Each year, thousands of children face diseases that cause them to lose their hair. For some, they can lose a sense of self. The students in the cosmetology class at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School has fought for six years to help out one organization that tries to give children across the country a way to feel more like a person.

Locks of Love uses donated human hair to make hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children (21 and under) with medical hair loss. Each hairpiece is custom-fitted to each child’s head. The fit forms a vacuum-seal that only the wearer can remove. The hairpieces arrive long so the children may style it to fit their face.

The retail cost for each hairpiece that is made starts at $3,500.  Locks of Love will give the hairpieces to each child free of charge, or on a sliding scale, based on the family’s financial need.

LCM’s cosmetology class is hosting a Locks of Love Campaign on Monday, Feb. 14. Anyone interested in donating their hair can call to make a reservation to have their hair cut, or their own personal stylist can cut their hair and it can be brought to LCM to be donated.

Generous donations, much like the one Jay Davis, of West Orange, made help LCM with their campaign. Davis made the longest donation that LCM has ever taken at one time. He donated 18 inches of hair.

Davis, a railroad car builder and repairman for the Kansas City Rail Lines, has been letting his hair grow out since 2000.

“Every summer, my dad would take us to the barber shop and get burrs,” he said. “You can see where that led to. One day, we were sitting at the house and he asked me ‘boy, why do you keep your hair long?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, pop. I guess it was all those burrs you gave me as a kid.’“

This was the first time for Davis to donate his hair. He knew he wanted to donate, but it took him a few months to do it.  His wife, Liz, explained that it wasn’t an overnight decision.

“I don’t regret it because it will grow right back,” he said.  He plans on letting it grow back out so he can donate it again.

“This was the best thing to do with it other than sweeping it up and throwing it away,” Liz said. “If you have any length of hair, I think that’s the best thing to do it with. Why sweep it away?”

When asked if Liz planned on donating any of her hair, she was a bit hesitant but then she realized that it was long enough to donate ten inches and hair would still be long enough to come down to her mid-back. She plans on making a reservation at LCM for it to be cut.

The cosmetology class at LCM has hosted the Locks of Love campaign for six years. It started when a student at LCM lost their hair due to medical reasons. That student has passed away, but the campaign continues. There are at least five LCM students signed up to donate.

Each year, they take the donations, count up how many feet they received and mail it in to Locks of Love.  This year, three licensed stylists will cut the hair: LCM’s cosmetology teacher Kim Levens, Brianna McKey (a former student at LCM) and Misty Winder. The cosmetology students will shampoo and style the hair of those who graciously donated.

 Each person must fill out a donation form prior to the hair cutting and will receive an appreciation award afterwards. This will all be free of charge for those wishing to donate.

There are a few, simple guidelines for those that want to donate their hair:

Ten inches, tip to tip, is preferred when donated. Six to eight inches will be accepted. 

Shorter hair can be turned into bangs.

Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.

Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.

Layered hair is acceptable if the longest layer is ten inches.

Curly hair may be pulled straight to measure the minimum ten inches.

Hair that has been bleached, swept off the floor and shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not acceptable. Colored hair is not usable if it is colored over bleached hair.
Dreadlocks, wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair is not usable.

Hair shorter than six to ten inches, gray hair, and high-lighted hair will be sold to help offset the manufacturing costs.

Those who want their own personal stylists to cut their hair need to make sure the donation is dry, in a ponytail or braid and put in a re-sealable plastic bag. If mailing in the donation, please place it in a padded envelope and mail it to: Locks of Love, 234 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL. 33405.

Those wish to sign up for the LCM Locks of Love campaign may do so by contacting Kim Levens at 409-886-5821, ext. 1730, email: klevens@lcmcisd.org; or e-mail Babs Foster at babsfoster@lcmcisd.org.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers