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The excitement and nerves were palpable, and the cheering, clapping nearly deafening, at Wenona’s third annual ponytail donation which saw 42 girls’ ponytails get the chop in the Independent Theatre on Wednesday.
Expressions on the faces of six girls perched on stools on stage were priceless as they had their 15-20cm locks placed in their hands by Sydney TAFE Hairdressing and Barbering School teachers. Paul Frasca, co-founder of Sustainable Salons Australia, kept up the momentum as MC for the event and encouraged the next girls to take the stage.
Year 12 student Holly donated 15 cm but “wished hers was longer so she could donate more”.
The mass ponytail donation is made through Sustainable Salons Australia — which rescues 95% of a salon’s waste from landfill. These ponytails will be given to Variety the Children’s Charity which sends them to New Zealand wigmakers then gives proceeds to families who need to buy wigs, worth thousands of dollars, for their children with cancer or alopecia.
The 2017 event was organised by two final-year students, Charlotte Doughty and Xanthe Muston, who took on the project from founder, Miranda Ilchef, a 2016 graduate. Miranda, who was inspired to create the 2015 event by her aunt’s hair loss through chemotherapy, was there this week to cheer donors onto the stage.
“It’s small things like a wig that bring a huge amount of comfort and normality to children whose lives have been overturned by cancer treatment or alopecia,” Miranda said.
“And it’s easy for us to make this huge difference because we don’t have to do anything to grow our hair, it just happens, yet donating our hair can mean so much to others”