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Haircuts aid cancer

Elizabeth Kelly | Monday, February 25, 2008

Students from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s lined up outside Mishawaka’s Salon Nouveau Sunday to cut off their ponytails as part Pangborn Hall’s annual Project Pink.

Event coordinator Tricia Hughes described Project Pink as “a campaign to raise awareness about women’s issues and celebrate women in society.”

Project Pink will donate the ponytails they collected yesterday to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a charity organization that turns donated ponytails into wigs for women with cancer who have lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy.

The Project Pink committee selected this charity last March because it fit with the event’s theme of women in solidarity, said Hughes. But not enough girls had hair long enough to meet Pantene’s requirement of eight inches.

“Last year we put up signs all over Pangborn that said ‘Don’t cut your hair!'” Hughes said.

Through advertising, the Project Pink committee was able to convince 25 students to grow their hair for the charity. The committee also received 15 additional ponytails from girls who had previously cut their hair, and Hughes estimates that Pantene Beautiful Lengths will be able to make seven wigs.

Stylists from Salon Nouveau also donated their services for the event, which they heard about from a customer who lives in Pangborn.

Hughes said some of the volunteers were uneasy about cutting their hair.

“The girls with the longest hair were the most nervous,” she said. “But in the end nobody chickened out. We were all there together for support.”

Hughes was very pleased with her new hairstyle.

“I really like my new ‘do'” Hughes said. “And now I can sleep later because it won’t take long to dry my hair.”

Yesterday’s hair donation drive was the first portion of the hall’s two-part event. The second part of Project Pink, scheduled for March 14 in the LaFortune Ballroom, is a fashion show fundraiser featuring the residents of Pangborn in pink outfits.

The event will also feature a before-and-after slideshow that showcases the new looks of the girls who participated in the hair donation drive.