Scottish Woman, 25, Says Hair Extensions Saved Her From Stage 3 Breast Cancer

by : Cameron Frew on : 02 Feb 2020 11:19
Scottish Woman, 25, Says Hair Extensions Saved Her From Stage 3 Breast CancerScottish Woman, 25, Says Hair Extensions Saved Her From Stage 3 Breast CancerSWNS

A woman has recounted the moment she realised she had breast cancer – and it involves hair extensions. 

Laura Larkin, from Livingston, West Lothian in Scotland, was combing her 18-inch long extensions after putting a new set in at WeaveDiva salon in Bathgate in 2018.

After showering, she was running her hands through the hair when suddenly, she felt a lump.

Breast cancer screeningsBreast cancer screeningsPA Images

The 25-year-old had been regularly putting in hair extensions for around two years, loving the extra volume and length it gave her. However, she didn’t expect them to assist in the discovery of cancer.

Laura said: 

My hair extensions at the time were really lovely and were long enough to reach the bottom of my boobs. I’d just got out of the shower and I was running my fingers through my hair when I reached the ends of them and brushed past my breast. I felt this really hard lump which I had never noticed before at the bottom of my right breast.


Two days later, Laura visited her GP and a biopsy soon followed. While she hoped she was clear of cancer after doctors removed a 9mm lump, more came back. ‘I was in total shock. I thought I’d beaten cancer, the mammograms were coming back clear. I felt this lump and my heart just stopped. I knew the cancer was back,’ she said.

Laura Larkin Breast Cancer Hair Extensions 2Laura Larkin Breast Cancer Hair Extensions 2SWNS

After gene tests revealed she had the BRCA2 gene, commonly known as the breast cancer gene, Laura decided to have a single mastectomy last month. However, it could have been much worse had she not run her hands through her hair, as the cancer had already progressed to stage three.

Talking more on how fortunate she was to discover the cancer when she did, Laura said: 


The lump was in a weird place under my breast, it’s not really somewhere that I would have felt it ordinarily if I wasn’t playing with my hair. Considering I was booked in for a lumpectomy within a week of them diagnosing me with cancer and it had already progressed to stage three, it’s scary to think what could have happened to me if I hadn’t found it when I did.

Soon after, Laura phoned her hairdresser to tell her the hair extensions had ‘literally saved my life’.

For more information about breast cancer, please visit the NHS website. 

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Health, Breast Cancer, hair, Hair Extensions, scotland, UK, West Lothian