Q&A: Natalie Kurylo, Host of ‘Big Fluffy Hair 4 Big Fluffy Dogs’ Fundraiser

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Natalie Kurylo is hosting a Big Fluffy Hair 4 Big Fluffy Dogs event Friday, Sept. 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 2931 Kingston Pike. The event, with light refreshments, a silent auction, and music by the Lonetones, will raise funds for the Nashville-based Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, which includes numerous Knoxville fosters. Kurylo will also live-auction her hair—high bidders will get to cut off sections for donation to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, and then her hairstylist, Carla Mobley, will shave her bald.

Did the idea for a charity to benefit come first, or the event?

The first thing was, I thought, “I’m going to grow my hair out.” I’d always had short hair. Then, I grew it and thought, “I’m going to shave my head.” Next, “I’m going to grow it out long enough to donate.” Then, “I could turn this into some sort of spectacle and raise funds.” And about a month ago, I decided to do it for Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, just because I’m a big fan and hope to foster for them in the future.

Will you have big fluffy hair for the event?
I can make it big and fluffy because it has a lot of curl. But at the event, it won’t be, because it needs to be as manageable as possible to be cut. But there will be other fluffy things. I’m wearing a big fluffy tutu, for example.

Why do you have a fluffy tutu?
It was handmade for me by a local woman. I think it was done for Halloween. Or a costume wedding? One of those.

Why’d you select Pantene Beautiful Lengths for the hair donation?
I think they do good work, and they donate wigs for women with cancer. Also, they only require your hair donated to be 8 inches, which is good in case the ends of my hair are a little damaged or in case one of the high bidders makes a really bad cut.

How long is your hair?
My hair stylist thought about 13 inches, measuring from my scalp.

How fast will it grow back?
I’ve been growing it for this since the beginning of 2012—just some trimming, no major cuts.

So this probably won’t be an annual event?
No. I have told all my silent auction donors, “This is a one-time thing.”

Do you have some interesting auction items?
Oh, so many, just a few are original art, a massive quartz crystal, essential oils, beard-care products, lots of gift certificates, including one for a local bed-and-breakfast. And we’ll have a selection of baskets with stuff for dogs, donated by local stores. One basket is all products for dog hair, which my hairdresser brought. Did you know Paul Mitchell has dog-hair products?

Who is your favorite big, fluffy dog?
My dog Ryder, who is 14 1/2—a chow lab collie I rescued while I was living in South Carolina, when he was just 3 months old. He has a really sweet smile because he has a big spotted tongue.

Has anything funny happened in planning the event?
One funny idea I’m still working on. I know Trace Adkins has dogs and is playing Thursday at the Tennessee Valley Fair. I want to see if he might come by and play with the band some Friday.

How long have you been a fan of BFDR?
I started following them on Facebook a few years back because some of my heliotropic healing clients foster some of their dogs locally. Also, the woman who started the group 10 years ago writes these really hilarious late-night updates about the dogs who are available for foster and adoption. This past summer she posted that for the first time they were having to turn away some dogs due to funding. And it got me upset, because they are one of the rescues that take sick or injured animals, so I want to help.

What is heliotropic healing? And does it have any link to this event?
Heliotropic healing is my unique blend of chiropractic, craniosacral therapy and Reiki, designed to help you allow more light and love into your Life. I think big, fluffy dogs bring more love into your life, so they definitely intersect with heliotropic healing. My clients love it when my big, fluffy dog and my medium, short-haired dog come to my office! I could get really philosophical and find a way to make hair intersect, too, but really it’s just the renewable resource that I have available to help raise some funds here!

For more information, see the event Facebook page or BigFluffyDogs.com. Donors to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue can also drop off checks at Kurylo’s 428 E. Scott Ave. office, Heliotropic Healing.

Rose Kennedy came to Knoxville to work as an editorial assistant on 13-30’s Retail Appliance Management Series and never saw a reason to leave. Her “so uncool I’m cool” career among the alt weekly newspaper crowd has led to award-winning articles on Dr. Bill Bass and the Body Farm and cyber-bullying at West High School, and treasonous food columns about preferring unsweet tea and feeling ambivalent about biscuits.

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