Fighting cancer — with scissors

LIHU‘E — Two salons on the island will join the war against cancer Tuesday, literally raising sharp metal objects in the fight to find a cure and to provide care for cancer patients.

But there won’t be blood, only hair.

Laurie Aguayo, owner of Hair Razors Salon in Lihu‘e, and Ann Marie Semonian, owner of Boston Hair Design in Puhi, will be cutting hair all day Tuesday, with a large chunk of their proceeds going to American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Hanalei’s Wai‘oli Park June 16.

“I have people close to me that are fighting cancer right now,” said Aguayo, adding that her best friend is battling the disease. “Seems like a cause that was calling for me.”

Besides her best friend, Aguayo has additional reasons to join the party — her mother is a cancer survivor and a family member has recently been diagnosed with cancer. She has also recently returned from a training session on O‘ahu, conducted by ACS, called “Look Good, Feel Better,” where she learned to teach women how to deal with hair loss and skin changes because of chemotherapy.

Semonian also has her own personal reasons to lend a hand, or scissors, to the cause. She lost her mother to cancer, and her husband — who also works at the salon — lost both of his parents to cancer as well.

“We’ve all had someone in our lives who either have had cancer or passed away because of it,” Semonian said.

Hair Razors will be doing haircuts for $10, additional blowouts for $10 and mini manicures with art for $10. All the money from services Tuesday will go to ACS. Additionally, 30 percent of proceeds from sales of all products and tools will go to ACS.

Aguayo, along with Shelsie Caberto and Jody Fukushima, will be in charge of haircuts, and Rocky Pascua will be doing nails.

Boston Hair Design will be donating $20 of each regular-priced haircut to ACS.

Besides Semonian and her husband, Rick Semonian, Boston Hair staff who will participate in Tuesday’s fundraising event include Lori Nichols, Terence Dabis, Ashley Arguello, Annelise Soderstrom, Daydrie Delacruz, Sherri Rapozo and Kristine Long.

Aguayo’s and Semonian’s goal is to raise at least $1,000 each. The Tuesday fundraising event is around the corner, and both salons are already collecting donations in a bucket and by selling luminaria bags (which can be personalized) for $5 and disks for $1.

Aguayo said she has already raised almost $400 in donations. The bulk of Hair Razors’ contribution will be from the ongoing donations and Tuesday’s fundraising, since the salon won’t be able to be present at the June 6 event — Aguayo will be off-island visiting the family member who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Semonian said she collected a little bit of money so far. But she expects to collect a lot more Tuesday. On June 6, Boston Hair Design will be at Hanalei’s Relay for Life, putting in temporary hair strips, with all proceeds going to ACS.

Buddha Boutique, attached to Hair Razors, will also participate on Tuesday’s fundraising — the entire Buddha Boutique will have a 25 percent sale, excluding a few items. Owner Kim Date said she will donate 10 percent of Tuesday’s sales to ACS.

“I’ve had close friends and family who either have had or have cancer,” she said. “I just think it’s a good cause.”

Hair Razors is on Rice Street, near Kaua‘i Toyota. Boston Hair is across the street from Kaua‘i Community College.

This first year that Aguayo and Date will participate in the fundraising efforts for Relay for Life.

Aguayo said she had a short time to prepare for this year’s event, but next year she hopes to gather support from several beauty salons across the island and coordinate a week-long event, with salons alternating fundraising days.

Visit www.relayforlife.org for more information.

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