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Syreeta Scott, Helping Women Deal With Chemotherapy Hair Loss

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(Syreeta Scott, with some of her hair care products and wigs she has designed.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Syreeta Scott, with some of her hair care products and wigs she has designed. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  Natural hair expert Syreeta Scott has crafted the coifs of Philadelphia’s A-list, including singer Jill Scott (no relation) and Questlove of The Roots.

But Syreeta Scott doesn’t just perfect the ‘dos of the Who’s Who.   She also helps those who lose their hair battling cancer.

“It’s extremely traumatic and depressing to some women to see their hair come out in clumps,” says Scott, CEO of Duafe, a natural hair care salon at 3502 Scotts Lane in West Philadelphia.

“I help them understand that their hair is not their beauty, that beauty comes from the inside,” she says.

Scott helps her clients cope, with compassion.  She works with them from the time of diagnosis, helping them choose a wig before hair loss, cutting their hair when the time comes, and then through to survival when it’s time to regrow their glorious crown.

“We apply a holistic approach,” says Scott, “talking to them about what are their ultimate goals, what do they want, do they understand what the process looks like.”

She trains her staff at Duafe to work with empathy because, for Scott, it’s personal.  Her mother and cousin are both cancer survivors.

“Seeing my mom going through the process of losing her hair in clumps, I realized it wasn’t just an issue affecting my household,” says Scott.  “It’s an issue affecting us globally.  And I’m one who, if I can find a way to help in any way, I am willing to offer — I want to lend.”

Scott says it’s one of the reasons she began mixing her own all-natural products at home.  Duafe products include ingredients like rosemary, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and coconut oil.

Scott says the products, including her Dry Wash and Clarifying Shampoo, help to keep fragile hair clean and moisturized, reducing breakage.

“My products include ingredients that you can pronounce,” she says.  “I believe that we must be in control of what we put in and on our bodies.  Some of the products out there have too many chemicals, and when you are battling cancer, more chemicals are the last thing you need.”

“I learned to control what to put in my body,” says Charlisa Scott, Syreeta’s cousin.  Charlisa was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012.

“I equated cancer with death,” says Charlisa. “I thought, oh my gosh, I’m going to lose my hair, I’ll no longer be attractive, I can’t go outside.”

(Charlisa Scott, now in remission, said she had to fight through self-image issues while battling breast cancer.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Charlisa Scott, now in remission, said she had to fight through self-image issues while battling breast cancer. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

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But Syreeta helped Charlisa, just as she does her other clients, get through the process.

“She’s been absolutely fantastic in helping to empower me,” says Charlisa.  “She even helped me stop wearing my wig once hair began to grow back.  She helped me see I am more than my hair.”

For more on Syreeta Scott, go to www.dua-fe.com.

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