Pat Wynn Brown believes that people's hairstyles are strongly tied to who they are.

Pat Wynn Brown believes that people's hairstyles are strongly tied to who they are.

The Clintonville comedienne and author has built a career out of that belief, creating and performing what she calls "Hair Theater," a series of eight one-woman shows that work to tackle issues such as parenting, cancer and race, all through hair.

"It's just my life through my hairdos," Brown said of her shows. "And I have a lot of hair, so I have a lot to say."

Brown, a Columbus native and former teacher, said she conceived the idea of Hair Theater while sitting in the salon getting her hair done. Brown said she noticed how hard the stylists focused on their clients, trying to get their styles just right, while the clients would talk about all of the issues in their lives.

"It was almost about helping them achieve their hopes and dreams of who they wanted to be," Brown said. "The women would tell their problems, and the stylists would have answers."

The decision to style her performance pieces as comedies made perfect sense, Brown said, because life is both tragic and funny and laughing helps people to cope.

"The truth about life is funny because life is absurd," Brown said. "Laughter is the best Botox -- no needles, no expense, and you can still have an expression on your face."

Brown said she sees it as her mission to provide comedic therapy to others.

In her most recent piece, "Inside the Parenting Salon: A Life and Beauty Makeover," which Brown will perform at 7 p.m. July 10 at the Abbey Theater in Dublin, Brown aims to get people laughing about the trials and tribulations of raising kids.

"If you don't have a sense of humor, you'll be drinking gin by 3 p.m.," Brown said of being a parent.

While Brown's focuses on laughter, she also has found a way to use her shows to help cancer patients. Brown does several performances a year to benefit the Hair Theater Fund, which provides wigs to people who lose their hair to cancer, and she also performs shows to groups of women coping with cancer.

"I want to raise their spirits, and I want them to know that their not alone," Brown said.

As a cancer survivor, Brown said understands how losing their hair impacts women. Brown was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1996.

"The first thing I thought about was losing my hair; the second was my mortality, in that order," Brown said. "It's about losing your sense of identity."

Brown said all of the material in her shows is based on her life and the people in it.

"My mom is funny; my brothers are funny; my whole family's funny," Brown said. "All I have to do is report what happened in my calendar, and it's a show."

Brown, who said she always wanted to be a performer but failed miserably in her first high school play, refers to her shows as "chit-chat;" nothing is scripted.

Brown said she has an outline she follows, and she sings and plays a ukulele to accent her dialogue.

"I had no discernable talent and a huge case of stage fright," Brown said. "I always thought people should be multitalented, especially if you don't have any talent at all."

Brown said people are able to relate to her shows because of her honesty.

"I'm just me in it," Brown said. "I don't try to be anyone else but me it, with all of my flaws, and I expose all of my hopes and dreams."

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com