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After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer to develop in women. It is currently estimated that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. While prevention and early treatment can improve the survival rate, many women must undergo intensive treatment, which usually consists of chemotherapy — a therapy that is harsh on both the physical and mental health of patients. This October, as we honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, now is the time to recognize all that we can do for patients undergoing treatment.   

Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy and can be devastating for patients. But with new technology, there is hope. Scalp cooling is an innovative technology that can help reduce the amount of chemotherapy-induced hair loss. It consists of a cool scalp therapy treatment that is applied to the scalp before, during, and after chemotherapy that brings the scalp temperature down by about 30 degrees, constricting the blood vessels and reducing the amount of chemotherapy that enters the hair follicle. With this treatment, many patients see a 50% decrease in hair loss.*

While the benefits are undeniable, the treatment is costly and out of reach for many cancer patients. HairToStay is a non-profit organization dedicated to making scalp cooling treatments affordable for chemotherapy patients. To date, they have awarded subsidies to 5,000 patients and counting.

“One of the most visible and traumatic side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss, which I can personally attest to the profound impact it has on a person's identity, privacy, and overall mental health. Beauty professionals are often the first to learn about this challenging time in their client’s lives when they're asked to do a chemo cut. However, with more education and awareness, stylists can recommend scalp cooling as a solution and the Sydney Berry Foundation can help fund the treatment for those who don’t have access to it,” says Sydney Berry, Haircare Advisory Board with HairToStay and Professional Beauty Association Chair. The Sydney Berry Fund that is a part of HairToStay, aims to aid women in the beauty industry who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford scalp cooling.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Sam Villa® company will donate 5% of net website sales in the month of October to the Sydney Berry Foundation at HairToStay (HTS). The Sydney Berry Foundation has challenged 50 companies in the beauty industry to donate a combined $250,000 to enable 250 individuals access to scalp cooling, a treatment that can dramatically reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss. HTS is the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients afford scalp cooling.    


“We’re turning to our reach of 2 million on social media, including 800,000 IG followers and about 850,000 subscribers to our YouTube channel, to help amplify the message around this important cause and raise money for the Sydney Berry Foundation with HairToStay,” says Regina Baptista, President of Sam Villa.  “As a brand rooted in #ArtistsSupportingArtists and #BrandsSupportingBrands, we continue to look for ways to positively contribute to the industry.”


To help spread awareness and contribute to the foundation please visit https://bit.ly/htshaircarechallenge to make a donation.


*Scalp cooling involves wearing a cold cap before, during, and after getting chemo.  Cooling the scalp during chemotherapy is thought to prevent hair loss by affecting two cellular processes: (1) Blood flow to hair follicle cells is reduced, therefore exposing them to less chemotherapy medications, and (2) the rate of cellular metabolism is slowed, thereby reducing the effect of whatever chemo medication is present.


Photo Credits:

HairToStay Sydney Berry Fund recipient, Taylor M., using cold caps on her first day of chemo. 

HairToStay Haircare Advisory Board member and industry icon, Sydney Berry, crowned by HairToStay co-founder, Bethany Hornthal, as she receives the 2022 Cooler Heads Prevail Award at The Fugazi Way in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Fred Rowe.

HairToStay recipient and former salon manager, Alli Jo H., with her family, and a full head of hair post-chemo.