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Buddy Check 10: 'Hello Gorgeous' program helps cancer patients feel beautiful

Cheveux Salon in Newport is the only place in Tennessee where women undergoing chemo can step foot into a "Hello Gorgeous" makeover experience and walk out feeling like themselves again.

NEWPORT, Tenn. — When Mary Dunn walked into Cheveux Salon in Newport, she had no idea what was in store for her. 

A red carpet was rolled out, flowers and a box of chocolates were presented to her and she was greeted with a cheery "Hello Gorgeous!" when she stepped inside.

Little did she know, the group of women holding the gifts and cheering her on were about to give her a makeover because her friends and family agreed-- she needed to be pampered.

Dunn was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer in March 2017 and is still undergoing treatments for the disease.

"It's kind of like crying over spilled milk," Dunn said. "There's nothing I can do now but take my treatments and stuff, but it was a very tough realization."

Ever since being diagnosed with cancer, Dunn said it is been really easy to just stay home and not worry about getting all dolled up.

The whole mission of the Hello Gorgeous project is to "give back the beauty that cancer steals," and the owner and stylist at Cheveux Penny Grooms says something as small as a makeover can completely change a patient's perspective on life. 

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"With the program of Hello Gorgeous, it's just to give back, so when you have everything taken away just have a little something of normalcy put back is what it's all about today," Grooms said.

Grooms said the staff at Cheveux has no problem donating their talent and time to make a woman feel special.

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"That's why we're here," Grooms said. "We're here to give them just a little bit back to make it not such a hard thing to deal with that day."

For each makeover, the woman gets a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, hair wash, hair style or wig, makeup application and a new outfit complete with jewelry, completely free of charge. 

After everything was said and done, Dunn felt like a whole new woman.

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"It's fabulous," Dunn said. "It's just really nice that they've come and they've done all this and everything, but I actually feel a little pretty right now. I look down at my fingernails and my bracelets and it's really nice. It's nice that they do this."

Women have to be nominated for a Hello Gorgeous makeover. 

The salon is going into their third year of offering the program, and Grooms says she would not change it for the world.

Each woman gets a manicure, pedicure, facial, makeup application, a new hairstyle, whether that's a wig or their real hair, and a choice of one of three outfits. 

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Each session is completely customized to every woman who comes in for a makeover according to their wants and needs.

The women who get the makeover get to take home any products used on them during the day, including nail polish, face treatments, lotions, makeup and styling products.

Everything Salon Cheveux uses on the Hello Gorgeous women has never touched another soul, so she can rest assured everything is clean and sanitary.

It is not just for breast cancer patients. Any cancer patient who is currently undergoing chemo can be nominated for the Hello Gorgeous makeover.

All you have to do to nominate someone is call the salon at (423) 623-5634 or stop by one day when they're open to grab an application. 

You do not have to live in Newport to participate. Anyone can nominate someone or be nominated.

Grooms says when you nominate someone it is not "if" the team will be able to do the Hello Gorgeous makeover, it is "when." 

She says she will make sure every nominated woman has the opportunity to feel gorgeous during her journey.

If you are a salon who wants to start doing the Hello Gorgeous program to start changing the lives of cancer patients, you can click here to find out more.

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