Locks of love hair drive in the Wilk

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Y-Serve will be hosting a Locks of Love Hair Drive in the Wilkinson Center Terrace on Nov. 13 for female students who want to donate at least 10 inches of their hair to those with medical illnesses.

The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and hair stylists from Paul Mitchell The School will be on campus to provide free haircuts. There will also be refreshments and music for everyone to enjoy.

Official Locks of Love banner for BYU. (Courtesy BYU Locks of Love)
Official Locks of Love banner. (Courtesy BYU Locks of Love)

BYU Locks of Love program director Reaghan Erickson said Y-Serve hosts the hair drive to unite the BYU community.

“The purpose of the Locks of Love event is to bring people together under the common goal of donating hair to Locks of Love,” Erickson said. “Locks of Love is a foundation based on turning people’s hair donations into wigs for children who have lost their hair due to a variety of medical illnesses.”

According to Erickson, a BYU junior majoring in microbiology from Cedar Hills, the hair drive occurs twice each year. Last winter, 30 girls donated their hair within the Locks of Love guidelines.

“In order to contribute to Locks of Love, you need to donate 10 inches of hair,” Erickson said. “Hair cannot be bleached, but it can be colored. Layered hair is okay to donate if the shortest layer is at least ten inches long.”

Julia Gil, a BYU senior from Lima, Peru, majoring in graphic design, donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love in fall 2011 during the Y-Serve hair drive.

“My hair was really long and I was planning on getting a haircut, so when I saw Locks of Love at the Wilk, I found a better cause,” Gil said. “Plus, I got the a haircut for free and they did a good job.”

Despite being emotionally attached to her hair, Gil knew her donation would mean a lot to whoever would get the wig.

A Paul Mitchell stylist and student at the hair drive during winter 2013. (Courtesy BYU Locks of Love)
A Paul Mitchell stylist and student at the hair drive during winter 2013. (Courtesy BYU Locks of Love)

“I love my hair so much that giving it up for someone else felt even better,” Gil said. “I was sure (my hair) was going to look pretty on someone else. They wouldn’t be able to grow back their own (hair) like I would be.”

Melanie Escalante, a BYU senior from Queen Creek, Ariz., majoring in food science, donated 16 inches to Locks of Love during her junior year in high school.

“I started growing my hair long when my sister was diagnosed with leukemia,” Escalante said. “Although she never needed a wig, I saw a lot of kids who had to have wigs when I would go to the hospital, and I really wanted to help them.”

According to Escalante, the donations made to Locks of Love change lives in our society that relies so heavily on looks.

“I think it is important for others to donate because it is a constant need,” Escalante said. “Our society is based a lot on looks, and you never really realize how important hair is until you meet someone who is unable to grow their own hair.”

Students may pass up the opportunity to donate because they are hesitant about losing their hair. Escalante urges them to remember that this cause helps people who can’t grow their own hair.

“For those nervous to cut their hair just remember it is for a good cause,” Escalante said. “I used to take for granted the ability to grow out my hair, but I now realize it is a blessing, and it is a blessing that is so easy to share with others by just cutting off a few inches of hair.”

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