Students gathered in the Wilkinson Student Center Terrace on Feb. 21 and 22 to donate their hair to cancer patients through Y-Serve’s Share Your Hair program.
Licensed stylists from Studio 1030 lined the north side of the WSC Terrace from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on both event days ready for student participants.
The stylists provided a free cut and style in exchange for the hair donation. Hair can be colored, but not bleached, and must be a minimum of eight inches to donate. All donated hair is sent to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to be distributed as wigs to women fighting cancer.
“The cause is all about giving hope and strength to women who have lost that due to cancer,” Program Director Shawn Christensen said. “You don’t think about how much having hair makes you feel confident or successful, but it is a really big part of that.”
Event Director Elise Jubeck said the event gives priority to pre-scheduled appointments, however, walk-in donation appointments are welcome. Students scheduled their appointments online through the program’s website. Appointments were set to last around 30 minutes.
In each appointment, participants’ hair is measured to ensure eight inches of cuttable locks, according to Christensen.
The hair is then sectioned into small ponytails to be kept together. The stylists cut off the ponytails and place them in a Ziploc bag. Participants’ remaining hair is then professionally cut and styled.
The bags of ponytails are sent off to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which works with the American Cancer Society to create and provide wigs to women who have suffered from medical induced hair loss.
One reason students donate their hair because they know someone who has suffered from medical-related hair loss, and they want to give back, according to Program Director Allyse Jorgensen.
“I love it when you see girls come in with short hair to begin with and they leave with super short pixie cuts,” Jubeck said.
Jubeck said she is always impressed by the sacrifice the girls make purely because they want to give.
At any time throughout the event, four to six stylists were available for appointments, with 12 overall stylist volunteers. The program sees 60–70 volunteers donate hair each time the event runs, according to Jubeck.
Students can continue to be involved with this cause throughout their BYU experience.
Share Your Hair runs twice a year, once during the fall and once during the winter. Students are encouraged to continue to grow their hair and donate in the fall if they missed the winter event.
Students can also get an 8-inch ponytail trim at anywhere and bring the saved hair to the Y-Serve Office at any time throughout the year, Jorgensen added.
The hair will be saved and donated to Pantene when the program sends their next shipment, usually after the next Share Your Hair event.
Last semester, Studio 1030 collected and saved donations leading up to the event, and Share Your Hair was able to donate almost 900 pony tails, according to Christensen.
This program represents BYU’s fourth aim of leading students to lifelong service, according to Christensen, because donating hair to help others is something students can continue to be involved with for the rest of their lives.
Students who want to get involved but don’t have eight inches of hair to donate are welcome to get involved with the administration side of the event.
More information on applying for this program can be found on the Y-Serve Share Your Hair program page. Students can also donate directly to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths on their website.
“If you’re looking for a change, and you want a great free haircut, and you want to do some good, this is the perfect opportunity,” Jubeck said.