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Fantastic Sams sponsors hair donation event at University

February 19, 2009

Being different from other people because of physical appearance can be hard on anyone, but it can be especially hard for a child who has lost his or her hair due to medical illness.

To help these children find a sense of normalcy, the River Falls Fantastic Sams sponsored a Locks of Love hair donation event in the University Center Feb. 13 to give those who qualify a chance to change the life of a child.

Fantastic Sams works with Locks of Love to encourage people to give donations of hair when they come to get their hair cut at their salons. The salon then keeps the donated hair and sends it out to Locks of Love who then use it to make wigs for children. Those persons choosing to donate to Locks of Love at a Fantastic Sams salons receive a free haircut after their donation.

Amanda Halverson, manager of the River Falls Fantastic Sams, said the salon sponsored the event because it is a good way to help children.

“Just think about not having hair,” Halverson said. “As a child it would be even more traumatizing.”

There are a few basic requirements for donating hair. First, the hair must be at least 10 inches in length. Second, the hair needs be clean, healthy and in good condition.

Third, the hair can be colored or permed but cannot be bleached or highlighted. Lastly, the hair must be secured in a braid or pony-tail before being cut, River Falls Fantastic Sams Stylist Kacie Enz said.

Senior Rachel Hilbrand is no first time donor, having donated hair to Locks of Love at least three times before. Hilbrand said she donates because it is going to a good cause.

“I’ve always liked the idea [of helping children],” Hilbrand said. “Plus, my hair grows really fast.”

Junior Christine Bronk said she donated her hair because she has no reason not to.

“Why not?” Bronk said. “I just want to help out a good cause.”

Locks of Love is a charity based out of Florida aimed at helping children 18 and under who have lost their hair due to some sort of medical circumstance. According to their Web site, their mission statement is to “return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children.”

The hairpieces are made specifically for the individual child and are secured to the scalp by a vacuum seal which can only be removed by breaking the seal at the temples.

The Locks of Love Web site explained the necessity for custom fitted hair pieces.

“Children can dismiss insecurities about classmates pulling off their hairpiece, or losing it at recess,” the site said. “They can swim, shower and do gymnastics—in short, they can be kids again.”

Besides supporting Locks of Love, the River Falls Fantastic Sams also offers special pricing to students every Wednesday. This includes $13 hair cuts, liters of shampoo and conditioner priced at two for $20 and also specials on coloring.