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Here it is again, another October bringing with it cooler weather, Halloween and turning the nation’s focus to breast cancer awareness and prevention. According to Breastcancer.org, 12% of the women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. That comes down to one in eight of us.

And while these statistics sound daunting, the truth is that the death rate, while still expected to claim nearly 40,000 lives this year alone, has been decreasing since 1990. Not surprisingly, that comes only five years after National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was started in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, the maker of multiple anti-breast cancer medications.

Even before that, however, the road to decreasing breast cancer deaths and increasing awareness was already being paved. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure began in 1982, and since its grassroots days, has raised more than $1.9 billion for breast cancer research and awareness promotion.

In 1991, as Breast Cancer Awareness was making a real impact in the lives of those affected by the disease, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure handed out pink ribbons to all of its participants. In 1993, with deaths continuing to decrease, the Estee Lauder Companies founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as the official symbol of the movement.

Today, you would be hard-pressed to not be personally affected by all the breast cancer awareness promotion throughout October. Whether you read an article, buy curly hair products that promise to give back to the cause, or just notice that pink has taken over October is the perfect time to reflect on the women we love, and the disease that threatens to take them from us.

Brands Giving Back & How You Can Help!

Staying true to our natural hair roots, and with a nod in the Breast Cancer Awareness corner, we sought out curly hair product brands who are giving back this month so that you can and your hair can look fabulous: today, tomorrow, during chemo and beyond. Because there will be a beyond chemo.

Give Back, Get Product, Look Great!

  • Joico: Quadraion Pro-Dryer, Joimist Firm Spray, JoiWhip Mousse, K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor
  • Natural Hair Affair: Strand Aid, Soultanicals Special Attention Hair Repair
  • Hair Flairs: Breast Cancer Edition Hair Feather Extensions
  • Hair Therapy Wrap: a hair therapy wrap
  • Streak for Cancer: streaked hair with 12 strands of tinsel
  • SHE: Pink Hair for Hope all-natural hair extensions
  • MopTop: 10 percent discount
  • Beecology: 10 percent donation

1. Joico - "Beauty For a Cure"

Joico is proud to present the Beauty for a Cure campaign. Beauty for a Cure is a way to help fund significant cancer research that could save millions of lives. In order to help battle the fight against breast cancer, Joico will donate $12,500 to City of Hope, a bio-medical research treatment and education center dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer as well as other life threatening diseases. In addition, Joico is offering limited edition pink Quadraion Pro-Dryers, JoiMist Firm Sprays, JoiWhip Mousse as well as a K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor.

2. Natural Hair Love Affair

Natural Hair Love Affair will be donating 10 percent of proceeds from their new products, Strand Aid,  a mini hair remedy kit featuring essential tools for natural hair repair in a convenient Rx-chic tin, as well as a new product launching in honor of BCA, Soultanicals’ Special Attention Hair Repair, to the Sisters Network Inc., an organization committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community. Impacted by the number of occurrences that breast cancer has played in her personal life, Ayo Ogun- Creator and Founder of Natural Hair Love Affair, is focused on empowering women diagnosed with breast cancer. Strand Aid contains an organic-based, natural hair treatment oil made with coconut, argan, olive & other strand-preserving oils, a pink ribbon charm, a Hair Ingredients to Avoid Pocket Guide (highlighting known carcinogens such as the use of cocamide MEA, PEGs, parabens, including methyl paraben and many more chemicals that you find in many popular brand hair products) and a positive affirmation magnet. This kit will retail for $16.99.

3. Hair Flairs

Hair Flairs, a leading hair tinsel and hair feathers extensions manufacturer just launched their brand new pink breast cancer edition hair feather extensions to support breast cancer awareness and research, and has discounted these special pink feathers to support the cause. Hair Feather Extensions at a discounted price. Stylists and salons can purchase packs of the specially dyed pink hair feather extensions and create their own unique fundraiser with them or simply provide as a value-added to their clients who want to show their support for breast cancer awareness and research. In addition, NaturallyCurly readers can receive a 10 percent discount on the product with the code: NATURALLYFREE.

4. Hair Therapy Wrap

For the month of October, Hair Therapy Wrap will donate 10 percent of sales to Avon Brest Cancer Walkathon.The Hair Therapy Wrap is a heated cap that allows women to apply heat to their deep conditioning treatments and scalps without having to sit under a hairdryer or an electric heat cap at the salon.

5. Streak for Cancer

Streak for Cancer’s cause is to raise awareness for breast cancer, its prevention and treatment and eventually its cure and eradication. Salons will be “streaking” participants’ hair with pink hair tinsel, a chemical-free product.  It’s fast – it’s easy and it’s lots of fun! Our goal is to streak at least 100,000 people throughout the United States by the end of October 2011. There are two ways to participate: as a streaker, or as a salon or stylist. As a streaker you can get you hair streaked with 12 strands of tinsel. As a salon or stylist you can register to support the cause and become an approved streaking supporter. Is it manageable? You bet it is! Whatever you normally do with your hair you can do with tinsel in your hair. You can wash it, blow dry it, even flat iron it up to 400 degrees. So take a stand for cancer and get streaky!

6. SHE by So.Cap.USA Extensions

The world’s leading provider of all-natural hair extensions is hosting its 6th Annual “Pink Hair For Hope” campaign, to raise funds in the hopes of finding a cure for breast cancer. This October, clients in participating salons who donate $10 or more to “Pink Hair For Hope,” will receive a 100% natural, pink SHE by SO.CAP.USA hair extensions. Patrons can choose from professionally bonded pink hair extensions which attach to their natural hair or clip-in hair extensions that they can put in themselves and re-wear over and over again. All proceeds will directly benefit numerous cancer research organizations. To date, the “Pink Hair For Hope” campaign has successfully raised close to $2 million for many non-profit organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

7. MopTop

MopTop will provide a 10% discount off all products when using the promotional code: NCBA10. In addition, MopTop will donate $1 to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for every order placed in October.

