Running & Buzzing: Lather Hair Salon in N. Raleigh Gives Back, Times Two

Jessica and Jay Williams after the Lo Tide Run in Carolina Beach.
Jessica and Jay Williams after the Lo Tide Run in Carolina Beach.

March 20, 2009 – A 10K run and a day of creating buzz cuts defined one busy weekend for Lather Hair Salon in Raleigh as owner Jessica Williams welcomed opportunities to help charities meet their fundraising goals in a difficult economy.

On Friday, March 14, Williams and her husband Jay participated in the 5th Annual Steve Haydu St. Patricks Lo Tide Run at Carolina Beach, an annual event that raises money for individuals and families battling cancer with little or no insurance coverage. The Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Lo Tide Fund is a non-profit organization created in 2004 to assist the family of Steve Haydu, a Carolina Beach native, who was without health insurance when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Williams admitted that she placed 196th out of the 214 runners participating that misty day on the Atlantic Coast (her husband placed 50th), but placement in the race wasn’t the point. “I just liked the feeling that I’d accomplished something – something that helped an extremely good cause,” she said.

Then on Sunday, March 15, Williams and her staff showed up at Lynnwood Grill near Raleigh’s Glenwood Avenue/Highway 70 to shave heads as part of the annual St. Baldrick’s event to raise awareness and funds to cure children’s cancer by supporting cancer research and fellowships. “Shavees” donate to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and solicit other donations from friends and family. As a result, they get their heads shaved to show solidarity with kids undergoing chemotherapy.

According to St. Baldrick’s website (, the event began “as a casual conversation between friends and has exploded into the world’s biggest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer! In nine years, events have taken place in 18 countries and 48 US states, raising over $50 million, and shaving more than 72,000 heads.”

Nearly 100 people – men and women —  showed up for the Lynnwood Grill event, sitting out on the restaurant’s porch as the Lather stylists and other salons shaved them bald.

“It was fun to play ‘barber’ for day,” said Williams, noting that her upscale salon seldom gets a request for a full head shave! “But most importantly, I love the fact that this is one more way for Lather to give back to our community. We’re always looking for opportunities to get involved with the community that makes it possible for us to be in business.”

Williams announced recently that Lather is offering free shampoos, cut and styles for any who comes into her salon to donate their long hair to Locks of Love ( Appointments are recommended.

A full-service hair salon, Lather opened in October of 2008 just off Glenwood North/Highway 70 at 8521 Cantilever Way,. For more information, including business hours, appointments, and to read the salon’s “Hair Academy” blog, go to Lather is also available on Facebook and at

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