Girl, 7, donates her hair to help sick kids who need hairpieces


May 29, 2001|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

JILLIAN BUCK has beautiful hair. The 7-year-old Crofton first-grader's light brown tresses cascaded over her shoulders, almost reaching her waist. Sometimes, she pulled it back in a ponytail. Sometimes, her mother plaited it into pigtails or French braids. During dance class, she would pull it up into the tight bun favored by ballerinas. But usually, she just wore it long and straight.

Several weeks ago, Jillian was having a bad hair day. Combing the snarls out of her daughter's hair, her mother, Kelly Fagan-Buck, said, "Maybe it's time to cut your hair."

She told Jillian about Locks of Love, a not-for-profit organization that makes hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children who have lost their hair because of medical problems. Kelly was a little uncertain what Jillian's response would be because she knew how much the little girl loved her long hair.

But Jillian jumped at the chance to get involved. She had seen a children's program on television that talked about Locks of Love and she was excited at the prospect of being able to help another little girl. So, mother and daughter made their plans. They went to the group's Web site ( to find out the requirements for participating. The hair donation must be at least 10 inches long, free from chemical processing and bundled in a ponytail or braid. That seemed easy enough for Jillian.

The Buck's decided to wait until after Jillian's spring dance recital so that she could wear her hair in the ballerina bun. Then, they talked with their hairdresser, Dee Stanley of Crofton's Total Look salon, who was delighted to help.

The big day came May 21. After school, Jillian, with her hair pulled back in a braid, went to see Stanley. The hairdresser cut the braid and gave it to Kelly, who put it into a plastic bag to be mailed to Locks of Love. Then, Stanley shaped and trimmed Jillian's hair into a charming bob that bounces when she runs and swishes when she turns her head.

Jillian says that, when the hairdresser cut her hair, she was thinking to herself, "Oh, no! I want my old hair."

But she feels really good about helping someone else. In fact, she sent a little note along with her hair for the person who will receive it.

Jillian wrote, "Dear whoever gets my hair, I hope you like my/your hair. My name is Jillian. I am seven years old. I have very short hair now but I'm glad you have my hair. Sincerely Jillian"

Stanley appreciates how special a gift Jillian gave. Of course, the little girl's hair will grow back. Even so, a major haircut is a big deal for a girl.

Stanley remembers that, as a child, her own hair was very long. One day, Stanley's mother brought her to a friend's to have her hair trimmed. Or so she thought. But Stanley ended up with a pixie cut, which was very short. She was horrified. It was a long time before she let anyone cut her hair again.

Stanley is happy she could help Jillian make her gift to Locks of Love. This is the first time one of her customers has turned a haircut into a gift of love.

Jillian had told her friends at school about her plans, but she was a little uncertain what their response would be when she returned to school Tuesday. But people really liked her new look and they were excited about her gift. Maybe one of her friends will be inspired to give her own locks to another child who needs them.

Information: Locks of Love, 888-896-1588, 561-963-1677; Web site,

Church flea market

Crofton's Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church will hold its annual Flea Market and Bake Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the church. The event, co-sponsored by the church's board of directors and the Presbyterian Women, raises funds for mission projects. Unsold items will be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Baltimore.

Information: 410-721-2313.

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