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Ted Berry getting his hair cut by Autumn St. Clair. Berry decided he wanted to donate his long locks to charity.
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When 15-year-old Ted Berry of Alton went to get his hair cut recently, he knew he was actually getting someone else’s hair cut.
For more than a year, Ted has been growing a mane of luxurious locks with the intention of donating it to Locks of Love.
“He could hardly put it in a ponytail,” his mother, Robin Berry, says.
Berry, who will be a sophomore this fall at Alton High School, had wanted to grow out his hair but liked his mother’s suggestion of eventually donating his efforts to help someone else.
At well past shoulder length, Ted had enough to not only donate to Locks of Love, but 12-inch ponytails to Wigs for Kids and Pantene Beautiful Lengths, as well.
Autumn St. Clair with a national hair salon chain performed the mop-ectomy.
“I think that’s the most hair I have ever cut off a person,” she said. “He had taken care of it; it was in good shape. Sometimes we get one small ponytail that is barely 8 inches, and Ted’s was a good 12 inches long.”
Ted’s donation was also special because of the good condition it was in. Autumn said men tend to do less damage to their hair (such as coloring, blow drying and curling), which makes it a better contribution and a better contender for the wig-making process. His reddish hue was an advantage, as well.
“You don’t see many people with that color hair (donating their locks),” she said.
Ted also was not donating out of concern or obligation to any family member battling cancer, but simply from a desire to help others.
While he no doubt felt “lighter” after the locks were cut, Ted’s mother says he really didn’t mind the mane at all.
“I think people asked questions at the beginning, but he just kept doing it because he knew he wanted to keep doing it,” Robin says. “It was something that he could do that nobody else could take away from him. It was something that he had control over.”
Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids are nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing wigs to children who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths focuses on providing wigs for women who are fighting cancer. To learn more, including requirements on hair donations, visit www.locksoflove.org, www.wigsforkids.org or www.pantene.com/BeautifulLengths.