Students are celebrating the holiday season by giving part of themselves back to the community — in this case, their hair.
About a month ago, Studio 1030 in Brigham Young University’s Wilkinson Center, started the Share The Hair event.
The on-campus service center, “Y-Serve,” runs the event and gives the donated hair to nonprofit organizations. “Obviously Y-Serve is very committed to service-oriented endeavors, and we wanted to support them,” said Studio 1030 manager, Kristene Gillum.
The hair donations go to people with hair loss, particularly those struggling with cancer. For some of those working at Studio 1030, the cause hits close to home. Stylist Claire Fisher‘s grandfather lost all his hair to cancer, and her father and uncles shaved their heads to show support for him. “That, to some people, is a sacrifice to lose that much hair,” Fisher said. “But their sacrifice helps other people feel good about themselves, and so in the end it’s all worth it.”
Donors have their hair separated by rubber bands before a razor cuts off at least eight inches of hair. The stylists then clean up the new, shorter “do.” Receptionist Eleanor Duncan used to grow her hair with her grandmother so they could cut and donate together. Duncan encourages other students to make the cut. “Whether they are going through some medical treatment or they’ve lost their hair to a disease, some people don’t get that experience to grow their hair back. So if you’re able to do that for them, I think it’s really special.”
Though the hair share has had to adapt due to COVID-19, Gillum sees the event continuing for many years to come.
“So who knows?” she said. “Maybe those adjustments will be something that we carry forward, or maybe we’ll go back to the previous way we used to do things. It will just have to wait and see where we end up with this.”
If you’re interested in chopping your hair, Studio 1030 will accept donations today and tomorrow.