All I want for my birthday is a 10-inch haircut.

MORRISTOWN, N.J.—I stood on the dance floor in front of 120 family and friends on May 5, 2006. Sixteen candles lit and one for good luck to go.

“Yes, everyone, I know I’m only turning sixteen,

Lighting my good-luck candle at my sweet sixteen

And this next candle is number seventeen.

There are two girls I would like to dedicate this candle to.

One is the girl my dad gave stem cells to.

The second girl I have never seen nor heard from,

But, through Locks of Love, my hair will soon be hers, at least some.

As good luck, this candle will be lit.

I will light it myself, so everyone can sit.”

While my auburn hair during my oh-so memorable candle ceremony flowed to midback, a few days later, it barely touched my shoulders.

Locks of Love, a public, non-profit organization, accepts donated hair and makes hairpieces for children that lose hair due to an illness, such as cancer.

Looking like a little kid with short hair for a few months, I knew I could never compare to the hardship that sick children endure.

I promised myself and, in spirit, the children in need of hair, that I would do it again.

Winter at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. includes dark skies, frequent snows and decreasing temperatures. My long hair surely helped to keep myself warm; however, I noticed I would soon need a few inches off for spring.

What about 10 inches?

Sitting at Aura Salon and Spa before the cut . photo taken by friend Lauren

Many salons offer complementary hairstyling if a client donates that cut to Locks of Love. I called the hair salon I usually go to and asked about their Locks of Love policy.

Answer: no cash, no cut.

I called a spa that I frequent for waxes. Complementary haircuts for Locks of Love? Yes, indeed!

On my twentieth birthday, in May 2010, I drove to Aura Salon and Spa in Morristown, N.J. for my appointment, held the chair tight and made funny faces as my friend took pictures on her Blackberry throughout the event.

The hairdresser took out a tape measure to determine 10 inches. Using rubber bands, she made a ponytail close to the nape of my neck, quickly braided the hair and used a second rubber band at the end.

Returning from her quest to find sturdier scissors, she asked me for the last time if I was ready.


Bye-bye braid! . photo taken by friend Lauren

Snip, snip, snip! I heard the blades running through my hair above the braid.

Finally, the sound ceased, and I saw the results.

“Oh, it’s not that short!” I happily exclaimed with an exhale.

Some final touches . photo taken by friend Lauren

The stylist laughed and continued snipping away to create a similar hairstyle to a girl in a Facebook picture I brought.

After a side bang and a blowout, the hairstylist brushed the homeless hairs off my neck and shoulders. Done!

After expressing my happiness about my donation to friends, my roommate, Danielle, decided to cut her hair for Locks of Love also.

I plan to schedule another Locks of Love haircut in a few years as well as to continue recruiting friends and family to join in on the donations!

10 inches of hair ready to be mailed to Locks of Love . photo taken by friend Lauren


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Apparently you have fully grasped why I wanted you to create this website. Nicely done.

    But I’m not sure I want to know what a “side bang” is …

  2. Hi Sam!

    That’s so great. Your hair is so pretty, and it must’ve been hard to see it chopped off. Nice writing too!

  3. That’s wonderful that you donated your hair. I love the short look on you– you look pretty in long or short hair! Great post 🙂

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