Loving the chance to donate my locks

Published 10:34 pm Friday, May 6, 2011

When I was a kid, I used to love to imagine what an archeologist might do or say about some of the oddities of our society. I decided that the tiny, uncomfortable desks in my elementary school classrooms would be viewed as torture devices to future eyes.

I thought they may have looked at the tiny dogs often seen decked out in pink sweaters and multiple bows as gods being worshipped by their subjects. And unlike the archeologists of our time, I decided it would be hair – not clothes – that would be the defining aspect of a person’s status.

Think about it. Hair products take up whole aisles at most stores, and the streets are teeming with different salons and barber shops. There are entire magazines devoted to hairstyles, and I can think of at least one TV show centered on the topic.

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From dyeing our gray hairs to wearing hats to hide a distinct lack of hair, we are a society that glorifies long, lustrous locks and avoids thinning hair.

And that’s unfortunate for those who are not lucky enough to have hair, especially those who have lost their hair while battling disease.

I consider myself lucky to have my hair, but not because I have a lot of it. I’m grateful that like giving blood, I can give my hair to others often through Locks for Love.

I first heard about Locks for Love from my mom, who took me with her to donate her hair at a salon. I was too young at the time – and my hair too short – to give, but I still remember my mom’s trepidation from getting her traditionally long hair shortened significantly. But I also remember her big smile and excitement from getting the chance to do some good.

Since then, every other summer I try to take a trip to a salon and have them take about 10 inches off. And it saddens me to admit that not many people take part in the easy process to make someone else’s life just a little better.

So it was with surprise and delight that I learned of a Suffolk kindergartner who took it upon herself to donate her hair. And judging by the huge smile on Sara Powell’s face right after her hair was cut, it’s not hard to imagine that as it grows back, she’ll donate again and again.

That’s something we can all learn from.