Locks of Love: Students donate hair for wigs

By: Emma Gerdes

Imagine the smile on a little girl’s face when the strange stares finally stop. Finally setting an alarm a half hour earlier to get ready for school. Finally feeling somewhat normal and having hair again after going through the treatment of chemo and becoming a bald teenage girl.

Seniors Emily Braun and Ellie Burken have recently donated their hair to the Locks of Love foundation where they send their hair to make wigs for mainly cancer patients and people suffering from alopecia, which also causes loss of hair.

3Over Thanksgiving break, Braun went to Cost Cutters, where they chopped 10 inches from her hair. “I wanted to give it to people who needed it more than I did,” Braun said.

This is not her first time donating her hair for a good cause. She donated her hair two other times as well, once in the fourth grade and another as a sophomore.

In fourth grade Braun donated 18 inches of her hair. She donated enough hair for a whole wig. Braun’s hair made a wig for a 13-year-old cancer survivor, and Braun had the opportunity to meet the new owner of her hair. She was able to witness the smile on the girl’s face after she put the wig on for the first time. The family asked to meet Braun because they were so thankful for her donation to their daughter.

“This is why I keep donating it,” Braun said. “It was such an awesome experience.”

Burken donated her hair a few weeks ago. “I thought about it for about 13 hours, and then I did it,” Burken said. She donated 11 inches of her hair. She had been growing out her hair since ninth grade before she finally decided to chop it short.

Burken got her hair cut at a new hair salon called Posh. “My friend Erin Hendrickson inspired me to donate my hair. I just called Posh and asked if they donated,” Burken said.

IMG_8266She said she loves the length of her new short hair. It gives her more of a style and is a lot easier to take care of. “I would definitely do it again,” Burken said.

Art teacher Emily Luensman has donated her hair on multiple occasions as well. “I think it’s a good cause, and it’s something to do with the hair I would just have thrown away. It’s a good way of recycling,” Luensman said.

Like Braun, Luensman goes to Cost Cutters to donate her hair. Cost Cutters throws in a free haircut for her when she donates. Her latest donation was 10 inches. “It’s a big commitment giving that much hair, but if you’re going to do it, it’s a good cause,” Luensman said.

Locks of Love is only one of the many foundations that accepts donated hair. The restrictions for donating may vary from organization to organization, but normally they ask for 8-10 inches of hair. They prefer the hair isn’t damaged or dyed, although most will take any hair donated. Other donation organizations are Pantene Beautiful Lengths or Wigs for Kids. Each of these charity organizations are non-profit, meaning it is free to donate.

“It’s fun to surprise people,” Burken said, and it will put a smile on a little girl’s face.

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