Locks of Love takes hairy donations from students

On Nov. 5 the UC was transformed into a hair a salon, where five “Locks of Love” hair stylists worked from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to cut the hair of more than 20 volunteers. Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that benefits needy children under the age of 18 who that suffer from permanent hair loss.

The organization provides them with hairpieces made entirely from human hair.

According to the organization’s website, most of the hairpiece recipients are children who suffer from a rare illness called alopecia areata. Other causes include burns, cancer treatments and other conditions that cause permanent hair loss.

Since its inception in 1997, over 1,000 children have received their help.

“Locks of Love is an organization we believe in. We sponsor it to promote awareness and donate time,” said Jessi Rowen, senior and president of LINK.

One of the many donors was Aruna Airan, financial affairs administrator for the UC Department of Financial Records.

This is the second time she has donated her hair in two years.

“I always believed in volunteering. Last year I donated, and this year, too, and I will do it again once it grows back,” Airan said.

Airan also brought her daughter, Ritu, along to the event, motivating her to donate as well.

“It’s for a good cause, and I’d rather cut my hair for something useful rather than having the hair go to waste,” Ritu said.

In order to be eligible to donate, hair must be at least six inches long, though 10 or more inches is preferred.

According to the Locks of Love website, these hair prostheses help the children restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

Freshman Amanda Perez donated her hair and is happy to help someone less fortunate.

“One of the reasons I’m donating my hair, is because I know I can cut my hair and it’ll grow back, but these children will never grow hair again,” Perez said. “They lost their hair forever – I didn’t.”

Locks of Love is expected to return next semester.

“Locks of Love is a good reason to get a cut, and a good reason to wait,” said Leif Schjeide, the only guy spotted donating hair.

For more information on how to donate hair, visit www.locksoflove.org

Vanessa Krause can be contacted at v.krause@umiami.edu.