There's just something about hair. I remember a quote that I saw in my hairdresser's hair when I was growing up that read, "The higher the hair, the closer to God." I think women actually think this sometimes.
I've been intrigued by hair ever since doing my story about the hijab in Denmark. I think there's just something about what hair represents. After all, women put so much time and effort into crafting hairstyles, choosing color, deciding on hair cuts. Or even if someone doesn't put that much effort into their hair, they probably care what it looks like in the end.
That's why it was interesting for me to go to photograph a woman who styles hair for women with cancer. Susain Haines, who own the hair salon Captain's Quarters, lost her sister to cancer. But she made a promise to her sister, which was to help fight cancer by helping women feel beautiful with the side effects they experience with chemotherapy.
Haines fits wigs on her clients, or even goes as far to shave their heads if they don't want to deal with the clumps of hair falling out. She also is trained in knowing how to take care of skin and nails that have been damaged by chemo.
I went to photograph Haines cutting the hair of her client, Elaine Grev. Grev has been Haines' patient for 30 years, but got breast cancer two years ago. She is since in remission, but it was amazing seeing the bond these two women have had over hair. They both know each other's children, have watched them grow up and have been there for each other through rough times. I guess it just goes to show what a bond hair can bring between women.
Also, please read the story written by Abbey Sussell, who is just a joy to work with. I worked with her before on the 9/11 portraits, so I was really happy when I found out I'd be taking on another one of her projects.