With over 38 years of experience as a Cosmetologist, Wigs For Kids has been Barbara Paulo’s number one passion as a Certified Service Provider and Hair Donation Specialist. Why? Because helping a child feel special and confident is an everlasting reward. “Every day of life is a gift and is meant to make the world a better place,” Barbara stated.
As a stylist, Barbara decided to find an organization that helped children with cancer, specifically with hair loss.
While celebrating her parents’ 50th anniversary, Barbara received unexpected news. Her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Both didn’t have much time left to live.
Later that same evening, Barbara’s great-niece, Julia, who was four years old at the time, came to the party dressed in all pink. She wore a big-brimmed hat that matched her dress, looking to all the world like a princess. Julia then removed her hat as tears flowed down her cheeks to reveal her head—with no hair.
At that moment, Barbara felt cancer surrounding her family, and as she left the party, she felt a change within her. She wanted to help those that were dealing with diseases. She wanted to make an impact.
Barbara opened a salon at the age of 40, which she never anticipated. She hired a young stylist named Andrea, who told Barbara she was going through remission from cancer. Andrea was so energetic and couldn’t wait to start her career as a hairstylist. They traveled to New York City together to learn more about the industry. Barbara couldn’t wait to teach Andrea and help her grow through her career.
Shortly after, Andrea’s cancer came back. Difficult times were ahead, but they worked through them together. They began helping children through Wigs For Kids while cutting and donating hair. Together, they raised money and shared their passion to help others.
Closely after, Andrea passed away, and Barbara’s niece Julia also passed away soon after at the age of seven. Then, her mother gained her wings, too. But through pain and loss, Barbara used her story to help this cause.