Dusty Needs a Home …

Take me home ...

Take me home …

This little guy’s name is Dusty. He really wants you to take him home. Dusty is a rescue at Homeless Animal Rescue Team. You’ve probably seen HART at the local PetsMart and Petco on weekends with their rescued furry friends.

HART is a wonderful organization that takes great care to ensure their pets are placed in the right homes. We adopted our dog, who looks eerily similar to Dusty, in 2000. We were so impressed by the care they took in placing Bogart with us.

This January, we donating $1 from every haircut to HART, as well as 10% from all of Jennifer’s Silpada sales when purchased from this link.

Why we like DS Laboratories hair regrowth products: The founder is ‘obsessed’ with finding a cure for baldness

One thing that intrigued us about the DS Laboratories product line was a simple statement made by Daniel Khesin, the founder and CEO of DS Laboratories: “I’m obsessed with finding a cure for hair loss.” Although he has not found it yet, his innovative products can completely reverse baldness for the vast majority of people when caught in the early stages. And, many people don’t realize this, but hair loss is not just a male problem. In fact, according to The American Hair Loss Association, approximately 40% of hair loss sufferers are female.


Hair Growth Cycle

Hair grows in three phases: anagen (growth), catagen (regression), and telogen (resting). In successive cycles, a follicle replaces its hair strand with another that is either the same size (maintenance), finer (balding) or thicker (regrowth).

For the hair on the scalp, the anagen phase lasts anywhere from two to five years. In androgenetic alopecia for both male and female pattern baldness, hormones cause the hair follicles to contract and produce vellus (light) hairs.

Khesin notes, “Despite decades of intense research and interest, our understanding of follicle function remains rudimentary. The oldest known ion-channel opener for hair growth, minoxidil, works only on part of the scalp and only for a subset of users. Plus, it carries side effects.” His method of research is to gain a greater understanding of how ion-channel openers work, so that his company can create safer and more effective treatments for male and female baldness. “We test and explore some of the most innovative ingredients. We only introduce products when they have proven to work. There has been an enormous amount of research that has gone into these products. Our goal is to not just take up shelf space,” notes Khesin.

We are excited about what we are seeing in our clients’ hair regrowth when using DS Laboratories products. If you notice your hair thinning, please talk to your stylist about which DS Laboratories products will work best for your stage of loss and see for yourself what we are seeing with this innovative line!

Helping the Homeless in Fairfax

Last month, we partnered with Our Daily Bread Fairfax to help Fairfax families in-need — those who are at risk of becoming homeless. This month, are partnering with The Lamb Center in Fairfax, VA, who provides services to Fairfax’s homeless.

The Lamb Center focuses on ending homelessness and providing hope. But to make a difference in homelessness, food, clothing and hot showers are just the first steps. Almost every person The Lamb Center encounters needs job counseling, transportation and housing. The Lamb Center works with other organizations, ministries and government agencies to help people get back on their feet.

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.

– Mother Teresa

The Lamb Center has served over forty-four thousand meals, hosted more than 364 AA meetings, and has provided over 600 job counseling sessions in 2012 alone. They are working diligently to help transform the lives of the homeless in Fairfax.


Click to view larger image

This December, we are donating $1 from every haircut to The Lamb Center. Also, upon checkout, you will have an opportunity to add $1, $3, or $5 to donate to The Lamb Center. Please take a moment to learn about other volunteering needs the The Lamb Center has.

What we love about Our Daily Bread Fairfax

We lovODBLogoe Our Daily Bread Fairfax as they have a full spectrum of services to help our neighbors-in-need. What makes Our Daily Bread unique is that they were developed to serve the families who, while not homeless, are in financial crisis and are in danger of “falling through the cracks” toward homelessness. The families helped by Our Daily Bread range from the working poor — often juggling multiple jobs — to the elderly and disabled. And, more than half of those served by Our Daily Bread are children. Our Daily Bread helped local resident, Monica, after the company she worked for went out of business. Monica had a good job and savings, but struggled to support her children after she lost her job. Monica shared a little about her experience with Our Daily Bread:

Our Daily Bread pretty much saved my life…If it wasn’t for the help that I have gotten from them, I don’t know what would have happened. I think I would be in a shelter with my kids right now.

The mission of Our Daily Bread is simple: guiding our neighbors toward self-sufficiency. In addition to providing food assistance, Our Daily Bread offers Financial Literacy programs to help those in need with financial guidance and training.

