Stony Brook HSC’s Ellen Clark, seated, holds a lock of her hair as a stylist snips away in an East Setauket, L.I. hair salon,. Clark donated her hair to Locks of Love, a Florida-based group that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair for medical reasons. Also pictured (l-r) are UUPers Jeanne Greenfield and Rosemary Mahan.
UUPer Ellen Clark prefers wearing her hair long – like down-to-her-waist long.
She’s sporting a shorter style these days, all for Locks of Love.
Clark, a staff associate at Stony Brook HSC, cut off 15 inches of her dark brown hair in early June and donated it to Locks of Love, a non-profit Florida-based organization that provides hairpieces to children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or medical conditions such as alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure.
This is the third time that Clark has gifted her tresses to Locks of Love; so far, she has donated 48 inches of her hair, which is the equivalent of seven wigs.
“I just get a lot of joy out of it, and I have good hair for it,” said Clark, whose hair now hangs just below her chin.
Clark said she first decided to give her hair to Locks of Love because it is a great cause. She’s continued her donations because of someone she met several years ago, when she traveled to the organization’s headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla. to have her hair cut. The woman who cut her hair lost a three-year-old child to cancer, which had a profound impact on Clark, she said.
“I’m blessed to have nice hair to donate,” she said. “I have a gift and I just wanted to give something back.”
It’s no easy task for Clark to donate her hair. It usually takes about three years to grow her hair long enough to cut for Locks of Love; Clark said she hasn’t had a hair cut since 2006. Then, she spends hours washing, drying and deep condition her hair before it’s cropped.
“The day I donate my hair, I take the day off from work to prepare my hair to be cut,” she said. “The day I donate it, it feels like silk.”
For more information about Locks of Love, click on the organization’s Web site, at www.locksoflove.org.