Students let hair down for Locks of Love

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Emma Meurs
Students can serve by donating their hair to Locks of Love in the Wilkinson Terrace on Oct. 19 and 20. (Emma Meurs)

Locks of Love is teaming up with BYU to give good hair days to people who have lost hair to medical conditions.

Female students can donate their hair in the Wilkinson Center Terrace from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 20. Hair must be at least 10 inches long and can be colored, but not bleached.

Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged people suffering from long-term medical hair loss. The recipients must be under the age of 21.

Rachel Pedranti, BYU executive director for Locks of Love, said Y-Serve has been working hard the past few semesters to grow the program.

Y-Serve once conducted a survey asking volunteers why they were donating, Pedranti said, and some respondents said they had been planning on it. But the majority saw the drive going on and decided to donate their hair on the spot.

“Last semester, we had our max number ever, and it was about 65 volunteers,” Pedranti said. “I think our average is in the 50s, but we’re hoping it’ll stay up in the 60s.”

Pedranti said it’s impossible for students cure sick children, but the hair donations are a way to help with self-image. It’s hard growing up and going through life struggling with sickness, confidence and bullies, she said.

“The hair is a way to give kids a sense of belonging and normalcy, where maybe their sickness doesn’t allow it,” Pedranti said.

Pedranti said two salons, Renaissance Academy and Paul Mitchell School of Provo, provide the stylists who cut hair at BYU’s Locks of Love drives.

“They’re really awesome,” Pedranti said. “They volunteer their time, appointments and skills.”

Judy Richards is the admissions and design team leader of the Paul Mitchell School of Provo. She said she loves the opportunity to give back.

“Hair is important to many of us,” Richards said. “People that donate their hair, so we can cut it off and make someone else feel beautiful about themselves, is just commendable.”

Richards said the Paul Mitchell stylists are grateful to participate in Locks of Love, especially because the school emphasizes service.

Emma Meurs
Students of Paul Mitchell School of Provo volunteer their time and skills to provide free hair cuts for female students willing to donate their hair. (Emma Meurs)

“We make sure our professionals realize that a big part of their time on this earth is giving back, and this is a great way to give back,” Richards said. “Cutting hair and having the ability to make this all happen for others is a win-win situation.”

Elise Jubeck, Y-Serve program director for Locks of Love, has donated her hair several times.

Jubeck was 8 years old when she lost a cousin to cancer. She said realized that she couldn’t do much, so she decided to donate her hair. Since then, she has grown out her hair and donated it every time someone in her family passed away from cancer. Jubeck has now donated more than a foot of hair on three separate occasions.

“It feels liberating, because I’m chopping off so much hair, but I also feel empowered that I can help people,” Jubeck said. “This is a simple way I can contribute and help someone battling with something so life changing.”

But people don’t need to chop off their hair to help, Jubeck said. Everyone can find a way to serve and help those in need.

“Just look within yourself and find something to give to people who are in need,” Jubeck said. “When you find that selfless drive, it opens up your world to experiencing so much more love and care for one another.”

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