Tabatha Coffey on Helping Kids With Cancer, Her New Book and Hair Tips for Moms

Filed under: Celeb News & Interviews

tabatha coffey

Tabatha Coffey is set to shave heads for charity. Credit: Mike Coppola, Getty Images

When Tabatha Coffey strides through the doors of a beauty salon, best step aside and just hand her the reins.

The star of Bravo's "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" reality show, Coffey, 41, is known for her tough-as-nails image. But March 10, the reality star is set to show her softer side, invading the RiRa Irish Pub in Atlanta for a good cause.

Coffey is teaming up with St. Baldrick's, a nonprofit organization that raises money for childhood cancer research by hosting worldwide head-shaving events.

Armed with a razor and ready to shave 200 heads, Coffey tells ParentDish during a recent interview that getting involved was an easy decision. An edited version of the conversation follows.

ParentDish: What drew you to this event?
Tabatha Coffey: I do a lot of local charity work in New Jersey with cancer organizations. One example: I work with Hackensack Hospital cutting wigs for children. Anything I can do to raise awareness, especially when it deals with children, which is so heart breaking, I am all for.

My heart breaks for these kids and their parents and what they go through. Look, no one deserves to get this disease, especially a child. Getting sick and going for treatments affects children so much because they just want to be kids and have fun. Hopefully, this will help them get through the treatment process and allow them to not feel different.

PD: Does providing children with a set of new locks boost their confidence?
TC: Yes, it changes them so much. These kids want to go back to school, hang out with their friends and not be stared at or pitied. They want to fit in and feel normal. To style a wig for them and help them get back to their normal life makes a huge difference to their self esteem and self-confidence.

PD: Being the queen of confidence that you are, what do you tell these children to help them stay strong?
I admire their strength, especially when they face things like this. I mean, they face this so differently than adults and I marvel at how strong and resilient they are.

PD: Cancer is an illness you know all too well -- you recently lost your mother to the disease.
TC: Yes, and it has been a struggle. My mom died in November and we were incredibly close. It is a huge readjustment because we used to talk every day. But I am doing the best I can. I do know she is proud of what I am doing.

PD: Does getting involved in this event help you cope with your loss?
TC: I have always believed in giving back, especially with charity that I really believe in.

PD: You have a new book out, "It's Not Really About the Hair," which is a combination of memoir, business manual, coaching guide and self-confidence booster.
TC: I was motivated to write it based on the support I get from people who watch the show. I get bombarded with questions such as: "How did you get started?" "Where do you find your self-confidence?" "Have you always been this forthright and honest?" I am hoping this book will empower other people and get them to feel better about themselves.

PD: Have you ever had a period in your life when you felt kicked to the ground?
TC: Sure, but you have to bounce back and not let things get to you.

PD: You're in the midst of the third season of "Tabatha's Salon Takeover." Is the job getting old?
No, I love it. I hope it never gets old. Every salon I go into, I feed off the energy and walk in with the optimism that I can help them and make them better.

PD: Many moms don't have a lot of time to do their hair. Can you offer a few tips on how to look fabulous when time is an issue?
Healthy hair is important, and to get this I suggest using a good moisturizer treatment at least once a week. I know new moms are especially pressed for time, but after you apply it you can pull it back in a ponytail and rinse it out when you have time.

Two, find the time to get a really great haircut. A good haircut is the foundation to looking good. Not only will it lessen your time with the blow dryer, but your hair will also dry much better and won't take as much time to style.

Three, if you have wavy hair, use a flat brush or paddle brush to straighten it out. If you have straight hair and want to add a little volume, use a round or a vent brush.

PD: What shouldn't moms do when it comes to hair?
TC: Don't wrap your hair in a towel. I advise clients to pat their hair with a paper towel, especially if you have curly hair. This works wonders because it gets the extra moisture out and helps the hair dry more quickly. If you have curly hair, wrapping it in a towel can cause the hair to look out of control if you leave the towel on for a stretch of time. If you have straight hair, wrapping it in a towel can make the hair look tangled and dry.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.