MILWAUKEE — If you have a teenage daughter, you know how important your hair is.
But close to 100 students at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee chopped off at least eight inches of their hair for kids in need.
Alexandra Sandoval is a senior at the high school and has donated her hair four times, but the anxiety leading up to it never goes away.
"It's scary being there in the hot seat right when they're about to cut your hair, but it's always so worth it," Sandoval said.
For 20 years, DSHA has organized an all-school hair cut assembly as part of its mission to serve others. This year's event benefits the Michigan-based nonprofit Children With Hair Loss. The organization provides free hairpieces every year to hundreds of kids who need it. The school has donated more than 1,800 ponytails, which it says is valued at $500,000.
Mikayla Marcero has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the hair follicles. She lives in Michigan and has received a hairpiece every year from the nonprofit. Thanks to donors, she's gotten different colors and loves the pieces with long hair. Now at age 26, she's as confident without her hairpieces as she is wearing them.
"They're giving up something that's, like, really important to them, you know," Marcero said. "It's a part of your femininity."
Music and laughter filled the auditorium as dozens of girls lost inches off their hair. Sandoval cherishes the event, and she's more thrilled to help others in need.
"They are rocking my hair," Sandoval said. "Like that's my hair that they're wearing. Like I'm making someone else feel happy, making someone else feel appreciated and like confident in themselves."