MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local man has his hair stylist to thank for saving his life. John Taylor says he would be facing a serious illness — if his hairdresser hadn’t spotted something growing on his scalp.

A routine haircut turned out to be much more for the 70-year-old Taylor.

On June 6, he sat down in Felicia Reed’s chair and while doing his hair, she noticed something strange on his scalp.

“It was kind of a nude color mole and it had some black spots on it,” Reed said. “I found it right up in the front, up on his temple area.”

Taylor had long hair, and this was the first time Reed had cut his hair. She might have missed the mole, if she hadn’t double checked her work. She suggested he go get it looked at.

“I just wanted him to know that he had it,” she said.

It’s a good thing she let him know, too.

“It was in a sport that I wouldn’t see,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t anything that was elevated, it wasn’t an irritated spot, there was never an indication that anything was there, whatsoever. Of course, that raised some red flags and I immediately called the dermatologist and made an appointment.”

He went to the doctor, they took a biopsy and it turned out to be melanoma — one of the worst kinds of skin cancer.

“That’s something you never want to hear from a doctor, that you have cancer, melanoma,” he said.

A week later they cut his long locks — and removed the cancer. His doctor told him he caught it just in time.

“In a matter of six months it could have been life threatening,” Taylor said.

This is the second time he’s been diagnosed with skin cancer. He’s very grateful to Reed’s find.

“My hair is a lot shorter but my life is a lot longer, thanks to what she did,” he said.

According to the American Cancer Society — more than 28,000 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year in Minnesota.

Sonya Goins, Producer
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