Melissa Hittle and her 5-year-old daughter Bailey started the new year by donating a combined 26 inches of hair to Locks of Love. The nonprofit organization will use their hair to make wigs for financially disadvantaged children in the United States or Canada who have lost their own hair.
According to information from Locks of Love, most of the children it helps have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses help to restore their self-esteem and confidence.
Several salons in the area are familiar with Locks of Love, or can follow the donation guidelines on the website locksoflove.org. The Hittles went to Razor’s Edge in Great Bend where Julie Schooler performed the haircuts.
Schooler said "Miss Bailey" handled the procedure well. Schooler is familiar with the Locks of Love guidelines, because several clients donate their hair. "One teacher in Larned donates hair every year," she said. While a 10-inch or longer donation is needed for the hairpieces made for children, Schooler said shorter lengths are accepted and sold to offset manufacturing costs.
This was a milestone haircut for mom and daughter. Bailey had never had her hair cut short. "It’s the first time my hair’s been that short since being a baby myself," Melissa Hittle said.
They talked about getting the haircuts for more than a year; Melissa knew she would donate her hair but Bailey wasn’t so sure as a 3-year-old. However, the little girl grew into the idea.
"She was thrilled about it," he mother said. "She was actually the one who got the ball rolling."