ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Academy’s Associated Student Body put a spin on a decades-old tradition to include women in its Manly Month of March.
“The inspiration is pretty much just that it has been a tradition at our school for a while to have Manly Month of March where the guys don’t shave all month but we wanted to involve girls too,” said Becca Kutlow, one of the student organizers. “So we added in the Locks of Love element to get them involved.”
Locks of Love is an international nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. The group meets a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.
Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. “The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers,” according to a representative from the Florida-based organization.
Detour Salon provided the stylists to cut at least four inches of hair from each participant. “We love to give back to the community,” Piper Rose said, as she set up her station on the campus March 29. The popular salon’s owner, Jarrod Harm, also participated. “We’ve been in Encinitas for 13 years and know how important it is to be a part of the lives of our clients,” he said.
“We hope to simply get some hair donated to make wigs and have a fun event where the community, through Detour Salon and our school, are connected,” Kutlow said. “It is just something we do for fun.”
In fact, students lined up to have their tresses cut. “I can’t believe how many people are getting their hair cut,” Evan Eichenberg, a senior, said. “It’s great that we can include the girls in this strange tradition. Mostly it’s just the guys trying their hardest to grow out beards,” he said as he stroked the few whiskers he had managed to grow over the month.
While most of the students decided on a whim to donate their hair during the event, teacher Blaze Newman said she had been preparing. “I’ve been growing my hair out for three years so I can donate it,” she said. “It’s a fantastic cause.”
Ashley Beltran, 17, was the first of more than a dozen students, faculty and staff to take the “hot seat,” as some referred to the stylist’s chair. “I like it,” she exclaimed as she shook her head to reveal a much shorter hairdo. She held six inches of her long black tresses in one hand while her friends gathered around to take pictures. “It’s kind of exciting,” she said.
For more information on Locks of Love, visit locks oflove.org.