Student reflects on donating hair during Cut-A-Thon


Sabrina Huang

Janani Sundar after donating 8 inches of hair.

Janani Sundar, News Editor

Cancer is a monstrous disease. Childhood cancer is perhaps an even bigger monster that thousands of children have to face. For the past few years, Brookfield Central and Brookfield East High School host an event known as the Gold Out every year to show their support for childhood cancer.

Students from both schools buy gold shirts and wear them to the big East vs Central football game to help rally against childhood cancer. The money raised from selling the t-shirts goes to help children who are suffering from childhood cancer. Along with the t-shirts, the BC Key Club puts together a Cut-A-Thon in which students can donate their hair for wigs for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.

This particular year, I had saved up my hair all summer, so I could help out the amazing event. I have always been all for donating my hair, but at some salons the minimum amount of hair needed is ten inches or sometimes even twelve, and I usually do not have that much hair. At the Cut-A-Thon, the minimum amount was only eight inches, so I was super excited about donating this year.

The entire experience was truly amazing. I went down to where the salons were set up during first block, and the Key Club member running the event, Sabrina Huang (‘19,) took a before picture of me. Afterwards I went and sat in the chair the stylist had set up for me. She started prepping my hair. I’m not going to lie; the whole time she was prepping my hair I was pretty nervous. I kept wondering, “What of it ends up being too short? Or what if short hair looks awful on me?” But I kept telling myself that it was all for a good cause, and that it was hair and it would grow back soon.

The stylist then asked me how much I wanted to donate, and she also mentioned that I could donate more than eight inches of I wanted. I asked her what nine inches would look like, and she showed me with a ruler how short that would be. I got a little nervous when she showed me, so I told her just to do eight. She then went back to sectioning my hair, and then she brought a pair of scissors out and asked me if I was ready. I hesitantly said yes. As the scissors came in contact with my hair, I felt very jittery and anxious, but I told myself I couldn’t do anything now. What’s done is done.

As she was cutting my hair, she kept mentioning how thick and beautiful my hair was (she was struggling to cut through my hair with her tiny scissors), and it reminded me how happy the child that received my hair would be. The stylist then started trimming and evening out my hair. I was still really worried about how it would look. My friends standing around me kept telling me that it looked good and that it was a good length on me.

I waited patiently in the chair for her to finish evening out my hair; it felt like I was sitting there for hours. The stylist finally said, “Okay, you’re all done.” The stylist and Sabrina Huang took an after picture worth me holding my donated hair. I looked at the picture, and I thought to myself, “It does look pretty good.”

As I walked back to class, I kept running my fingers through my hair because it just felt so different. For starters, my head felt ten pounds lighter (you would be surprised as to how heavy hair actually feels), and my hair just felt really short. I kept asking my friends all day if it was super short, and they all said that it was just the right length and that it looked good on me.

All day it felt really weird. It took about a week to get used to, but now I am really happy with my decision. This was a really empowering experience for me, and one I will remember. I would definitely recommend everybody to donate their hair at some point or another in their lifetime. After all, it is for a really great cause, and as an added bonus you can get a cool new hairdo out of it.

Sabrina Huang
Janani Sundar (19) before donating her hair