Little Village High School students, graduates pay it forward by donating their hair

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nearly 30 Little Village-Lawndale High School students and graduates donated their hair Wednesday afternoon.

"It's going to be something different, something cool and something good," student coordinator Jasmine Padilla said.

The girls donated to We Share Hair, an organization dedicated to providing wigs to children with hair loss due to medical conditions.

"I wanted to donate was because my mom had cancer last year," graduate Paola Almendarez said. "I would have liked people to donate for her, so I want to do the same favor for people. Donating your hair is a little thing you can do for other people but it's a lot to them."

The young women were excited to give back and get a new look before the summer started, even though they're defying cultural norms.

"Cutting your hair, especially as a girl and a Hispanic, it's a big deal," Padilla said.

"As Mexicans, we always have to have our long hair. You know, I feel like that's one of our stereotypes as women and I feel like it's time to stop that," Almendarez said.

Four stylists from XEX Hair in the Loop came down to the school to do the free cuts, which usually cost $65.

"You don't necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg to get a good style," XEX stylist Keara Rusak said. "Yes, we do have the prices that we charge, but you know for these girls, doing something nice just gives you those warm and fuzzies inside."

Many of the girls haven't cut their hair since they were children. Now that they're headed to college, some of them the first in their families to attend, they're ready for a new look.

"I'm going to be like a new woman," Almendarez said.
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