By Wendy Maloff
People use their hair as a tool to express self-identity and may spend time and money trying to obtain the perfect look. Yet, a person’s hair is often taken for granted.
Hair loss due to medical conditions such as cancer negatively affect a person’s self-esteem and many cancer patients resort to wearing wigs. However, quality wigs are hard to come by.
Recognizing this, Students’
Union Events Commissioner Oliver Ho is spearheading a campaign to collect human hair for making wigs.
"There was a void in the Calgary community with respect to this type of program," explained Ho. "I figured that we would be able to help a lot of people here in our community that could benefit from such a program."
The Hair Share program kick-off event, hosted by the SU, is scheduled to take place in the MacEwan Students’ Centre North Courtyard on Wed., Sept. 26 at noon.
"We have some people from campus who are going to donate their hair, including SU President Barb Wright, and Vice-President Operations and Finance Natasha Dhillon," said Ho, adding that he will be donating his own hair to the cause. Students and members of the Calgary community are welcome and encouraged to participate as well.
"We are soliciting something which to many, is not of any value to them, but to another can be very valuable," Ho explained. "Self confidence through appearance is not something which can be purchased or bought. But hopefully, this will be of some relief to those affected by medical hair loss."
Janet Matheson of the Canadian Cancer Society Wig Bank also spoke to the effects of an altered appearance when fighting cancer.
"The cancer internally is one thing that patients have to deal with, but the physical loss of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes is more dramatic in some ways, because now everybody can see," she said.
The Wig Bank is a partner in the organization of the campaign.
"Making a real hair wig can cost over $1,000," said Ho. "The program will depend on donations of hair to help in lowering the cost of the wigs."
The wigs received through the wig bank are free of charge to cancer patients.
Witchcraft Hair Salon will also help with the event by cutting volunteers’ hair.
"Volunteers can help out by soliciting donations, or by participating, or just by keeping us in mind when you or a friend cut your hair." said Ho. He also said that people are not being asked to shave their head, but that a minimum of six inches is needed for the wigs.
"Keep as much hair as you want, but please don’t throw away that which you do not want," said Ho.
People that wish to volunteer can contact Ho at the Students’ Union. You can call 220-6551 or by e-mail Ho at firstname.lastname@example.org. All kinds of hair are welcome.