For some, love is in the hair

Catarina Murphy

cmurphy@foghornnews.com

@Cat_MMurphy

Getting a haircut, drastic or not, can be an emotional moment for some people. To a young child suffering from permanent hair loss, receiving a prosthetic wig from donated hair is emotional. On March 25, the cosmetology students and faculty held a Locks of Love donation event.

Locks of Love is a public nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. They use donated hairpieces and resources to provide the children the highest quality hair prosthetic free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.

Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair because of a medical condition called alopecia areata, severe burns, cancer and loss of hair due to chemo radiation. The prostheses provided help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and help restore some normalcy to their everyday lives that most of us take for granted.

Sandra Flinn, assistant professor of cosmetology, has been hosting the cosmetology program as a Lock of Loves participating saloon since 2007. The event is held to promote and raise awareness for Locks of Love.

“We accept donations year round,” Flinn said.

There is always a chance to make a donation to make a difference in a child’s life, or to accomplish a New Year’s resolution like Melody Leifeste, a medical laboratory technician student at DMC, who came to donate 10 inches of her hair and got a great haircut.

“It’s a two for one deal, it helps the students and it helps Locks of Love,” Leifeste said.

This is one of many different opportunities the cosmetology students get to engage in more hands-on experiences and give back to the community.

“Growing up I always liked braiding hair,” said Virginia Guerra, a cosmetology student. “ I love what I do.”

Besides community events held with the Women’s shelter, or Real Men Wear Pink, students also provide a Client Day, where the students are “offering services that make people feel good about themselves,” Flinn said. Anybody from the public is invited to come get a haircut or a beauty treatment by the cosmetology students, for just a small fee, which is used to replace the products used in the classroom.

For more information on donating hair, or to schedule a beauty service, contact Flinn at 698-1799 or sdflinn@delmar.edu. More about Locks of Love can also be found at www.locksoflove.org.

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