There are a few things you can always rely on your hairdresser for.
Give you Jessica Biel’s balayage? Check. Steer you away from making a bad hair decision they know you will regret? Check. Filling you in on the juiciest goss they’ve heard on the job? Double check.
But what about potentially saving your life? Melbourne-based hairdresser Merryn Mott can make that claim.
Thanks to the 43-year-old, three clients have been diagnosed and treated for melanoma after Mott noticed strange marks she recommended they have checked.
In 2016 alone, it’s estimated 13,283 Australians will be diagnosed with the skin cancer.
Mott’s knowledge and passion for awareness stems from a horrible day in 2007, when she was diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma herself.
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“I first noticed the mark at the end of 2006. It was the size of a pea and I saw it at the end of work one day and presumed it was a stain from hair dye. It wasn’t there one day and there the next,” the hairdresser of 28 years says.
“I tried to rub it off but it didn’t go, so I assumed it was a stubborn stain that would disappear after a few washes. Days went by and it still hadn’t come off.”
Mott forgot about it, until she went on a family holiday in summer.
“Any time I went in the sun it would get really itchy, so itchy I couldn’t bear it. It looked a bit like a freckle at the start, it didn’t look sinister or anything, then it developed a red shiny patch in the middle,” she says.