Grade 7 student Abby Stemmler cut her hair just before school started.
Now, getting a haircut is a pretty standard part of back-to-school preparations. In Abby’s case, however, this was more than a trim: she cut off eight inches of her hair.
She plans to donate her locks to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program that encourages women and men to grow, cut and donate their healthy hair to make wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
“Her hair was pretty long and we spoke to her about possibly donating it to a cancer organization that makes wigs and she said she would love to do it,” said Lisa Stemmler, Abby’s mother.
Researching for weeks, the Stemmlers came across the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program and liked the fact that is was an Ontario-based organization.
“So many other organizations wanted a minimum of 12 inches and we knew Abby was eager to have her hair cut and we couldn’t wait for her to grow another four inches as that would have taken months,” said Lisa.
“There is quite an extensive list of rules we had to follow to make sure the hair would be properly used by the organization.”
To donate hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, it has to be a minimum of eight inches long and must be freshly washed and completely dry. It cannot be bleached, permanently coloured or chemically treated.
Abby had her neighbour Lori Beam of Styles by Lori cut off her ponytail and prepare it for mailing.
It takes at least six ponytails to make a wig for someone with cancer.
“I am very proud of her for doing this,” said Lisa. “She is at the age where sometimes looks and fashion can
seem more important than helping others, so I am very pleased she did cut her hair to help someone else.”
As for Abby, who will be attending St. Clement Catholic School this fall, she enjoys her new look and has had many compliments from friends.
“They were all pretty shocked when they saw me, I had a lot of hair cut off and they were use to me with my long hair,” she said. “They kept telling me it was so short but they liked it and so do I.”