Nov 072010
Authors: Erin Udell

Allison Kotewicz left Tuana Hair Design Friday afternoon with shorter hair – eight inches to be exact – and a smile on her face.

The sophomore mechanical engineering major was one of the 20 women who donated their hair to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children and teens suffering from illnesses that cause long-term hair loss.

“I’d been thinking about getting a haircut and I saw the posters around school, so I thought it was a really great excuse to get my hair cut and help out a good cause at the same time,” Kotewicz said. “Afterwards you just feel so great about it and they did a great job so I’m really happy with it.”

Tuana Hair Design, The Laurels Salon of Distinction and The Mane Door Salon all participated in this annual hair drive hosted by Colorado State University’s Panhellenic Council, which is made up of representatives from every campus sorority house.

As part of the drive, each salon provided a complimentary shampoo, haircut and style in exchange for hair donations of six inches or more.

Kayla Jenkins, a hairstylist at Tuana Hair Design, has been cutting hair for Locks of Love for several years and has known people who have fought cancer.

“I’ve seen them go through chemo and lose their hair and be embarrassed,” Jenkins said. “It’s powerful to see.”

Kylie Izienicki, a sophomore business major, decided to challenge herself by vowing to do something new every day for the month of November. As part of this 30-day challenge, she decided to donate her hair to Locks of Love.

“Once she started tying my hair off I was like ‘Oh, my gosh,’’’ Izienicki said about getting her hair cut. “It’s not a big deal though, your hair grows back. You just have to step back and help other people.”

According to the Locks of Love website, the organization’s mission is to return a sense of self-confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss. Locks of Love utilizes donated ponytails to make high quality, custom-made hair prosthetics that can range anywhere from $3,500 to $6,000.

“Your hair is the first thing somebody notices about you,” said Nancee Testa, a breast cancer survivor and owner of The Mane Door Salon. “You can’t really hide that you don’t have hair.”

Testa, a hairstylist and wig-specialist, has been involved with the Panhellenic Council’s hair drive for the past two years.

“It’s kind of one of the ways I like to give back,” Testa said. “These hairpieces help them feel more normal.”

The hair drive has brought in at least 120 inches, or 10 feet, of hair. While these numbers are lower than previous years, it is still considered a success by those involved in the drive.

“Locks of Love is providing both CSU’s Greek Life community and non-Greek CSU students the incredible opportunity to participate in a cause that is helping children surpass cancer,” said Katy Jaeger, the vice president of recruitment on Panhellenic Council.

“We are so happy to put on the event and are appreciative of everyone who donates.”

City Council beat reporter Erin Udell can be reached at

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