At MJJM we strive to give our customers the best experience possible so they walk out of the door not only looking great, but feeling great too. By providing each stylist with endless training in several different areas, we can accomplish this goal. We are proud to say that one of the programs our stylists participate in is the Skinny on Skin Program, which is run by the Melanoma Foundation of New England.

“Skinny On Skin” is a skin cancer education program for hair and beauty professionals. Head and neck melanomas are particularly dangerous and most of the time go unnoticed due to their hidden locations. Since most guests see their hairstylist more often than they would see their doctor, they can play a crucial role in saving someone’s life by scanning this area. Melanoma is one of the most preventable cancers but early detection is key to stopping progression. This valuable program teaches our stylists how to screen for suspicious moles while completing the haircut, leaving our guests happy and safe.

Take Andrew, whose life was forever changed from a discovery made by one of our very own stylists, Tracy. He sent us this letter to express his gratitude for our implementation of “Skinny on Skin,” which saved his life:

“Oh March 31st, 2016, I went into [one of your] Maine salons as a regular customer for a standard haircut. I visit Tracy because I have specific requests for my cut and she executes it very well. On this day, in the middle of the haircut, she casually said “Just so you know, you have a mole on your head that appears to be growing. You may want to get it checked out.” That was that, and the conversation moved elsewhere.

I’m a 31-year-old male. I wasn’t particularly concerned, but I decided I’d get it checked out anyway – why not? The biopsy indicated that it was an aggressive melanoma tumor.

A situation like this is obviously life changing and moves quickly. The very next week, I was in surgery at Maine Medical Center.

The biopsy was negative, and the margins around the tumor were clear. Great news.

But this is the point: the melanoma tumor was growing deep into my scalp. Because of how fast and how deep it was growing, it would not have been long before it invaded my lymphatic system and beyond. A dermatologist later told me that he sees patients who have melanoma in their lungs, liver, and brain, and does a skin check in hopes of finding the original source.

The source, for me, was on my head, which Tracy found. I had no idea there was a lethal mole growth on my head and I would surely have not found it until it was too late. Had she not known to look for changing moles and had she not said something, I would be fighting a very different fight right now.

Tracy and “The Skinny on Skin” program’s practice of checking for new growths and changing moles stopped what likely would have been a fatal outcome. There is little room for doubt that having a trained staff is quite literally the difference between life or death.

I’m walking, talking proof. Thank you.”

Andrew is hoping his story can help save someone else’s life too. We are taking this opportunity to spread as much word as possible about the Melanoma Foundation of New England and the incredible work that they do. To learn more about skin cancer, prevention, and how to help visit their Skinny on Skin page here:

For more information on educational resources click here: