More than a dozen girls from a New York high school recently took part in a longstanding tradition in which they sacrificed their long hair in order to provide wigs to children who lost hair due to medical conditions.
Cold Spring Harbor High School on Long Island has been teaming up with Locks of Love and Cactus Hair Salon in Huntington for about six years, said the salon's manager, Kym Lawrence.
This year, 16 girls had their hair cut short for the good cause, while wearing shirts that read: "Who needs a ponytail?"
The students are "unbelievable," Lawrence said. "All the girls have long, beautiful hair. It's amazing that they do it," she said.
Many of Cactus Hair Salon's 14 locations across Long Island participate in Locks of Love donations all year, Lawrence said. Some locations offer free haircuts for people who are donating their hair.
Locks of Love uses the donated strands to make wigs for financially disadvantaged children under the age of 21 who are suffering from medical conditions like alopecia or cancer that cause their hair to fall out.
"The children who receive these hairpieces have lost more than their hair; they suffer from a loss of self," the Locks of Love website says. "While wearing a hairpiece is certainly not a cure for these children, it can help restore some of the normalcy to their everyday lives that most of us take for granted."
One hairpiece made for a child in need requires between 6 and 10 donated ponytails, according to Locks of Love.