Pink became the new black in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month at a New York City hair salon this October. To promote awareness of breast cancer in her community, Rochelle Mosley, owner of Harlem’s Salon 804, created her own pink-themed campaign. But for the hair salon owner, rather than just promoting a typical pink product, her awareness theme involved dressing her client’s tresses — with pink, of course.
Clients who donated money to her first-annual fundraising efforts against the disease were given the option to have a strand of pink hair incorporated into their styles in solidarity with the cause.“For the people who had mohawks, we put pink in the back,” Mosley told theGrio. “For some we put it in the bangs. Others, we put it on the side of the long hair styles.”
Mosley ultimately raised $1,000 to fight a disease that has personally impacted both her and her predominantly African-American clientele, several of whom are breast cancer survivors or currently battling the disease. Black women are significantly more likely to die from breast cancer compared to white women after being diagnosed, according to a new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference this week.
“The results of this study emphasize that clinical management and follow-up for patients with breast cancer, particularly black women, is important in the first few years after diagnosis,” Erica Warner, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of the study, told CBS News.
A majority of the funds Mosley raised have been given to a close friend who is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. The remainder supported Salon 804’s team in the 8th annual American Cancer Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk that took place in Manhattan’s Central Park on Oct. 21.
“We are a family here,” Mosley told New York’s Daily News earlier this month about her grass roots program. “Salon 804 is down for any cause… Everybody knows somebody who has been affected by breast cancer.”
Mosley’s clients appreciated her efforts to bring awareness to a disease that disproportionately affects families in the Harlem area.
“This is something, in this community, that’s really needed,” Ila Eller, 65, told the Daily News. “I really admire her for the way that she reaches out… Anything that she does, I support her. Her shop can be a catalyst for many, many things, and she seems to be doing that.”