Foote donates foot to Locks of Love

Rita Melnikova, Senior Writer

“The first time I did it, I grew my hair out really long, it was the longest hair I’ve ever had,” PE teacher Kelsey Foote said. “A woman from my church told me how her sister who was fighting cancer right now would just love to have my hair. And I was like ‘Okay fine, I guess I’ll go donate it.’”
Locks of Love organization’s mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss. There are many other options for donating hair with programs such as Wigs for Kids and Beautiful Lengths, all providing services to financially disadvantaged people under 21 years of age.
“It’s really easy; you can even cut your own hair! The company usually asks for the hair to be in a ponytail and then mailed in an envelope or a small box and be at least 10 inches long,” Foote said.
Foote was a freshman in high school the first time she donated hair and since her hair grows really fast she figured she can keep donating it and she has, every two years after that. Her most recent haircut marks the fourth time she has made a donation.
So why does Foote keep donating?
“If I’m not smart enough to cure cancer or Alopecia then I might as well do what I can to make those people feel confident and beautiful,” Foote said.
Over 6.6 million people in US and 147 million worldwide will develop Alopecia Areata at some point in their lives. A disease that causes affected hair follicles to be attacked by person’s own immune system, resulting in hair loss, which goes deeper than just a change in a person’s outward appearance. It can erode a person’s self-confidence and with an injured self-image. Their attitude toward treatment and their physical response to it can be negatively affected as well.
“I always try and encourage girls who have natural long hair, because most of the places don’t want dyed or highlighted hair, to donate because there are people out there who wish they had hair. If you are blessed with having beautiful hair then you can be a blessing for someone else,” Foote said.