With summer approaching, girls are faced with the question of what to do for that new season makeover. What says, I’ve been yachting it up in St. Barths and prescribing myself some retail therapy? Sure, you could bake in the sun all day. Or, you could grab Mom’s credit card and fill your closet with some new clothes. But tans fade, and the novelty of a new wardrobe dulls once everything has been worn. The way to get that instant makeover and new look is with one swift snip of the scissors. It’s time to shed those long locks and trade them in for a cute bob with a donation to Locks of Love.
The non-profit organization Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 21 in the United States and Canada who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Some of the recipients are burn victims, and some have lost hair from cancer treatments. However, most of the recipients are children who suffer from alopecia areata, which causes the hair follicles to shut down. These children lose the hair on their head and can even lose their eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair.
In many cases, these children have lost more than hair. They have lost a sense of self from embarrassment or teasing from others. The hairpieces made from Locks of Love donations create normalcy for these children by making them feel comfortable in their own skin.
Many MU students have already felt the love their locks provided when they donated to the organization. Alecia Lassing, an MU junior, donated 12 inches of hair because she knew someone needed her hair more than she did.
“I knew mine would grow back soon enough,” she says. “I closed my eyes because I was so nervous—just scared that I wouldn’t like it. But I was happy I was doing it.”
Of course, the experience can be quite nerve-racking for first-time donators, but the happy feelings felt afterward are the reason to consider donating again.
Just ask MU senior Haleigh Castino. Over the past few years, she has donated three times—36 inches of hair in total!
“I knew I wanted to cut my hair, and I knew there was something I could do other than throw the hair away,” she says. “I think sometimes people forget that something as simple as a haircut can change the life of the person who wears that wig.”
If you’re now inspired to donate to Locks of Love, make sure you follow a few simple rules for donations:
* The minimum length of hair for a donation is 10 inches.
* Bleached hair is not accepted.
* Hair must be in a ponytail or braid before it is cut.
* Hair must be clean and completely dry before it is mailed in.
* Hair that is swept off the floor is not usable.
If you’re ready to make the big cut, Columbia has a great selection of salons that will give you an instant makeover with a few snips:
825 East Walnut St.
904 Elm St. #104
The Clip Joint
1001 Cherry St.
2703 East Broadway #228
The Marc Salon
32 North 8th St.