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Hair Theater - The Book

Columbus Dispatch Article

Columbus Foundation Story



For more information: patwynnbrown@yahoo.com or
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To obtain the latest numbers on The Hair Theater Fund housed at The Columbus Foundation, please email: patwynnbrown@yahoo.com


We call our Hair Theater Fund recipients "Stars," because that's what they are to us. They are the Stars in our hearts when we do our Fund fundraising shows. Our Stars are grateful for the help with their wigs and hats and from time to time we will feature their stories here. This story is about a Star, we’ll call Ginger, and it begins when Ginger is at her lowest.

"That's when my world started crashing down," Ginger said about the moment her doctor told her she had breast cancer. But rays of light shone through. True blue friends, helpful colleagues, and new friends won the day. It helped too, to have the love of her new boyfriend.

As a divorced mother with a 17 year old son, and a 13 year old daughter, Ginger had not dated for eight years. Her kids had been pushing her to start going out, and so she did. She started dating a man we'll call Jim, and their new love was put to a supreme test.

"He is such a wonderful guy," Ginger said. "I was scheduled for hernia surgery and didn't think much about the small lump in my breast. Jim encouraged me repeatedly to go get it checked. I finally did. I got the news. Jim stuck with me. He is such a blessing."

As awful as this diagnosis and treatment is for Ginger, she, like many before her, has seen sparkles of beauty in her journey. Ginger is fully appreciative of her new wig, and the kindness that her medical team and co-workers have actively displayed toward her.

"The wig is beautiful. It looks so great. My breast health nurse at the hospital is truly an angel. She made me feel like I was her only patient. She was so compassionate and gentle toward me," Ginger said. "Everybody, including my co-workers who are making food for us, have been wonderful. I am so touched by all of this. It changes your life, that's for sure, and many of the changes are for the good."

Ginger displayed the true spirit of The Hair Theater Fund that we see in all of the audience members, donors, HAIRNET volunteers, CHIPPENHAIR DANCERS, and our young BOBBY PINS, when she spoke of accepting their kindness. All of us associated with the show know that sometimes we are givers and sometimes we receive, and that it is much easier to be in the giving position.

“It was hard for me to ask for help but Carol (her wig shop owner), made it easy for me to do it." Ginger added this as she was about to go in for her second chemotherapy session, “If there is anything I can do to help with The Hair Theater Fund, would you please let me know?"


Do we have a complicated relationship with our hair?  Just check the hair history books...

The history of hair, and our practices in beautifying it, reflect our societal attitudes and aesthetic whims. It also reveals much about our hopes and dreams in becoming our fantasy selves.

In Ancient Rome, black hair dye was made from leeches and vinegar. In Doric Greece, women cut their hair on their wedding day as a sign of humility. Parisian nuns in 1593 adopted a popular hairstyle of the day: frizzing and powdering their hair. This headline appeared in 1924: "Woman Bobs Hair, Husband Shoots Self."

One of the richest women in the world in 1917 was Madam C.J. Walker. Madam Walker, an African-American woman, developed hair products for women whose hair had been badly damaged by poor nutrition and harsh hair straightening products. Madam Walker was also a strong advocate and developer of women entrepreneurs.

Hair can be helpful to your safety and security: Women escaping Communist overrun Cuba in 1959 hid their jewelry cache and important papers in their beehive hairdos.

Hair can be educational: A beauty shop/book store in Texas is called Beauty and the Books. Their motto is: "The higher the hair, the closer to God."

Times change and so do hair do‘s and don'ts. In 1950 only 7 percent of women dyed their hair. Today nearly 50 percent do.

Mothers are our first hairdressers and even if you are the queen of France, your mom will put her two cents in on your hair.

This was certainly the case for Marie Antoinette, who once sported a huge headdress of artichokes, cabbage, a carrot, and a bunch of radishes. (After a naval victory, she placed a small frigate in her hair.)

Marie’s mom was not amused. Royalty suffer from daughter hair backlash the same as we commoners. When Marie's mother received a photo of Marie in one of her more preposterous hairdos, her mother returned the photo with a note stating that there had to be some mistake.. She must have "received a portrait of an actress, not the queen of France."

Actually, Marie was both. And most women are. All the world is a stage with hair and make-up as part of the act called life.

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