The right haircut, style and color can go a long way in making a woman feel good and have more confidence in herself.

As a former beautician at All In One Hair Care in Seymour, Patty Maschino, 67, made a career of making her clients look good so they felt better.

But when Maschino was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2006, her career turned into a mission to help people fight back against the visual and emotional side effects of undergoing treatment, mainly hair loss.

In 2008, she began working with the American Cancer Society in Indianapolis and started a wig bank at the salon.

The wigs were provided by the cancer society and were made available free to any woman who was experiencing hair loss or thinning of hair because of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

“They asked me to do it, and I said that was no problem, and they sent me a bunch of wigs,” Maschino said.

Maschino also became certified through the American Cancer Society to offer a makeup class to women with cancer.

The free Look Good, Feel Better program teaches women going through cancer treatment different skin care and makeup techniques, including how to draw in natural-looking eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil and use mascara on thinning eyelashes.

Maschino has battled colorectal cancer for nearly a decade. Before that, she had thyroid cancer.

“It won’t go away. I’ve had chemo and radiation,” she said. “It’s something that’s going to take my life, but I don’t think about that.”

Although she didn’t lose her hair completely, Maschino said she did wear a wig because her hair got so thin with what patients call “chemo hair.”

“It was brittle and breaking,” she said.

Having a wig allowed her to go out and do things with others without worrying about how she looked, Maschino said. She knew if it worked for her, it could help improve the quality of life for many women going through the same hardship.

Read the full story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.