By Sue Ann Rybak
Why not begin the New Year with a new hairdo for a worthy cause? Two Erdenheim teenage girls are trying to get as many people as possible to donate their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization dedicated to providing free wigs to those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.
Emily Henry and Hannah Grothusen, both sophomores at Springfield High School, are hosting “Januhairy 2016” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 18, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Springfield Township High School, 1801 East Paper Mill Road in Erdenheim.
For your hair to be made into a wig, all hair donations must be free of dyes, bleaches or chemicals and be no more than five percent gray. Eight inches is the minimum amount needed to donate.
Henry, 15, said they were inspired by their former middle school principal Laura Patterson, who donated her hair to the organization a couple years ago. At the time, eight girls, including Henry and Grothusen, decided to donate their hair that day.
Their original goal was to sign-up a thousand people to beat the world record of 881 people, who donated their hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Campaign in 2007.
“We both thought ‘if eight girls can do it randomly on one day, we could get a lot more people to donate at an organized event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.’” said Grothusen, 16. “And, it makes an impact. It’s not something that is a personal loss – it’s just your hair. It will grow back and eight inches is actually not that much. I will probably donate more than eight inches because I have it.”
“Besides short hair is in,” Henry said. “So far, we have a hundred people signed up on the website.”
Donors can drop their pre-cut ponytail or get it cut at the event.
Grothusen added that a lot of people are nervous about donating their hair.
“Sometimes when you donate your hair, it comes out a little funky, so students from Eastern Technical School, [who are studying cosmetology], as well as professional stylists will be there to cut and even out your hair,” she said. “This event is going to help some many people. It’s an easy way to give back.”
Henry said everyone knows someone impacted by cancer.
“Cancer can happen to anyone,” she said. “By donating our hair to help make wigs for people with cancer, we are doing something that will help people feel better about themselves.
Donors can sign up online at januhair2016.com, but walk-ins are welcome as well. If you have questions about the event, send an email to email@example.com.
For more information about Pantene Beautiful Lengths go to http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/about-the-program.
In addition to hair donations, money is also being collected for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Cancer Unit. Donations can be made online at http://chop.donordrive.com using the search words “Januhairy 2016” or at the event.