Harford Tech gives away its locks

Students, teacher donate hair to sick kids in need of wigs

May 13, 2007|By Madison Park | Madison Park,Sun Reporter

Morgan Jones couldn't hold back the tears.

Ten inches of her brown locks that she had carefully grown and groomed for four years were gone with a decisive snip of the scissors.

"Oh, my hair," the misty-eyed teenager cried as she held her severed ponytail. Her mom and her friends surrounded her, giving reassuring hugs.

Jones is one of the organizers of the Locks of Love campaign at Harford Technical High School, which continues throughout this week.

People who have at least 10 inches of hair can donate their locks and get a free haircut and styling from Harford Tech's cosmetology students. The donations will be sent to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that makes hairpieces and wigs for children with alopecia areata. This medical condition usually affects children and young adults when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes rapid hair loss.

"I'm sad and happy, too," Jones said about cutting her straight brown hair. "I'm just thinking about the little boy or girl who's going to be so happy."

Last fall, Jones and her art teacher, Judy Demond decided to launch the campaign after noticing each other's lengthy locks.

The only difference was that Demond had absolutely no reservations about cutting her hair.

"It's in the way all the time," she said. "When my daughter gives me a hug and pulls away, it get caught under her armpits. It flies out the car window when I'm driving."

By Thursday afternoon, the school had gotten 12 contributions, which cosmetology teacher Connie Withrow is keeping in a shoebox. The longest donation was a 34-inch ponytail of jet-black hair.

"Now that girl really cried," Withrow said.

But not all donors had sentimental attachments to their hair.

Moments before her long brown curls were chopped, Harford Tech sophomore Liz Keefe nonchalantly chewed gum and said, "It's just hair. It'll grow back."

And 8-year-old Brittany Basham beamed while her hair was brushed, scooped into a ponytail, and cut.

"She got tired of it," said her mother, Amber Basham. "She wants it shorter for the summer."

The organizers said they hope Locks of Love will become an annual event at Harford Tech.

madison.park@baltsun.com

Those interested in donating can call Harford Technical High School's cosmetology department at 410-638-3804 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays. The event continues through Friday.

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