‘Touching day’: Local beautician helps two women make generous donation to Locks of Love

After — Darcy Smith, the beautician behind Darcy’s Hair Boutique in Youngsville, now has the privilege of making the generous donation of 26 inches of Lisa Turk and Denise McGee’s hair to the Locks of Love organization.

When most people are asked to envision a salon, hairdresser or beautician they usually see a couple of women sitting in chairs all talking, smiling and telling stories. This, however, was far from the scene at Darcy’s Hair Boutique in Youngsville last week.

It was an “emotionally raw but touching day” for hairdresser Darcy Smith, who had the pleasure of cutting 26 inches of hair from the heads of Warren native Lisa Turk and her friend from childhood, Denise McGee, of York, Maine. The 26 inches of hair will now be donated to the Locks of Love organization.

Locks of Love, established in 2016, is a well known charity which creates custom hair pieces for children suffering from medical hair loss completely free of charge. Recipients are “financially disadvantaged children, age 21 and under, suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis,” including alopecia areata, burn victims, cancer survivors, etc., according to the organization’s website.

Turk and McGee, as childhood friends, had been planning to make this donation since they were locked indoors, a few years back due to COVID. The donation and the act of growing out the length of their hair for the past few years was a way for Turk and McGee to honor Turk’s own mother, who suffered from a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Turk’s mother recently lost her long-fought battle with cancer, so McGee flew from her home in Maine to be with her friend and to remember Turk’s mother fondly during the funeral services. It was at this time the two women, reflecting back to those earlier COVID discussions and the long months of hair care and maintenance, decided the time had come to visit Darcy Smith’s salon and donate the extra length.

Before — Saying goodbye to their long, beautiful hair — Lisa Turk, of Warren, and Denise McGee, of York, Maine, pose for a photo just before walking into Darcy Smith’s Hair Boutique in Youngsville last week — where they made a donation of 26 inches of hair to the organization Locks of Love.

In fact, Turk’s mother had been battling cancer for so long, and she was also touched by a friend in her youth passing away suddenly due to breast cancer, according to Smith, “so this was actually Lisa’s third time donating to the Locks of Love organization.”

“This donation was so endearing and unique,” explained Smith. “In my 48 years of experience, I have never had the opportunity to cut and donate the length from two individuals before in a single day. I am just tickled to death to be able to make this donation. Being a good friend of Lisa’s, this has really been a journey and experience for me, as well. We grow old with the heart.”

The donation of 26 inches of hair surrendered by these women will be utilized by the Locks of Love organization to create not just a “wig,” for a child in need, but what is called a “full cranial prosthesis,” according to the Locks of Love organization.

A full cranial prosthesis is a unique and custom hair piece made to fit only one child. Recipients are required to provide a mold of their heads before the hair pieces are created. Then by utilizing the exact mold of each individual’s head, previously provided, the organization fashions the Locks of Love hair piece.

These hair pieces go a long way in providing security to a child suffering from complete hair loss due to the fact that their customization makes them feel more natural — like having real hair — they do not require double-sided tape or glue for a secure fit. In fact, their unique design and a silicone base allow for a vacuum-like fit.

Locks of Love donation requirements dictate that an individual looking to donate their hair be ready to surrender at least ten inches, measured from tip to tip, as the minimum length which can be donated.

According to the organization’s website ideal donations consist of hair length, rather than thickness. In some instances, shorter donations, less than the ten-inch requirement and donations of gray hair are accepted — however, these donations run the risk that they will not be incorporated into any Locks of Love donated hairpiece, the organization’s website warns.

For more information about the Locks of Love mission, or to make a donation visit https://locksoflove.org/.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Darcy Smith, visit the Darcy’s Hair Boutique Facebook page and send a message or call (814) 489-3210.


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