We are cheerfully supporting Our Daily Bread by donating $1 from every haircut in November. Also, you will have an opportunity at check out to add an additional $1, $3, or $5 to your ticket to be donated to Our Daily Bread. These donations will be supporting Fairfax families-in-need with meals and gifts this Christmas season.

A survivor’s journey.

Our breast cancer survivor role model for October, Allison Kelly.

Our most beautiful role model for the month of October, Allison Kelly.

Six years ago, Allison Kelly was turning 40. With no family history of breast cancer, she had very little anxiety about scheduling her first mammogram. She did all the right things like monthly self-breast exams and yearly check ups at the doctor. And, to add to her sense of ease, Allison nor the doctors ever felt the slightest lump during her exams. Then everything in her life changed in an instant. “My mammogram lit up like a Christmas tree,” Allison recalls. “There were two tumors growing and my results were triple positive.” Allison, married with two young children who were just three and seven at the time, had a lot of big decisions to make.

Allison and her doctor’s decided on a treatment consisting of a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. The treatments lasted a year and a half. “I can go on for hours about that hell,” Allison lamented. Then, while sharing her story, Allison paused for a moment and said, “You know what’s funny? When I started the chemo, I thought the hardest part would be losing my hair. It was my signature — my thick, long, curly hair. Turns out that was the easiest part. Chemo was a bitch.”

To get her through it all, Allison relied heavily on her strong network of friends. “Thank God for friends and family. They were my support.” They walked side-by-side with her in her first Avon walk, while she was undergoing chemo. Friends brought meals, helped keep her spirits up — one even broke into her house and cleaned it while she was sick during her treatments. It was encouragement from friends and family, especially her husband, that helped her get through each day. She described him as a stoic man who picked up all the pieces when she was sick, but who never let her lose her sense of humor. “He could always make me laugh,” Allison smiled, “even on the worst days.” Allison also drew support from her Oncologist. She recalls telling her Oncologist, “Just help me see my kids through high school.” Her Oncologist looked her straight in the eyes and firmly stated, “You’re going to live to be a grandmother.”

It took Allison a year after her last treatment to finally feel normal again. Allison went about her life, working, raising money for breast cancer research, and spending time with her husband and children. And, not one to be beaten, Allison continued walking in Avon walks. To date, Allison has participated in 8 walks, and will be walking her 9th in 2014. One year Allison was going to walk two walks, one in DC, then one in October in New York with her family. But when October came, Allison was too sick to travel or walk. Her family in New York walked in her honor.

A few years passed and Allison approached her five year remission anniversary. “For my five year anniversary on 12-12-12, my husband planned TWO parties. I’ll never forget it.” Her doctor’s assured her she had beat cancer — she was given the all clear. Glad to put cancer behind her, Allison scheduled a follow up mammogram two weeks after the party. She recalls how, in the early stages of her cancer, days seemed like years when waiting for results. “There was one point I went for five weeks without knowing if I would live or not.” However, when speaking of her first post-remission mammogram, she recalls her complete lack of worry, “I walked in there not worried one bit.”

Then, she got the results. It wasn’t good. The cancer had returned. Luckily it was caught early, but her doctors told her chemo wouldn’t work this time. In February 2013, Allison underwent a nine hour double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery then went on to spend three days in the cardiac ICU. Allison spent weeks sleeping in a recliner at home as it was too painful to lie down in a bed, but, in typical Allison fashion, she kept her positive attitude and sense of humor, posting hysterical quips about pain meds to her Facebook page. Allison has a third and hopefully final surgery scheduled this month. Allison described the surgery as “intense” and “painful,” but, she would do it again in an instant to know that she probably won’t have to face breast cancer again.

Allison is our role model for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She is a force to be reckoned with, but warm and sweet at the same time. Her personality is infectious. Her eyes are full of light and kindness, yet at the same time, you immediately sense you would not want to throw down with Allison. Cancer didn’t stand a chance with this gal.

Asking Allison to share some final words of wisdom, Allison spoke of finding local support even beyond friends and family. She received from INOVA tremendous help from a local organization called, Life with Cancer. “They helped me with how to talk to my children about what was happening to mommy, and three things were key. One, it’s not your fault, two, it’s not contagious, and three, I’m going to look funny.” She also said her friends used the free scheduling service, Take Them a Meal to help schedule meals for the family. But, her biggest piece of advice was to get a mammogram. “I shouldn’t have had cancer. I didn’t fit the profile. That 10 minutes of discomfort saved my life.”

