Locks of Love receives gift from 15-year-old

Barry Neal BeforeBarry Neal After

Barry Neal, a 15-year-old Palmetto Bay resident, had long hair — very long hair. After growing it for over two years, it reached a length well beyond his shoulders, way down to the middle of his back.

When Neal learned of Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that accepts donations of human hair in order to make hairpieces for economically disadvantaged children suffering from long-term diseases that result in hair loss, he visited the organization’s website.

 Then, after downloading the donation form, Neal visited Great Clips, a new location in West Kendall owned by franchisee Carlos Rivera. This salon, located at 14681 SW 104 St. (in the Shoppes at 104), donates haircutting service for people who donate their hair to Locks for Love.

Great Clips stylist Benita Alonso carefully separated Neal’s hair into several bundles, securing each with tightly wound rubber bands. She then measured and cut each hair bundle, resulting in four 12-inch sections for donation. Rivera immediately collected the donation, packaging it very carefully, and placing it into a shipping box destined for Locks of Love.

Rivera said that he had only been open a few weeks at that time, but already had seen several people come in to donate their hair. He said that all of them were young, but Neal was the youngest donor he had seen at his salon.

 When asked why he decided to cut his hair after growing it for so long, Neal said that he did it in order to make the donation. Locks of Love still is looking for hair donations, with a minimum required length of 10 inches of hair available to cut. More information is available online at www.locksoflove.org.

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