‘I do it from my heart’: Two-time cancer survivor gives free haircuts to other survivors

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With pictures of clients on the shelf, girly details on the front desk, and inspirational quotes on the wall, Turning Heads Salon is a true reflection of the woman who made hair her lifelong passion.

After decades of practice and perfection, April Daniels says she still obsesses over the smile that happens after a job well done. Customer service is Daniels’ forte; she enjoys talking during every step of the process.

Clients say they appreciate that good conversation and Daniels’ hard work at her quaint salon on Stephenson Avenue. “It means everything,” said Sandra Roberson, who has been a loyal customer for years.

Daniels started washing hair in high school and says she is proud to own her own salon. Roberson says Daniels knows how to make someone look good. But the two-time cancer survivor will tell you her work is not about just that.

“I’ve been on both sides,” said Daniels. “It’s the inner beauty that makes you pretty on the outside”

Daniels during chemotherapy nearly 18 years ago

Daniels learned that important lesson through her battles with breast and ovarian cancer nearly 18 years ago. She says her true test came earlier in life when a brain tumor killed her 5-year-old daughter, Alaysia.

“Watching my daughter die before me really strengthened me,” she said. “So 2 years after she passed, it made me strong when breast cancer came into my life. I just thought about my daughter and how she was so strong, so it just made me feel like ‘hey I can beat this.'”

Now that Daniels is cancer-free, she gives free haircuts to other cancer survivors throughout the year. She also cooks them food, which she says is another passion of hers — in addition to doing hair.

“Even those that don’t have hair, I try to tell them it’s not the end of the world. It’s that you’re still here. You’re still living and you still have your health and your strength,” she said.

“I just love her. She’s a sweet person and she’ll do anything she can to help you and to bless you,” said Roberson.

Daniels’ husband, Ed Daniels, says he agrees. He says he first noticed his wife for her desire to serve others, her outgoing demeanor and her positive outlook on life. He is proud of “his superwoman” for the way she instills those beliefs in their children.

“She’s a caring person. She loves people. She’s a blessing to people. She just gives her all and all to everyone that comes in contact with her.” said Ed Daniels.

Through everything, Ms. Daniels says she is most thankful for the little things in her life: a tight-knit family, a will to serve others and the fact that she is still on this earth after a life filled with cancer battles.

“I tell my clients to put God first and you can conquer the world,” she said.

Daniels was nominated by the community for WSAV’s Remarkable Women contest. She was chosen as one of four finalists. The winner will go to New York City for a special reception.

News 3’s Kelly Antonacci will feature each finalist on Tuesday in the weeks leading up to March, which is International Women’s month. Click here for each woman’s inspiring story.

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