Steamboat Springs For the past seven and a half years, Amanda Halder never cut her hair beyond a simple trim. She was in middle school the last time her hair was chin-length.
But on Friday, Halder had the kind of cut that her stylist, Shana Thomas, could describe only as a "big whomp."
Halder chopped off her hair Friday so she could donate it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to children 17 years old and younger who have lost their hair because of health problems. Because the children in the program come from low-income families, the hair is provided for free or on a sliding scale.
Halder doesn't remember how she heard about the organization, but she remembers why it caught her attention.
"It's close to my heart because I have two little girls," she said. "I can only imagine what that would be like."
Halder was excited Friday to see herself with a fresh look.
"I need something new," she said. However, she had no idea what that "something" would be; she left that up to Thomas, who works at All About You.
When Halder first sat in the salon chair, she had wavy blonde hair that flowed down her back. With a chop of Thomas' scissors, that hair became a thick, lone, golden braid.
"Holy cow, my head is way lighter," Halder said, laughing.
Halder's co-workers from Prudential Steamboat Realty shared champagne and congratulations to celebrate the donation. They raised their glasses as Thomas washed Halder's hair.
"To Amanda's hair! Cheers!" they said.
Halder wants to donate more than her hair. She also is collecting money to send to Locks of Love.
Laura Sturges, the director of marketing at Prudential Steamboat Realty, applauded Halder for her hair donation, particularly because long hair can provide comfort to women.
"As a female, it's something I could never do," Sturges said. "When I heard about it, I was really proud of her, for sure."
To make the hairpieces, Locks of Love accepts donated ponytails or braids that are at least 10 inches long. It takes about four months to make each custom-fitted hairpiece. Locks of Love has helped more than 1,000 children since it was formed in 1997.
--o reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org