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Having cancer can rob women of their health, strength, and hair, but Steven Florio, general manager of Pyara Spa and Salon in Burlington, doesn’t want it to also take away their ability to smile and feel good. That’s why the salon is partnering with Hello Gorgeous!, a nonprofit organization that gives women battling cancer a day of pampering that includes professional makeovers, beauty education, and even a surprise “reveal” party with their family and friends. Owner Christine Perkins originally came across the Hello Gorgeous! program at a conference in January, and within just a few months has brought it to her salon.

“It’s just an absolutely amazing program where anyone can nominate a woman that they know who is battling cancer for this makeover,” Florio says. 

Starting in April, Pyara Spa and Salon will be surprising a woman each month with a day of beauty that will include a facial, manicure, pedicure, hair cut or color, or even help with getting a high-quality wig and learning to wear, care for, and style it. They’ll also greet her with flowers and candy, do her makeup, give her a new outfit, and later, surprise her with lunch with her friends and family at a nearby restaurant. 

“It’s a true red carpet experience,” Florio says. “We will have a red carpet rolled out for her, and the entire team will be at the door to greet and welcome her.”

Partnering with Hello Gorgeous! to provide these experiences has involved a lot of work and cooperation. Florio says 30 members of the Pyara Spa and Salon staff got trained and certified by Hello Gorgeous! to learn how to modify treatments to be safe and appropriate for women with cancer. The trainings also cover how to handle things like hair or nail loss and makeup application for women who may have lost their eyelashes or eyebrows.  

“It is all about creating a safe and comfortable environment for our guests during their makeover,” Florio says. 

Pyara Spa and Salon has also partnered with other businesses and organizations on the North Shore to make the Hello Gorgeous! makeovers special. Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington will be donating their space and two meals for the reveal parties, and Maurices in Haverhill is supplying clothing for the first makeover. Other businesses are also donating or supplying products at a deep discount, too, with the salon picking up the tab for extras. For the women, everything is free.

Florio says he can’t wait to see the smiles on the women’s faces, and is eager for the salon to give something that will make them feel special.