Blogging about natural hair and Black culture comes easily to Pamela Shaddock ’84. But these topics took a serious turn in 2015 when Shaddock’s older sister, Dianne Austin, was diagnosed with breast cancer.


Pamela Shaddock ’84 (left), with her sister Dianne Austin.

Austin searched for hair to replace what Shaddock said she calls her “beautiful Afro kinky-curly hair” lost due to chemotherapy. The two women found that there were few options for Afro-textured wigs and decided to do something about it.

They established Coils to Locs (, a supplier of Afro-textured synthetic wig styles for women with textured hair experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatment. In the fall of 2019 they launched a pilot program of ethnically inspired wigs at three major hospitals in Boston. In June 2020, Forbes profiled the company in “Coils To Locs: Cancer And A Life Pivot Creates A Startup.” Plans are underway to go national in the summer of 2020.

Shaddock currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is an actor with numerous television credits, such as NCIS, How to Get Away with Murder, Mad Men and For the People, plus film and theater. She loved campus life at Adelphi and the collaborative work ethic that was cultivated. “You’re really immersed in the [theater] program,” she said, “and develop a well-rounded view of what it means to be an artist.”

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