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Local quinceañera donates hair to Locks of Love

April 16, 2002|By STEFANIE GREENBERG, Staff Writer

Crystal Antoinette Villela of El Centro shed more than her youth during her quinceañera celebration Saturday.

The 15-year-old cut off the long, dark brown locks she had been growing since the second grade.

Crystal's mother, Maria Enriquez, said before Saturday her daughter had only had her hair trimmed during the last several years and was excited to cut more off for a good cause.

Crystal said when she was younger she heard about a girl donating hair to be used in hair pieces for children who need them and, "I thought it was nice."

Crystal will send her hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hair pieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 who have hair loss due to medical reasons.


"These custom-fitted hair prosthetics are provided free of charge or on a sliding scale to children whose families meet the Locks of Love board of directors' guidelines," a press release for the agency states.

The organization, which began in 1997, has helped more than 600 children.

Donated hair is evaluated for its usefulness according to the following guidelines:

· the donated hair must be at least 10 inches (preferably 12 inches) in length

· it must be bundled in a ponytail or braid

· it must be free of hair damaged by chemical processing

· the hair must be clean and dry, placed in a plastic bag and mailed in a padded envelope to: Locks of Love, 1640 S. Congress Ave., Suite 104, Palm Springs, FL 33461

Monetary donations to Locks of Love are tax deductible. Donated hair not suitable for use in children's hair pieces may be sold at fair market value to offset the cost of manufacturing.

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