Locks of Love will visit BYU March 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wilkinson Center. Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that assists disadvantaged children in the U.S. and Canada who suffer from medical-related hair loss illnesses.
The organization collects hair donations to create free prostheses for children who qualify based on financial need.
BYU hosts the event twice a year — once during fall and once during winter — to provide students the opportunity to donate hair. The Paul Mitchell school will be at the event cutting and styling hair for students and members in the community who decide to donate.
A mission statement from the Locks of Love website said: “Our mission 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 prosthetic to financially disadvantaged children.”
BYU students Sofia Nodal and Olivia Ritchel volunteered through Y-Serve to help out with the event.
Nodal, the director of the event, has arranged for music to be playing and booths to be set up where students can get more information about the event.
Nodal has donated her hair three times to Locks of Love, and said she enjoys supporting children who are going through their difficult medical treatment.
“I have hair and I can grow it out, so why shouldn’t I share it with someone else who can’t?” Nodal said. “For me, the last time I donated my hair was a year ago and it has already grown back.”
Ritchel, co-director of the event at BYU, updates the group’s Facebook page regularly so students can have current and updated information. She also sends out emails, passes out flyers and answers any questions students have.
Ritchel will be one of the many volunteers donating her hair on Friday.
“It’s a good cause, and it’s something that I can give,” Ritchel said. “It’s hard, though, imagining donating my hair; I didn’t realize how attached one person can get to their hair.”
At the event, BYU student Whitney Rasmussen will donate her hair to Locks of Love for the fourth time.
“The kids that will get my hair have been through a lot, and if I can do anything to make their lives easier, I want to,” Rasmussen said.
Hair must be at least ten inches long to donate and can’t be bleached. Students with dyed hair can donate their hair as long as the dye is not over previously bleached hair.
Students who are unable to donate hair during Friday’s event can go to a local participating salon that donates hair to Locks of Love. The Y-Serve Center also has a mailbox where students can drop off their hair. The organization asks that the hair be in a ponytail and in a plastic bag.
Members of the Provo community are welcome to donate hair as well.