Patricia “Trish” Reynolds goes bald and beautiful

Submitted photos: Merry Kelly, of Southern Shears salon, prepares Trish Reynolds’s hair for donation to Wigs for Kids.

a “Trish” Reynolds, a veteran, mother, wife, and athlete, among many other well-deserved titles, was spotted at Southern Shears Salon, recently. While her daughters watched, and her husband recorded the event live on Facebook, Trish awaited a haircut in order to donate her long locks to Wigs for Kids. Stylist and salon owner, Merry Kelly, who happens to be a breast cancer survivor herself, had the honor of providing Trish with the somewhat unusual request of having her head shaved.

Back in 2015, at an event in Oklahoma for St. Baldricks, Trish shaved her head, “The first time I shaved my head, our oldest had a meltdown, and wouldn’t talk to me for a few hours. This time, she watched me get my head shaved, while she waited to get a haircut and didn’t seem upset,” she added, “…our youngest came up to me, quickly touched my head and then ran off. This time she told me I look better with hair.” Trish also said, both times her husband replied, “it’s just hair” and was fine with whatever she wanted to do to it.

“Even though it was under my terms, when I shaved my head the first time, it took a few days before I would go out without hoping I wouldn’t run into someone I knew. So, to those little girls and women who feel ugly, because of their hair loss: you are beautiful! Our beauty doesn’t come from the length of our hair, how well our makeup is applied, or how well we’re dressed. It comes from inside and how we treat those around us.”

Trish and her family are all big supporters and participants of the LaBelle Relay for Life, every year. “My original intent was to cut it short and donate my hair. Then, I had an idea to request donations for my Relay for Life fundraising page, and if I reached my monetary goal, I would have my head shaved at Relay,” Trish explained, “Unfortunately, Relay was cancelled, but I reached my goal and wanted to honor my promise to my donors.”

Wigs for Kids is an organization that has provided hair replacement for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns, and other medical issues at no cost to children or their families, for more than 30 years.

“Being bald feels… weird.” Trish described, “Cool raindrops feel good, but water from the shower feels like fingertips tapping on my head, which is a creepy feeling. Like the last time I shaved my head, I have sent silent apologies to every man I had ever asked to touch his freshly shaved head,” she said, “It may feel good on the fingertips, but hearing and feeling it as the bald person, it sounds like someone rubbing sandpaper on wood. It’s annoying.”

Though she went on to add, “It feels liberating. From an early age we, mainly women, are programmed to believe we have to have long, luxurious hair to be considered beautiful. Look at most of the hair product commercials we see, or the models in fashion magazines. I do understand how those women and young girls who have no control over their hair loss can feel embarrassed, scared, depressed and many other emotions.”

Unfortunately, in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the American Cancer Society has cancelled all in-person Relay for Life events, until further notice. The LaBelle Relay for Life was only $7,000 away from their $70,000 goal for this year.

“If anyone would like to donate on Trish’s behalf they can google: relayforlifelabelletrishreynolds and click the link that has her picture,” says Vicki Reynolds, organizer and founder of LaBelle’s Relay for Life. She also promises to keep everyone updated as she receives news from the American Cancer Society.

Submitted photos: Southern Shears owner and stylist, Merry Kelly, finishes shaving Trish Reynolds’s head.

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