During the month of October, we will be again participating in Pink Hair for Hope, which has helped raise over $2.5 million dollars to date for cancer research and advocacy programs. Through this program, pink extensions can be added to your hair for $10, with the proceeds going to breast cancer research programs. We will also be donating $1 from every haircut in October to the local organization, the Tigerlily Foundation. And, kicking it off, we are hosting a Pink Hair for Hope night on Thursday, October 10th from 6-8 PM.

Your action item for this month …

Jonathan and I have been asked on several occasions this question: “What got you into pediatric cancer fundraising? Do you know someone who has cancer?”

Honestly, we were pretty oblivious to pediatric cancer prior to 2007. And I mean oblivious as in ‘head stuck in the sand because you just don’t want to know about such awful things’ oblivious. But in 2007, a friend told us about Taylor Love. I still have the email and vividly remember watching the video for the Loneliest Road Campaign. At the time, our first born was not even a year old. It hit us so.very.hard. What if this was our child? The sorrow and desperation we felt was immediate – and we both said, “what can we do to help?” We started by holding our first ever cut-a-thon to “cut out” neuroblastoma, the rare pediatric cancer with which Taylor was diagnosed at just 18 months of age, and have held six annual cut-a-thons.

Fast forward to 2010. I wanted to re-connect with a mother I’d met on a cloth diapering network. I had been meaning to reach out to her as I wanted to get our kids together for a play date and I felt awful that I hadn’t even met her newest, then 6 month old Casey. The email I received back made my heart stop and my eyes immediately fill with tears. Her son, at just 6 months old, was diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), a rare form of brain cancer. He was undergoing extremely toxic treatments of chemo as there was no drug or therapy formulated specifically for babies. So toxic that she would have to wear gloves to change his diapers as his urine was toxic. Casey fought his battle with pediatric cancer until he was 14 1/2 months old. I can’t write anymore about Casey because I will start crying (again). Please read his CaringBridge site to learn more about the wonderfully cute little baby boy, Casey Kropf.

So yes, this is the really, really bad stuff — the stuff no one wants to talk about because it’s kids and it’s so awful. This is the stuff I tried hiding from for so many years. But the truth is, it’s real, and it is awful, and if we DON’T talk about it, nothing is going to get done. 

About that same time in the summer of 2010, we learned that Taylor Love, who was showing No Evidence of Disease from the neuroblastoma, was diagnosed with chemo-induced leukemia. Yes, you read that right — the very chemo she was given to cure her of neuroblastoma gave her a secondary cancer. Taylor has fought both cancers and is in school living a mostly normal life. But she and her parents live in fear every day of several scary thoughts: will the cancer return and what long-term effects did treating her cancer have on her body?

Unfortunately, our list of “do you know someone who was diagnosed with pediatric cancer” didn’t end with Taylor or Casey. In late 2011, we learned that a client’s 2 1/2 year old daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL. Little Ava has been undergoing chemo since 2011, and has six more months to go. And, just about three weeks ago, a long-time friend shared that her 2 year old, Kate, was also diagnosed with ALL. Pictures of Kate from just three weeks ago show a healthy, happy 2 year old. This is a startling contrast to the photo that her mom Lindsay posted today of a newly bald Kate, recovering from a fever and bone marrow biopsy in a hospital bed. This one hit me especially hard as Lindsay and I were pregnant at the same time — I with my third and her with her first. Again, this could be my daughter.

There are more kids — an acquaintance on a yahoo group lost her 11 year old Stephan to a brain tumor. Our friend’s nephew lost his battle with leukemia at age five. A friend’s neighbor also lost their 5 year old son to leukemia. Isabella Santos, whom we heard of through a client and friend, lost her battle with neuroblastoma last year — she was just 7 years old and had been fighting for five years. Now we are up to eight children, and that’s just children in my circle of friends and doesn’t include the many others I read about daily.

After having our eyes open to this epidemic the last several years, there are a few things that have really stood out. The first is that most of the folks out there doing the fundraising and trying to spread awareness are the parents and families of those directly affected. This just isn’t right. They have enough on their plate – it’s our duty to relieve them of that burden. Second, childhood cancer, to us, isn’t rare. We’ve heard the words “proportional funding” and “rare” often in this world of childhood cancer — this needs to change. These kids need more funding; childhood cancer isn’t rare (at least not anymore).

