Growing out your hair is a long, painstaking process that requires a lot of patience and care. We tend to want what we don’t have — when we have short hair, we miss having long hair; when we have long hair, we miss having short hair.
But many have found purpose in their hair-growing journeys, using the fruits of their labor to bless others who aren’t so fortunate in that department.
Though there are many organizations that turn donations into real hair wigs for people suffering from various medical issues, Locks of Love is perhaps the best-known organization that takes people’s donations and turns them into wigs for children who experience hair loss.
“Most of our recipients suffer from the autoimmune disease, alopecia areata,” its FAQ page reads. “Others have experienced hair loss from radiation therapy and chemotherapy, severe burns or trauma, and various other genetic and dermatological conditions.”
They take natural hair as well as hair that has been dyed or permed — but not if it’s been bleached or is in dreadlocks.
One of the most recent donors is Reynaldo Arroyo, a 23-year-old who had been growing his impressive mane for 15 years. After all those years, he finally decided to chop it all off — for two very good reasons.
For one thing, he was joining the army. The video that shows him getting his hair cut was posted on the Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion on Aug. 16.
But he also made sure all his years of hard work weren’t for nothing, as he intends to donate his hair to Locks of Love.
“Hopefully some lucky little girl is going to get it,” he said, referring to his hair.
Military hair standards are notoriously strict, not allowing long hair on males or any length that touches their collar, falls over their eyebrows or covers their ears.
“Congratulations to Reynaldo Arroyo for enlisting in the #USArmy from the Missoula U.S. Army Recruiting Station as an 11X Infantryman with Airborne!” the Facebook post read.
“Future Soldier Arroyo had been growing his hair for 15 years! Yesterday he decided to cut his hair in exchange for a brighter future with the Army and donate it to the Locks of Love foundation.”
“Oh my goodness,” commented a woman named P.K. Wright Nabours, “as the mother of a daughter who once received a wig from a hair donation – thank you for that wonderful gift!”
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