Hair studio owner seeking donations towards wigs for cancer survivors

Maureen Coulter
Published on February 9, 2016

Neil Matheson chopped off over eight inches of hair for Bounce! Hair Studio's campaign It's Only Hair. The campaign is running for all of 2016.

©Submitted photo

Sharon Keller, owner operator of Bounce! Hair Studio launches It's Only Hair campaign

Neil Matheson was feeling the spirit of giving this past Christmas season.

He was also looking for a new image for 2016.

So the Charlottetown man decided to completely change his appearance by cutting eight inches of his long chestnut-coloured hair and donating it to people who have no hair at all.

Matheson reached out to Sharon Keller, owner operator of Bounce! Hair Studio, to make an appointment to cut off the hair he had been growing out for two years.

Keller told him he couldn't have called at a better time as she was in the beginning stages of launching her 2016 year-long campaign, It's Only Hair.

Matheson ended up donating over eight inches of hair to the small salon in Long Creek. The hair is being sent off-Island to be made into wigs for cancer survivors.

"It felt good to know that I was doing it for a reason in cutting it all off and that it was going to be put for good use."

QUICK FACT: To knot one wig, which is similar to rug hooking, takes about eight to 15 ponytails.

The idea of this campaign was inspired by one of Keller's clients earlier in December when the woman had requested a big haircut.

As Keller combed the woman's hair, she threw the idea out that if she went an inch shorter, the hair could be donated.

"She didn't even hesitate, she was just like, ‘Yup, cut it', and this is a girl that is super attached to her hair."

Keller went home that evening and thought about how easy it was to get a donation and pondered if she could get more people to do the same.

That's when the idea of getting involved in wig donations was born, and she started her campaign, It's Only Hair. So far, Keller has had four hair donations.

"Your hair shouldn't define you in how beautiful you feel. What you do with your life should define you in how beautiful you feel," said Keller.

Keller is sending the hair off to one of two places: 360 Hair in British Columbia and the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign through the Canadian Cancer Society.

Keller will donate the majority of the locks to 360 Hair as it will take anything, including coloured hair, as long as it's six inches or more.

The donations to 360 Hair will go towards making custom-made wigs for cancer patients under the age of 19.

For the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign, a minimum of eight inches is required and it must be what is referred to as "virgin hair" meaning no dyes, bleaches or chemicals.

"I think it's great that this 360 Hair is accepting six inches because six inches is much less traumatizing for somebody to cut off than eight," said Keller. "It just opens a whole new world of donations. Now, those people with coloured treated hair can donate."

Matheson said cutting off so much hair was a bit of an adjustment, but he feels it was for a worthwhile cause.

"Sharon is on the right track," said Matheson. "It's only hair and it grows back, especially for someone that is in a healthy position that can grow their hair."

Matheson said this was the first time he donated his hair and would consider doing it again.

"I think Sharon has a great thing going here. I really hope that she reaches her goal of how many inches she would like to get. I would encourage people to go out and support her in this venture."