Residents donate hair out of love

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Nancy Rowe and three of her daughters left 40 inches of their hair Tuesday with Golden Tress Salon and Day Spa.

Their hair, bundled in four 10-inch braids, will be shipped to a non-profit organization that donates custom-made wigs to children who do not have hair.

Nancy, Melisa, Heather and Heidi Rowe heard about the organization, Locks of Love, and looked it up on the Internet.

Email newsletter signup

The site showed that Golden Tress was the nearest hair salon to participate in the program. Golden Tress cut their hair for free and will send it to Locks of Love, which is based in Lake Worth, Fla.

The mother and daughters, of rural Hayfield, came into the salon, each with their hair reaching to their lower backs. Heather, 12, had the longest at 25 inches.

"We had plenty of hair to share," Nancy Rowe said. "We can grow our hair pretty good."

Golden Tress has been involved with Locks of Love for about four months and 15 people had donated their hair before the Rowes.

Carrie Clemens, hair designer and nail technician at Golden Tress, asked the owners if the salon could send hair to the organization. Clemens was inspired after talking with her aunt, who had lost her hair to chemotherapy.

"I started it because we all know somebody who is touched by cancer," Clemens said.

Co-owner Sherri Erickson agreed, saying that Golden Tress employees and their families have been affected by cancer.

"It's been really important to us to be involved in this," Erickson said.

The wigs also go to children with burn injuries to the scalp or those with certain disorders. About 2 million children in the United States have alopecia areata, an auto-immune disorder that causes hair follicles to shut down, according to Locks of Love.

About seven out of every 10,000 births results in ectodermal dysplasia, which also causes permanent hair loss.

Most wigs sold are meant to fit adults and require tape or adhesives that can burn or irritate the scalp, according to Locks of Love.

The wigs Locks of Love makes are custom-made for each child's head. The hairpiece forms a vacuum seal, which allows children to be in the water and be active, according to Locks of Love.

Ten to 15 10-inch ponytails are used to make one wig, which is worth $3,500.

Clemens looked over at the family after their haircuts were over.

"You still have so much hair left on your heads," she said. "I can't believe how long your hair was."

For more information on donating hair to Locks of Love call Golden Tress at 433-2291 or visit its Web site at

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at