Call it a case of "shear" kindheartedness.
Sequim resident Lynette Groves wasn’t expecting to make the first donation, much less the fourth.
But last week, she was back in Maria Cisneros’ salon chair at Fifth Avenue Retirement Center, getting her tresses cut for the Locks of Love charity.
Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization providing hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under 18 in the United States and Canada who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
Groves heard about the Florida-based group in 1999 on a talk show and the idea germinated.
"At the time, my hair was past my waist and I loved it," Groves says. "I thought about what my hair meant to me and how it makes me feel. My hair gives me confidence; it makes me feel beautiful, secure and unique. Not everyone can grow their hair as long as I have, I feel good about myself and what I have accomplished. I thought, if I feel this strongly about my hair, how a young girl must feel about not having any hair and her parents not having money to buy her a wig."
When she told her family of her plans, her daughter, Jennifer Hilliard, decided to donate her hair as well. On Jan. 24, 2000, for the first time since her junior prom, Groves sat in beautician’s chair, and off came the locks.
"It made me feel good that my hair will give a young girl confidence and help make her feel more beautiful, secure and unique," Groves says. "I cried as Maria cut my long locks, I was going to miss my long hair, never thinking it would be long again."
Three years later, her hair was long enough to donate once again – at least 10 inches.
"I never thought about (hair) being a renewable resource," Groves says.
In October 2003 she was back in Cisneros’ chair donating 12-plus inches more hair to Locks of Love, and again in April 2006.
Last week, Groves went back to Cisneros for a Locks of Love donation for what she insists is the last time.
"My hair is getting thinner and there is a lot more gray in it," Groves says. "Time to have it styled (which I have never done) and maybe have it colored."
Since 2000, Groves has donated nearly six feet of hair.