Sophomore Rachel Morris donated her hair in fourth grade due to her memory as a young child of her friend having brain cancer. To this day, Morris has donated her hair six times to Locks of Love. The picture shown above is after her most recent donation, two weeks ago. Her hair growth cycle takes one and a half to two years to grow back and then she chooses to donate again. She explained that she does not cut her hair in between cycles.
Sophomore Emily Connell, donated her hair in middle school as an excuse to talk her mom into allowing her to grow her hair long as a child. In high school, she had a friend who had a rare blood disease and, as a result of chemotherapy, lost her hair. Her friend chose not to receive a wig. Connell has not donated her hair since. However, she plans to donate her hair in the future. Connell appreciates the versatility she can get from cutting her hair. She explained that “donating gives her a good excuse.”
Senior Hannah Krobock donated her hair in December 2013, after returning from studying abroad in Budapest. She said, “A joke among girls is that we change our hair whenever something dramatic happens to us.” After the semester abroad, her hair had been through so much weather trauma that she decided 15 inches was a considerable fresh start to the new her. Krobock does plan to donate again in the future. Similarly to Connell, Krobock believes that donating hair allows for one’s dramatic hair transformation to go to a good cause, expressing that donating one’s hair is beautiful. She says, “You take such good care of it that it would be a waste for it to be swept up and go in the trash when there are people who could actually use it and feel beautiful.”
Locks of Love is one of the most popular organizations accepting hair donations. There are other organizations who serve similar populations, such as Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program, Children with Hair Loss and Wigs for Kids, but Locks of Love was the organization of choice for the people I interviewed. Both Morris and Connell said that their hairstylists chose Locks of Love as the organization they work with to donate hair.
Morris’ hairstylist chooses Locks of Love specifically because they donate solely to children. She says that children “are the ones that have to worry about that sort of thing.”
Hair is an important part of one’s identity, and at young ages when one is still trying to figure out that identity, losing a large facet of it can be devastating. These women have given pieces of themselves so that young people in need can have that sense of identity as well as comfort.