Erin Loecker: Advocacy and Authenticity
When her client who works at the Community Health Center asked whether she’d be interested in stocking brochures on cervical cancer, Erin Loecker didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” After all, January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and her own mother-in-law had died of cervical cancer. But as owner of KBH Salon in Great Falls, Montana, Loecker says “yes” to a lot of causes.
“There’s always something I’m advocating,” Loecker says. “I’m a huge advocate of autism awareness, because my son is autistic. With cervical cancer, I talk to my clients about it, and they pick up a brochure. Maybe that will be enough to persuade them to get checked. People seem to know about getting breast cancer checks, but they don’t always get their cervical cancer checks.
The brochure promotes free screening options for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer through the Montana Cancer Screening Program. All month Loecker is wearing a big purple button that says, “Ask Me!”
Loecker’s own health regimen is a priority for her. She eats a lot of salads, limits her carbs and, when she gets the chance, kills her own meat! “Game mean is the healthiest meat, because it contains no hormones,” she explains. “From elk to antelope to birds—my family eats all of it!”
With all of the hiking involved, hunting helps Loecker to stay active. She also does the Insanity workout three times a week and gets body wraps to eliminate toxins.
Throughout all of this activity, Loecker runs a three-chair booth rental salon and has a husband and three children. At 31, the former cosmetology school educator says her goals and hopes are coming true. “My dream was to own a successful salon while having a healthy marriage and great family life,” she says. “I loved teaching, but I really wanted to be behind the chair again. I would like to have 10 chairs eventually. I’ve learned to balance everything. My family and marriage are my top priority.”
Hairdressers have no choice but to take care themselves, Loecker believes. “If we’re not healthy, we won’t be able to take care of our clients,” she explains. “We’re going all day and need that energy, so you have to be able to fit in taking care of yourself. Take time for yourself, and put yourself first.”