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Local student cuts her locks to help others

 Locks of Love 1

Nine-year-old Walterboro resident Sierra Obenhaus recently got her hair cut for a good reason; she did it for the sake of love.

“My friend Ansley had cut her hair fLocks of Love 5or a good reason, and, after I asked my momma, she let me grow my hair,” Sierra explained. After her mother, Cindy Newman, agreed, the long journey began. “I decided to cut my hair for Locks of Love,” Sierra said.

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet 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.

The organization’s mission is to give a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.

“Locks of Love takes cut hair to make wigs and hairpieces for young children who are either cancer victims or children who can’t grow their hair genetically,” Cindy said. “We went to the Locks of Love website to get more information, and we saw pictures of people donating hair and also of people who received the hairpieces.”

Sierra added, “It really makes me happy when other people are happy, so I decided to do it. I did it online by email, and will get information that Locks of Love received the hair, plus a picture of the child in need.”

On Monday, March 25, Cindy and Sierra made a trip to Charleston to get a very special haircut. “Mom took me to Charleston and we drove to Mr. Hal’s, where we got everything prepared,” Sierra said. Hal Truesdale works at the Halcyon Place salon, where Cindy has been getting her hair cut for the past 10 years.

At the salon, special steps were taken to safely remove the hair. “Mr. Hal had to get everything prepared,” Sierra said. “First, he washed my hair, and then he put it into a ponytail while it was still wet. Then, he took a pair of scissors, and had to make six cuts to get my 10-inch ponytail. Now, I have a fresh, new haircut.” Sierra noted that Hal cut her hair at no charge, and said that the haircut was his donation to Locks of Love.

When Sierra returned to her class at Forest Hills Elementary School, she said she had a new experience. “Everyone thought that I was a new student, but I’ve been at Forest Hills for two-and-a-half years. My teacher, Ms. Sonya Inabinett, said that I looked different, and all the kids said, ‘Hey are you the new girl?’ I said, no, I’m the same old girl I’ve always been.”