Here are some of the hard truths about childhood cancer from The Truth 365:

  • Of the $5 billion of federal funding allotted for cancers, pediatric cancers receive only 4% of those research dollars.
  • Pediatric oncologists spend 60% of their time fundraising as there is not enough money to keep research flowing for these kids.
  • Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death of children under the age of 5.
  • One in 330 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20.
  • Each year, there are 13,500 children diagnosed with cancer.
  • Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years.

  • In 20 years the FDA has initially approved only one drug for any childhood cancer.
  • The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8, causing a childhood cancer victim to lose 69 years of expected life years; a significant loss of productivity to society.

  • Childhood cancer survivors are at significant risk for secondary cancers later in life.
  • Cancer treatments can affect a child’s growth, fertility, and endocrine system. Child survivors may be permanently immunologically suppressed.


After reading this post — and let me warn you, the post is, with every right, edgy — we decided we weren’t going to call our September community outreach “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month,” but instead, “Childhood Cancer Action Month.” What one or two things can you do this month to help these kids? We’ve got some ideas for you, and many of them don’t cost a dime, but will have a profound impact as you spread information about pediatric cancer.

First, here’s what we are doing:

  1. We will be donating $1 from every haircut in September to The Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation.
  2. This year, instead of a cut-a-thon which only lasts one day, we wanted to do
    Gold Hair for a Cure

    Gold Hair for a Cure

    something that people could participate in for the entire month. Similar to the Pink Hair for Hope campaign, we are launching a Gold Hair for a Cure campaign. Come and have a SO.CAP gold extension added to your locks for just $10 and we will donate 100% of our profit to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. When people ask why you have a gold hair extension, tell them about Pediatric Cancer Action Month! (And, we have contacted SO.CAP USA to see if they can make this a national campaign. We’ll keep you posted!)

  3. We will be asking every person checking out if they would like to add $1, $3 or $5 to their ticket to be donated to pediatric cancer research funding.
  4. I am hosting a Silpada fundraiser this month. I am donating 100% of my profits from this fundraiser and am raffling off free jewelry for those who order. Need gifts, want something for yourself and want to help? Easy! Shop the fundraiser here.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Take a Crazy Hair Day for Kids’ Cancer flyer to your school and have your school host a no-cost fundraiser. It’s so very simple. Kids get to wear their hair crazy for a day and they bring in a small donation. We have a flyer for preschool and elementary schools, and one for middle and high schools. When other kids ask why their hair is ‘crazy’ for the day, it’s a *great* opportunity for these kids to share why. Don’t have kids in school? Take a flyer to work and hang it in your office kitchen. And if you are not a client of ours, take the fliers to your salon. Share with your stylist or the owner of that salon. Get them involved in promoting this amazingly easy fundraiser.
  2. Donate to any one of the many organizations helping kids battling cancer. Here are just a few great ones we know about or have donated to in the past: The Band of Parents, The Isabella Santos Foundation, Journey 4 A Cure, Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, and the DC Candlelighters. Please do not think any amount is too small. If everyone gave $1, these organizations and the children they serve would benefit tremendously!
  3. Participate in a walk or run, or triathalon.
  4. Get involved through a social media outreach campaign through The Truth 365.
  5. Watch the Truth 365 Documentary to learn more about the state of pediatric cancer.
  6. Write your Congressperson, and ask him or her to sign The Pledge. We need more than 4% of federal cancer research dollars going toward pediatric cancers.

Hopefully one of these will speak to you. These kids do not have a voice. They are busy fighting for their lives. Be their voice, take action for them.

Our August Community Outreach: Autism Speaks

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States each year.

Jonathan and I have several friends whose children have been diagnosed. Having witnessed their diagnosis as an outsider, we’ve seen the grieving stages the parents go through as they grapple through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, then ultimately acceptance with the disorder. We are oftentimes at a loss with what to say or how to help. It’s frustrating for everyone not knowing the true cause of the disorder. It makes parents question every little thing of the child’s past, all the way to conception, which leaves parents’ minds on an eternal treadmill of questioning thoughts — which for anyone can be exhausting. What we do know about children with autism spectrum disorder is that they are each amazingly gifted and unique. We know they are loved very deeply by their friends and family, even though it may seem at times that these same family and friends are exasperated. The truth is autism is exasperating. It’s also, at times, wonderfully incredible. As our friend said of her sweet, adorable son, “He teaches us something new about ourselves and about the truly important elements of life.”

