In August 2004, Sterling hairstylist Suzanna Spears gave her best friend, Adele Bernard, an unusual haircut. She shaved her head.
Two years ago, Bernand was diagnosed with cervical and lung cancer. She asked Spears to shave her head before she received chemotherapy.
"I didn’t want to see my hair fall out," Bernard said.
After she shaved her friend’s head, Spears made a decision to grow her hair out and donate to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that donates hairpieces to children 18 and under with long-term illnesses, such as alopecia areata, a form of hair loss which has no known cause or cure, and cancer.
FOR MORE than two years, Spears worked hard to grow her hair long. She grew out her chemically processed hair and cut off split ends.
"I really wanted to donate healthy hair," Spears said. "If someone’s going to be wearing my hair, I want it to look really good."
On Monday, July 10, Spears’ family and friends gathered around a black leather swivel chair at Bristles and Sheers Hair Salon in Sterling, to celebrate the cut. Adele Bernard, and her husband, Scott Bernard, took turns cutting individual ponytails from Spears head. Her grandmother, grandfather and siblings took turns as well.
Fifteen minutes later, fellow hairstylist Mikala McCarthy handed Spears 40 small ponytails.
"Suzy, you’re gonna make a difference," Scott Bernard said.
"I hope so," Spears replied.
AFTER THE preliminary cut, Spears ran her hands through her hair. Next to her work station, Spears tacked up a picture of a model with a similar cut.
"I didn’t know how my hair would look short, but I love it," she said.
The Locks of Love mission is to help restore self-esteem and confidence with prostheses.
"I don’t have a whole lot of money to donate to research, but I do have nice hair," Spears said.
Adele Bernard reminded her friend that it’s not all about the research, but feeling good about yourself.
"When you look good, you feel good," Adele Bernard said.
"I think I’ll do it again," Spears said. "This isn’t scary."