Imagine getting a haircut, and telling the stylist to take off 24 inches. That happened at least once last week at the Locks of Love Hair Salon at the United Church of Christ National Youth Event at Walt Disney World.
The salon, set up to cut the hair of NYE attendees for donation to the Locks of Love organization June 26-28, was staffed by volunteer hair stylists from an area beauty school.
Dan Hitzemann, a youth chaperone from First Community Congregational UCC of Glen Ellyn, Ill., didn't donate that longest ponytail, but he was one of a handful of guys to sit down for a haircut. He wandered into the salon, set up in the Fiesta Ballroom at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Thursday afternoon to see if they would accept his long grey locks.
"I had heard that Locks of Love did not take grey hair, but I decided to check," said Hitzemann. "I was told that my hair could help by being sold to cover administration costs. I have had very long hair for years and was thrilled to be able to donate some when I had always thought that it wouldn't help. So happy I could."
Hitzemann was one of more than 50 people who made an appointment to donate their hair to the cause. The salon, in operation for just a few hours between other scheduled NYE events on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, drew mostly teenage girls, with some moms and youth leaders as well. Locks of Love uses the donated hair to make wigs for children who have lost theirs. The minimum length in 10 inches, and while the hair can be colored, the organization cannot accept hair that has been bleached or highlighted. As Hitzemann noted, the rules didn't say anything about grey.
"Faith can change the world and if a little of my hair can put a smile on a sick child's face, then I will grow and donate till I go bald!!" he said. "My thanks and love to NYE and the UCC."