By: Rachel Hall
Sitting in a chair and watching in a mirror as a woman with a pair of scissors cuts off 10 or more inches of hair can be scary. That hair took ages to grow and it can feel like it will never come back. Yet many people sit through said experience every day in order to donate their hair.
One way to help those in need is by donating hair, and with such a large female population, Viterbo’s campus carries a lot of it. However, there is no record of how many Viterbo students have cut their hair for charity because donations are sent directly to the organization of choice.
When cutting one’s hair, said person has the option to discard it, donate it to charity, or even sell it. According to frugalliving.about.com, people are willing to purchase human hair.
Even though the option to make a profit from hair exists, two Viterbo students have decided to donate instead.
Hayley Simmons, a junior nursing major from Janesville, Wis., made the cut on Oct. 2.
“I must have been feeling a little spontaneous, so I figured, why not? I knew I wanted to donate at some point,” Simmons told Lumen.
Simmons said she has donated once, and the recent donation provided 10.5 inches of brown locks. Her hair was cut for donation at Cost Cutters in Onalaska. The stylist packaged and sent the hair for her, so she is not entirely sure where it was donated.
“I feel kind of weird not knowing exactly where my hair went and who it is helping,” Simmons said, “I requested that my hair go to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.”
For Simmons, the motivation to donate her hair came from her family members and friends with cancer. They told Hayley that synthetic wigs are not as comfortable and that natural hair wigs are not widely available due to the high demand from people with medical hair loss.
“I wanted to donate so maybe a child in need of a wig could get the opportunity of getting one that was actually real hair,” Simmons said.
“I do really recommend donating hair, but make sure if you are interested, you do some research on what program and donation place would work best for your hair” Simmons said.
Sheila Stephani, a junior English Education major from Cambridge, Minn., had been considering donating her hair to Locks of Love until she heard about the alleged decline in the number of wigs produced by Locks of Love.
“Honestly, all I really know is that not as many wigs are being made as in past years and not all the donations or money are being used for the Locks of Love cause,” Stephani told Lumen.
“I was under the impression that every single hair donation was used to make and create wigs. I am greatly considering donating my hair to another organization where I can hopefully be ensured that my donations will be put to good use,” Stephani said.
Stephani cut her hair for donation on Oct. 18. Stephani’s hair was cut by her hairdresser back home and 13 inches were prepared for donation. At this time, she is unsure of where to donate.
Similar to Simmons, Stephani’s motivation to donate comes from her desire to help those who are less fortunate.
“The people that the hair goes to are all dealing with a life-changing situation. The littlest thing that I can do is help them feel beautiful. I want to make a difference, even if it is allowing someone to feel like they have hair again. That makes me smile.”