients with cancer, and she also has started a new service – fixing a client’s hair, once cut, into a kind halo or fastening it as “bangs” into a hat. “The right products and accessories can make a very positive difference in how women look and feel while fighting cancer, and it’s a pleasure to help make that happen,” Hardesty said.
The Cancer Center staff recently thanked Hardesty for her volunteer efforts and dedication, presenting her with a citation at Salon Inspire. “Kim’s service for cancer patients supports their confidence as they go through their chemotherapy journey,” said Plaskon. “We are so fortunate to have her talent and caring as a resource for our patients.”
“This citation is such a nice honor for me to receive as I get ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of opening Salon Inspire,” said Hardesty. “Now that more people are vaccinated and getting out and about, I hope I will have more opportunities to help women with cancer feel and look their best during treatment.”
For more information about Salon Inspire services for women affected by cancer treatment, contact Hardesty at 410-476-6125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.