HARRISVILLE — Caprice and Ciara Mendoza each cried as they watched a show on St. Jude’s about young kids with cancer. The girls couldn’t believe that kids had to live their lives without hair and also be so sick at the same time.
They asked their mom, Dottie, if there was anything they could do to help. She told them about Locks of Love, which collects donated hair to make wigs for sick people, and they immediately wanted an appointment to get their long, black hair chopped off.
Dottie was so impressed with her daughters’ diligence to help children in need she made the appointment, but with a little trepidation: Her daughters had never had their haircut before.
“I was happy for them to do it, but now I’m nervous,” Dottie said as her daughters sat in Split Enz Salon in Harrisville waiting their turn.
Six-year-old Ciara went first and as her hairdresser started to cut, a few tears of anxiety sprang from her eyes.
“I feel kind of like it’s cutting off my finger,” Dottie said as her daughter’s ponytail was chopped.
Ciara opened her mouth big and grinned as she held her unattached pony tail in her hand.
“I want my hair to be like my mom’s,” she said as she pointed to her mom’s stylish cut, barely down her neck.
Next went 8-year-old Caprice, who covered her eyes briefly but shed no tears as her ponytail was chopped. She was very excited.
“I saw those kids that didn’t have hair and thought that maybe if they went to school kids would make fun of them,” Caprice said. She couldn’t stand the thought of it and knew she had to find a way to do something about it.
As she watched her sister get trimmed, she had second thoughts briefly, but not for long.
Amber Hamilton, who cuts hair at Split Enz, already had several ponytails lined up at her booth to be sent into Locks of Love. She saves them through the year for Weber High School’s Christmas fundraiser. The salon works with the school each year to donate hair to Locks of Love.
She admits she doesn’t cut off the long hair for the non-profit group all the time, but often enough.
“I get a pretty good amount,” Hamilton said. She doesn’t often get girls as tiny as the Mendoza sisters or as sure of what they want to do, she said.
Dottie was loving her girls’ short cuts by the end of the session.
“I still feel a little shaky, but it looks gorgeous,” she said. She also knows it will grow back. “I am just proud of them for wanting to do something like this.”
She planned to send in the hair directly rather than have the salon do it and had talked to a representative from Locks of Love about her girls’ story.