We’d love for you to take a moment to browse through the Autism Speaks website. For the month of August, Salon Khouri is donating $1 from every haircut to Autism Speaks.

Our July Community Outreach – Keeping Our Kids Safe via The ART of Driving


Ashley Renee Thompson lost her life in a singular vehicular accident on June 10, 2003 — she was just sixteen years old. She was an advanced placement student, a competitive gymnast, and loved by her friends and peers. Her mother created The ART of Driving program in memory of her daughter to increase awareness among teens and parents of the unique risks faced by young, novice drivers and to impress upon them the need for improved training, increased supervised time behind-the-wheel, and increased parental involvement. The ART of Driving is also advocating for improvements in driver education for our youth and seeks to change the mindset of teens and their parents that tragedies like this “won’t happen to me”.

The ART of DrivingIt is our hope to help bring awareness to this organization. If just one parent or teen gains a new piece of knowledge from The ART of Driving that saves a life, then this will have been our most successful community outreach event to date! Please take a moment to Learn the Top 5 Reasons for Teen Crashes and Injuries, as well as an overview of programs offered through The ART of Driving.

For the month of July, Salon Khouri will donate $1 from every haircut to the Ashley Renee Thompson Memorial Foundation.

Our June Community Outreach – Help Us Bridge The Gap

FoodBridge_logoThis June, Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut to Our Daily Bread Fairfax in support of their Food Bridge program. Also, upon checkout, you can donate $1, $3, or $5 toward this program.

With the down economy, many Fairfax families are struggling. Luckily, Our Daily Bread Fairfax is there to help. Our Daily Bread identifies and addresses the unmet fundamental needs of Fairfax area residents and empowers the community to help these neighbors maintain self-sufficiency. They are a volunteer-based organization focused on easing the plight of low income residents in Fairfax County, drawing volunteers from local faith-based groups, community organizations, local businesses, schools and universities.

We specifically are reaching out to help Our Daily Bread’s Food Bridge Program, which provides short-term food assistance to Fairfax County area residents who are struggling to make ends meet – helping them bridge the gap until they can achieve self-sufficiency. Needy families are referred to the Program by social workers, and generally receive assistance for approximately four to six months. Some clients receive emergency assistance once or twice to get them through a brief crisis.

Here’s how it works, with every haircut the month of June, Salon Khouri will donate $1 toward the purchase of a gift card for the Food Bridge program. Gift Cards allow Our Daily Bread’s clients to meet the specific dietary needs of their family, which many times includes managing specific food allergies. Grocery store gift cards also allow parents to make good nutritional choices for their children that include fruits, vegetables and dairy items that cannot be stored at the ODB panty. In addition, grocery store gift cards help Our Daily Bread’s clients to practice newly acquired financial management skills in getting the most out of every dollar they spend for food. Their Food Bridge Supporters collect and deliver either non-perishable food items and supplies or grocery cards to 30 of their Food Bridge clients each Sunday.

The goal of the Food BRIDGE is to take Our Daily Bread’s clients from a place of crisis to a place that is stable where food insecurity is concerned. Our Daily Bread helps their clients make good choices, teaches them how to manage resources and to go forward with new skills in being informed consumers.

If you would like to volunteer to help deliver food to families, please contact Christina Garris of Our Daily Bread Fairfax at 703-273-8829.

The Wind Can’t Stop This Pony

The wind in the DC area today is enough to make anyone’s beautifully styled hair look like a bird was trying to nest in it. Thankfully, high winds don’t always have to mean bad hair days. Here, we give you a step-by-step on the high ponytail. Bring it wind!

Start by taking the front, top section of your hair ...

Start by taking the front, top section of your hair …

Gently tease at the root to provide a little volume ...

Gently tease at the root to provide a little volume …

Pull top section to back of head ...

Pull top section to back of head …

Spray with a medium to heavy hold hair spray ...

Spray with a medium to heavy hold hair spray …

Holding hair in a high pony, comb stray hairs back toward pony, then spray again ...

Holding hair in a high pony, comb stray hairs back toward pony, then spray again …

Secure pony with a coated elastic band ...

Secure pony with a coated elastic band, holding a small piece down with one hand…

Wrap strand around elastic band, then pin with bobby pin ...

Wrap strand around elastic band, then pin with bobby pin …

Spray again on a very windy day for good measure!

Spray again on a very windy day for good measure!