South Campus Cosmetology to Host Hair Donation Cut-a-Thon


Elizabeth Gabriel/San Jacinto Times

(From left): Student instructor Genell Johnson and students Francesca D’Agostaro, Sarah Dunn, Jordan Kendall, and Shay Yeager will cut hair April 18-20 as part of an event benefitting the Wigs for Kids Foundation.

Balding before the age of eighteen can be a traumatic experience. For many, it is a time when appearance matters most. Teenagers want to play sports, date, go to prom, and fit into social standards of “normal.” Therefore, balding youngsters typically look to wigs to enhance their appearance.

In an effort to help, San Jacinto College South Campus’s cosmetology department is sponsoring a Wigs for Kids Cut-a-Thon April 18 through 20.

Service-learning Coordinator and cosmetology instructor Pandora Freestone, along with student instructors Genell Johnson, Dixie Russell, Megan Holder, and the students of the Cosmetology Instructor II class, will collect donated hair to be used for wigs made of human hair.

Cosmetology student Shay Yeager said a wig composed of human hair can be very expensive, but the Cut-a-Thon organizers found a solution by working with the Wigs for Kids Foundation.

Francesca D’Agostaro, a fellow cosmetology student, explained Wigs for Kids is a non-profit organization that collects hair for children under the age of eighteen who lose their hair permanently due to medical issues, or temporarily as a result of treatments like chemotherapy.

D’Agostaro noted that other wig donation organizations, such as Locks of Love, charge the wig recipients while Wigs for Kids gives them away free of charge.

“Wigs for Kids believes that all children deserve the basic dignity of hair, free of strings,” Freestone said.

According to Johnson, fourteen South campus cosmetology students will cut donors’ hair while their instructors supervise.

“Students are very hands on, and this is part of their learning process,” Johnson said.

Furthermore, she explained that after a donor’s hair is washed and dried, the stylist will divide it into seven to nine sections rubber-banding as many ponytails as possible. After cutting each section, the stylist places the ponytailed pieces in a plastic bag to keep each donor’s hair separate.

Additionally, hair donations are required to be twelve inches and cannot be chemically processed or colored.

“We hope to get a minimum of 75 donations for this year,” she added.

D’Agostaro said local beauty salons and supply stores are also contributing to the effort. Specifically, Armstrong McCall Professional Beauty Supply is gifting incentives like color samples to those willing to donate their hair.

Moreover, Johnson said “all donations are welcome,” including ready human-hair wigs, as well as monetary donations.

In addition to assisting children in need, Freestone said this project benefits San Jac cosmetology students.

“It teaches them how to work hands-on with real clients, intentional community values, and how to connect in meaningful ways for those in need,” she said.

Meanwhile, Johnson said hair donations are essential because people feel more confident when they perceive their appearance as more attractive.

Likewise, cosmetology student Sarah Dunn said, “When we have the ability to give … we should,” adding that people should donate to “help build self-esteem for these people that are going through these hard times.”

Wigs for Kids Cut-a-Thon takes place April 18-20 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the main salon of the Jones Technical Building (S13.200) on the South campus.