Senior hosts Locks of Love event

Senior projects have reached the product stage and senior Haley Keener has organized a hair drive to support Locks of Love. The drive will be on Feb. 23 at 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. If students want to become involved they can directly contact Keener, or view her event on Facebook. Those participating receive a free haircut, but should let Keener know beforehand so she is able to make the correct amount of appointments. Prizes will be raffled off and treats will be sold at the event and 100 percent of the proceeds will go back to Locks of Love.

“I have always wanted to donate my hair, but I kept it shorter until ninth grade,” Keener said. “Then I decided to grow it out because it is a way to help a charity without spending money. Hair is a natural part of most of our lives, but some people are unable to grow it. I thought a haircut would be a simple way to help those people. By the time senior project rolled around, my hair was long enough to cut, but I wanted to do something bigger. I decided to hold an event where lots of people could have the opportunity to help.”

Those wishing to donate hair must meet several requirements: their hair must be at leach 10 inches long and be put into a ponytail. Artificially colored hair is acceptable, as long as the hair has not been bleached first. Dreadlocks cannot be used by the manufacturer, and those with curly hair may straighten their hair to reach the 10 inch minimum.

“When people donate hair, they immediately see the result that they are helping a charity,” Keener said. “When people donate money, they do not have the immediate gratification because they are not a part of where that money goes. They lose their hair but they know exactly where it is going. Hair can also grow back relatively quickly. By donating hair, hair prosthetics can be made to help those who are unable to grow hair.”

Sophomore Dulcy Olson is planning on participating in the event.

“My grandpa died of cancer and I watched him lose his hair and I’ve always wanted to donate my hair in honor of him,” Olson said. “I think Haley is really awesome for making this her senior project. What a great idea and a wonderful way to serve the community. I really respect all the work she’s put into this.”

Students unsure of whether they want to donate 10 inches can donate a shorter amount to help reduce manufacturing costs.

“[I’m afraid] that I won’t like it and that I will miss my long hair,” Olson said. “But honestly it’s just dead cells and it’s going to grow back.”

People may also support by donating money rather than hair.

“People should go to my event in order to support Locks of Love,” Keener said. “Whether a person is donating hair or donating money, the organization is being helped. My goal is to give people the opportunity to donate hair, but not try to force them to, to give exposure to Locks of Love. Even if people are unable or unwilling to donate hair, they may still want to support organization through financial means. I am hoping my event may inspire others to cut their hair or begin growing it out even if they are not a part of my specific event.”