8. Beecology

Beecology is donating 10% of our net profits from any Beecology products purchased to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It is an easy process for our customer’s to do: just go to our website and enter the charity on each product — we do the rest!

Give Back, Get Product, Look Great!

9. FHI Heat

Grab a GO at your local Regis salon, and we’ll donate $1 per iron to the Regis Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Grab a GO at any other salon or beauty store, and we’ll donate $1 per iron to Bright Pink, which helps women with a higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer, as well as those in treatment and survivors.

10. Kenra Professional Partners

with the rapunzel projectthe company is donating an additional $20,000 to The Rapunzel Project, bringingits total donation to date to $70,000. Kenra Professional has committed to raising an additional $230,000 for TheRapunzel Project through unique partnerships in the professional beauty industry.Another way Kenra Professional helps to support cancer awareness, as well as donation efforts, is by offeringlimited edition pink packaging for two of its best-selling products — Kenra Volume Spray 25 and Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray. Sales of those products support breast cancer research, early detection, support services and more.

11. Pravana

In honor of breast cancer awareness, and in support of those who are chronically and terminally ill, the revolutionary hair care company announces two very pink promotions for the months of October. Put the finishing touches on every client’s style by picking up two of Pravana’s top-sellers - Pravana’s Super Shape Hair Spray and Intense Therapy Leave-In Treatment, packaged together in an exclusive breast cancer awareness bag. For every pink pack sold, Pravana will donate proceeds to the Beauty Bus Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings beauty and hope into the lives of chronically and terminally ill patients and their caregivers by providing them with in-home beauty services, free of charge.  The Suggested Retail is $30.

12. HairUWear

HairUWear wigs are a small step towards recovery. For those undergoing cancer treatments, the aesthetic side-effects can be just as demoralizing as the physical struggle. That’s why HairUWear and style icon Raquel Welch are committed to promoting confidence among those in recovery. Together they donate approximately $1 million worth of wigs from the Raquel Welch Wig Collection to the American Cancer Society each year since 2003. Made from heat-friendly Tru2Life stylable fibers, the Raquel Welch Wig Collection can be curled or straightened with thermal styling tools for beautiful, confidence boosting results that look and feel like natural hair.

13. InfraShine

For the month of October for 2011, InfraShine will offer its most popular product with a splash of color. The InfraShine medium or 1-inch ClassicLine MST styling iron will flaunt pink plates and trim accents. All of the classic iron features the industry has come to know and trust will remain the same, just a touch of color in honor those affected by breast cancer. The Signature Pink promotion, which is in its fourth consecutive year, is designed to raise awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research to help find a cure. InfraShine Inc. and select InfraShine distributors will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every Signature Pink iron to various breast cancer research organizations. To qualify for the contribution, all organizations must use at least 80% of the donation directly for breast cancer research.

14. Oster Professional

Oster Professional will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sales of its new limited edition pink version of the Oster Professional Classic 76 Clipper sold in BSG stores nationwide to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure. The Classic 76 Clipper features AgION detachable blades, break resistant housing to hold up in the toughest salon environments and an innovative motor design that allows for easy maintenance and longer product life.

15. Ouidad

Fortunate enough to make a full recovery, Ouidad started a crusade against breast cancer, vowing to make a difference in the lives of other women. She founded Curls for a Cure in 2005 to raise funds year-round for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Curls for a Cure is a donation program on Ouidad.com that welcomes visitors to make a donation of their choosing toward Breast Cancer research. Taking her commitment a step further, Ouidad matches any amount donated, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000! By joining forces with both clients and corporate partners, Ouidad has raised over $350,000 for BCRF to date and over $6,500 in 2011 alone. In addition, the company underwrites all of the administration costs of the program as well as the credit card discount fees on the donations. In this manner, when $10 is donated, BCRF receives a full $10. For each donation, Ouidad offers a special pink bracelet inscribed to show her gratitude.

16. Curly Hair Solutions

Curly Hair Solutions is wearing pink this October in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and those affected by cancer. For the month of October, Curly Hair Solutions will be donating $1 from every bottle of Curl Keeper bought back to the fight against breast cancer. This includes the 3.38 ounce, 8 ounce and 33.8 ounce bottles. 

17. AG Hair

AG Hair will be donating $0.50 for every bottle of Fast Food Leave On Condition sold during the month of October. Fast Food is perfect for all hair types and provides instant conditioning and all day protection without added weight. It nourishes, detangles and helps to prevent split ends while adding life to lifeless locks.

18. Miss Jessie's

Miss Jessie’s is an official sponsor, in tandem with BET Networks, Tiffany & Co., among others, of the Lady Luck: Vegas Casino Game Night hosted by the Young Survival Coalition, the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.  The event is the official, annual fundraiser for In Living Pink and is hosted in New York City in the spring.

19. Farouk Chi

Farouk Chi has released two new limited edition collections, decked out in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each collection contains a 1-inch flat iron, small paddle brush and a thermal mat. 

Want More?

Ouidad's Curls for a Cure is a year round program dedicated to raising money for breast cancer awareness and research.

Final Thoughts

So, to wrap it, October rocks. Cooler weather means less frizz for our curls, and all of these hair giveaways and donations means that come Halloween, your conscience will be fully prepared to indulge on some much needed candy. You, and all women, deserve that!

Tell us what YOU are doing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!