Donation requires years of growing

By Kevin Wilson

For some people, finding the perfect Christmas gift for that special somebody only takes minutes. For others, it can take weeks.
For Victoria Garrett, it took her two years to make the perfect gift for somebody she will never meet. She came one step closer to giving that gift on Wednesday as part of the Locks of Love program.
Garrett, who runs the Cozy Cottage Cross Stitch shop on the square, is one of many Portales citizens who over the years have donated their hair to the program.
According to its Web site (www.locksoflove.org), Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children (18 years and younger) in the United States and Canada suffering from any type of medical hair loss.
For Garrett, she was driven by a chance to make a difference.
“Both of my parents died of cancer,” Garrett said, “and I thought this was something I could do that would be pretty easy.”
Garrett’s job required patience, as she had to have at least 10 inches of hair to cut and donate to the program. Also, she could not color the hair during that period.
“The hair has to be in the virgin state,” said Margaret Jones, owner of Hair Masters and the person who cut Garrett’s donation. “That is, no chemicals of any kind (can be) on the hair.”
Hair grows at a rate of one-fourth to one-half of an inch per month, Jones said, meaning that a person wishing to donate to Locks of Love usually has to invest more than a year and a half to have enough hair for a 10-inch donation.
Jones said for some people who donate, it is their first haircut. In any case, Jones suggests the hair be very healthy and strong.
“All of the hair that is sent is going to have a lot of processes (done to it) before the wigs are made,” Jones said.
Those who wish to make a donation can go to the organization’s Web site, where they can download a donation form and find a participating salon (or cut it themselves).