Locks of Love: A Summer Tradition

I am one lucky girl. My Mom and Dad presented me with three fabulous sisters. As far as I’m concerned, it just doesn’t get any better than that. We all inherited various physical traits from our parents – most notable is our hair.

Ellen and Nancy got Mom’s straight, silky locks; Susan and I inherited Dad’s wavy, shiny tresses. I think we’ve all gone through stages of coveting each other’s hair. Typical sisters.

Nancy has generally worn her hair long … very long … and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Years ago she started donating her hair to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the USA and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

So Nancy and I developed this wonderful summer tradition of cutting her hair every 2 years to donate. Our last session was in 2012 when we cut off a whopping 15 inches for Locks of Love.

This summer she decided to spread the love around and donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, that provides free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. She just sent them a 12 inch ponytail of her silky tresses. Nancy, you’re amazing. Thanks for your selfless act of love.

Nancy’s 2012 Donation to Locks of Love.

When I wrote the first post two years ago, I heard from so many people – both men and women – who had donated hair, received a wig, or were fascinated by the program. If you or anyone you know has any experience with these types of programs, please let us hear from you … and if you’ve written about it, send us a link.

I can almost hear my hair grow!

Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

52 thoughts

    1. Thank you Sue. Recently we were able to see the whole process come full circle when a family member was a grateful recipient of one of these beautiful wigs. I just felt such joy that Nancy was making a difference in other’s lives. ~Terri

      1. I can only imagine the impact of actually seeing someone benefit from a wig and the difference that makes in their life would have. Such a generous thing to do.

    1. Nancy has always enjoyed giving – whether it’s some perfect gift she stumbled upon … or her hair! It is amazing how fast her hair grows, Darlene. And all the Sisters are totally jealous! 🙂 ~Terri

  1. What a great project to be involved with. Good for you and the blessing your generosity gives to those in need, I can imagine how those that need the gift of “locks” must feel loved.

    1. Thanks so much Ina! I’ve been blessed with three sisters who are incredibly generous and giving. Nancy has definitely found “her niche” since none of the rest of us have the patience to grow our hair that long. 🙂 ~Terri

  2. What a wonderful post ! First because of your very personal sorority, and then because of that SUPER thing to do ! Alas that I have never had hair that long: only as long as hers is now, and that was 40 years ago ! [grin]

    1. Thank you Margaret-Rose. Like you, I had long hair years ago, but living in warm climates I tend to keep my hair on the short side these days. And in August, the shorter, the better. 🙂 Since we live at the beach, we’ve also heard of some surfin’ dudes who donate their long locks. Pretty cool! So glad you stopped by. ~Terri

  3. I remember reading your post in 2012. Such an awesome and worthwhile gift. I know from family experience how much it means to the recipient. You guys are the best!

    1. Thank you so much Laura. We’ve also had family experience with both sides of the program and know how much Nancy’s hair donation can mean to someone. We were trying to figure out how many times she’s donated over the years, but we lost count. I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂 ~Terri

    1. My sister Nancy thanks you, Tess. I’ve been blessed with three sisters who are incredibly generous and giving. Nancy has definitely found “her niche” since none of the rest of us have the patience to grow our hair that long. 🙂 ~Terri

  4. I was not blessed with beautiful locks, instead my mother passed along her fine, thin hair to me, which I have been losing quite rapidly as of late. I may be one of those who one day possesses a wig from one of these generous souls.

    1. LuAnn, I’ve seen your photos and your locks are gorgeous! Nancy’s hair grows at an incredible rate – we figure it’s 6-8 inches a year. I was amazed when we got ready to cut it this time because it had grown right back to where it was 2 years ago. Incredible! I agree that the women, men, boys, and girls who donate their hair are generous souls who make the world a better place. 🙂 ~Terri

    1. Thanks Susan. As much as I would like to take credit for that gorgeous hair, it’s my sister Nancy who grows the long tresses. I’m merely the haircutter. 🙂 And I agree that it’s a fantastic cause that has brought comfort to so many. Great to hear from you. ~Terri

    1. That’s wonderful Heather – it must be immensely satisfying. I’m always amazed at how fast Nancy’s hair grows – 6 to 8 inches a year! What organization do you like to donate to? ~Terri

      1. It’s been very rewarding! I hope to do it again. I’ve donated to Locks of Love both times but have also heard of the Pantene program.

  5. An uplifting tale of what your sister does to make the world a better place, Terri. Have you contemplated growing out your tresses too? For long-term travelers wary about getting their hair cut while on the road, this might be the perfect fix. 🙂

    1. Nancy thanks you, Tricia. And as for my hair, I used to wear it very long, but once we moved to hot climates (starting with Dallas and then Khartoum) I went shorter and haven’t looked back. In Khartoum, because of the restrictions of Sharia Law, we learned to cut each other’s hair. There’s a few stories there! 🙂 What about you? ~Terri

      1. Terri, you two surprise me every day. You’ve made your own wine, and even learned how to be each other’s coiffeur. Curious to hear one of the tales when you get a chance!

        For whatever reason, I’ve always worn mine relatively short – guess it’s these natural curls which can become unruly if my hair gets too long. 🙂

  6. This is wonderful. Both of my children cut off their hair. One donated to Locks of Love, the other to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. I prefer the Pantene organization, but the bottom line is, hopefully someone in need is getting a wigful of beautiful hair.

  7. Absolutely awesome Terri! I have friends daughters who have done locks of love and I always wanted to but I do highlights on the top and they don’t take hair with any kind of coloring. It is such an amazing cause! I’m hoping my daughter will do it but her hair tends to grow slow while mine grows fast.

    1. Thank you Nicole. It’s such a great cause and I think it’s wonderful that so many people support it. Like you, I can’t donate either because I have more gray hair than they allow (only 5% of the total). But also like you, I try to “do good” and contribute to helping others in different ways. Different strokes for different folks 🙂 And given all the good work you do, I think it’s the equivalent of donating 1,000 ponytails. ~Terri

  8. What a wonderful tradition! I have several friends who have also been donating their hair for many years. The common denominator always seems to be people with awesome hair 🙂

    1. I’m sitting here smiling Joanne because you’re right about the common denominator – awesome hair! 🙂 I have other friends and relatives who have donated their “awesome hair,” and they look just as fabulous after the cut as they did before. ~Terri

      1. I missed the queue for Awesome Hair when it was being handed out. I’m not sure where I was but likely I was poking around the Curiosity section.

  9. I enjoyed reading about your wonderful generous sister in your first post and am happy you posted an update.

    I recently learned about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths first-hand when I found a wrapped ponytail in a ziplock bag on my keyboard (where else!) when I returned from the airport where I dropped off my son and his wife on their way to South America, where they are traveling for a year and volunteering. In their hurry to leave, they had forgotten to warn me! I mailed my daughter-in-law’s donation to Pantene. I think it’s probably her third donation. She began donating after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and wore a wig during chemotherapy. Her mother is cancer-free now!

    1. Catherine, that is such a wonderful, heart-warming story. And how funny to find a ponytail on your keyboard! I’m so glad to hear the great news about her mother. We have a very similar story with our cousin, and also pleased to say she is now cancer-free. I love these good news stories. 🙂 ~Terri

What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s