The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 9, 2013

Teen loses locks

BY MARY WICOFF
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — It took three years for Maddy Sermersheim to grow out her golden tresses — and a few seconds to lose them. “This will make some little girl a beautiful new wig,” hairstylist Shannon Rothery said after she handed the 15-inch ponytail to Maddy.

Maddy, 13, a seventh-grader at Schlarman Academy, decided last week that it was time to donate her long hair to Locks of Love, which provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Rothery, owner of Head to Toe Salon, said she’s cut hair many times for girls who wanted to donate to Locks of Love. But Maddy takes the record for having the longest donation.

Most donations are 12 inches, she said.

During the long-awaited haircut, Maddy was accompanied by her mother, Georgette Sermersheim — her father, Charlie, was unable to make it — and two friends, Olivia Stout and CeCe Strader.

Maddy said she’s involved in a lot of sports — swimming, softball, volleyball, track and cheerleading — so it will be easier to take care of shorter hair. Also, the long hair was starting to hurt.

She got the idea to donate from her cousin, Molly, who has donated hair two or three times.

Georgette said her daughter took care of her long hair — knowing it would be donated to someone else — and had it trimmed every three months. But, she added, “It’s a lot of work.”

After Rothery gathered Maddy’s hair into a ponytail, she spent a few seconds cutting through it. When she held up the ponytail, wide-eyed Maddy exclaimed “Oh, my gosh!”

“You look cute! Don’t worry,” CeCe said.

“Think of the bright side,” Olivia chimed in. “You’re giving it to help someone.”

As Rothery trimmed Maddy’s hair and styled it, her friends busily sent photos to other friends through their phones. One friend said, “I’m going to miss your hair more than you are.”

Finally, with the shorter, swingy hairstyle in place, Maddy modeled her new look for her mother and friends.

“You look beautiful,” Olivia said.

“I love it,” CeCe added.

“It’s going to be so great for the swim team,” Maddy said.

Maddy said she’s going to begin the long-hair growing process all over again, and hopes to donate again in a few years.

FYI

Learn more about Locks of Love at http://www.locksoflove.org.