Cut Your Hair for a Good Cause

Now's the perfect time to score a light, sassy summer 'do—and help out some amazing kids while you're at it, too

Jillian's new, sassy-short bob; Photo by Zoey Sless-Kitain

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I decided it was time to rid myself of my long mane of hair and lighten up for summer. I couldn’t think of a better way to do this than to continue my donation to Locks of Love (check out our list of Philly area salons that participate in the program below). This might seem drastic, and it is an extremely emotional experience for some, but for me, I feel it’s the least those of us with long hair can do.

Ally, a high school friend of mine, died almost three years ago after a horrible battle with cancer. She was only 17. As I watched her go through chemotherapy, lose her hair, and experience so much pain, I couldn’t help but feel, well, helpless.

My first donation to Locks of Love occurred the year before she died, when I was a senior at Great Valley High School. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was at the annual Relay for Life event held to raise money for the American Cancer Society and waiting in a line of more than 25 other people about to say goodbye to their hair. Waiting for the hairdresser to come down the line of people and cut off our ponytails was exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. It seemed dramatic, as though MJ’s “Man in the Mirror” should be playing. It was a feeling I will never forget. As I sat there with other donors being watched by hundreds of families and friends, survivors and supporters, I remember being scared that I would lose what made me—my long, beautiful, strawberry-blond hair—but that fear was overrun with the knowledge that this was the absolute least I could do for my friend and others who had medical conditions causing them to lose their hair.

Jillian pre-Locks of Love

The mission of the program is to return a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails like mine—and hopefully some of yours!—to provide the highest-quality hair prosthetics at an affordable price, usually free. It’s not just for those who’ve lost their hair due to chemo, either. Locks of Love actually provides hairpieces to children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from a whole range of diagnoses, not just cancer.

My most recent time donating to locks of love was this past weekend. I went to Cosabella Salon, which has opened up recently right near my house in West Chester. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. I was met at the door with such kindness and genuine caring for what I had come in for. At first I was a little unsure if my hair was long enough to donate again, but it turned out that they cut almost 12 inches off (only 10 is required).

Jillian's ponytail that was donated to Locks of Love

My stylist, Shanna, did an amazing job and I am so happy with my short, sassy bob. This will definitely not be my last visit to Cosabella and certainly not my last time cutting my hair for Locks of Love. Just thinking of a beautiful boy or girl who will get the hair makes me feel like I have done something for such a good cause.

If you’re interested in donating (you’ll feel so amazing once you do, and have a sassy new style for summer!), check out the area salon’s below that participate in the Locks of Love program.


Hush Salon, 45 North 3rd Street, 215-923-5010

Image Hair Salon
, 1933 Chestnut Street, 215-567-6500


Jay Michael Salon and Spa, 28 E. Montgomery Avenue, Ardmore, 610-645-6500

Salon Manivanh, 213 Easton Road, Willow Grove, 215-657-3979


Cappella’s Studio, 106 Furr Avenue, West Chester, 610-692-9976

Cosabella Salon & Spa, 1502 West Chester Pike, West Chester, 610-459-9222

Calista Grand Salon & Spa, 1211 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, 610-399-6677


Ame Salon and Spa, 111 Waynewood Avenue, Wayne, 610-995-2631

Salon 31, 31 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, 610-642-8600


Nu Waves Salon and Day Spa, 1301 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 610-275-1514

Made Ya Look Hair and Nail Salon, 821 N. Bethlehem Pike, Springhouse, 215- 646-1335


Tranquility Salon and Spa, 1299 Route 38, Hainsport, 609-267-5600

VC Salonspa, 38 Robbinsville Allentown Road, Robbinsville, 609-208-9388

However, to donate to the Locks of Love program, you don’t have to go to any specific salon, as long as the donation guidelines are followed here.