SYRACUSE -- Locks of Love receives more hair donations this time of year than any other, an official says.
The hair the organization is receiving this season includes 24 inches from two Davis County cousins, both 10-year-old girls.
Katelyn Warlaumont and Cambrie Choi, both from Syracuse, each had 12 inches of their hair cut Wednesday. Neither girl had ever had their tresses trimmed more than an inch.
"It feels weird on the neck," said Katelyn, who sports a blond shoulder-length cut.
Cambrie, a dark brunette, agreed, saying the shorter cut feels strange.
"My brother says I look really different and he's going to have to get used to me having shorter hair," she said.
Both girls had hair reaching to the middle of their backs before their dual haircuts.
The decision to cut their hair and donate it came one night a year ago, when Katelyn's mom was brushing her daughter's hair.
"I said, 'Your hair is so thick and so pretty ... there are so many kids who would love this,' " Hollie Warlaumont said.
Hollie read an article about Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that collects hair donations and makes hairpieces for children. She suggested the idea to her daughter.
Katelyn talked to her cousin Cambrie, and both girls decided to spend the year continuing to grow their hair, then cut it.
Both girls said they got nervous as the date they chose to cut their hair approached. Their moms said they were nervous too.
"I was really worried, because (Cambrie) has always had long hair," Carrie Choi said. "Her long hair has always been important to her identity."
"She looks like a different girl, but she's still beautiful," Carrie said.
Lauren Kukkamaa, communication director at Locks of Love, said as Christmas time approaches, the organization receives more hair donations than any other time of the year.
The organization, which has an office in West Palm Beach, Fla., and is mostly staffed by volunteers, does not keep exact statistics on hair donations, she said.
It does provide 300 to 400 hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who have long-term hair loss resulting from a disease, such as alopecia areata. It takes from six to 10 donations of hair to make one hairpiece, Kukkamaa said.
Kukkamaa said clean hair from men, women and children can be donated, but it needs to be in a ponytail or braid when it is cut, so they can tell which direction the hair was growing.
"Hair swept off the floor is not usable," she said.
For more information on how to donate hair, go to www.locksoflove.org.