Stylist Kara Relyea of Paulding’s Hair Off The Square is hosting a Cut-A-Thon Saturday, October 14 at 3 p.m. at the Paulding Eagles located at 206 W Perry St.
Relyea has partnered with the non-profit organization Children With Hair Loss (CWHL) to help raise awareness, funds and natural hair to provide wigs for children and young adults facing medically related hair loss.
This cause is very close to Relyea’s heart. Relyea’s five-year-old daughter, Aubree, has an autoimmune disorder known as Alopecia. Before Aubree turned four years old, she had lost all of her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Set to start preschool that August, Aubree was afraid to go, worried how the kids in school might react. All those who knew Aubree knew her to be a confident child, and to see her struggle weighed heavily on her family.
The Relyeas reached out to Children With Hair Loss, and by the time Aubree was ready to start school, the organization had provided her with a wig. Aubree went to school on day one with her wig and gradually started going without it. The organization had not only given her what she needed to feel secure, but it also gave her back her confidence and the ability to thrive and she grew to love going to school.
Aubree turns six in February, and though this is a condition she will live with forever, Relyea reports that her hair is growing back and she has her brows and lashes back. “Giving back to Children With Hair Loss is just a tiny fraction of what they have given back to us,” says Relyea.
CWHL Founder Regina Villemure, a former cosmetology instructor, stylist and hair replacement specialist, started CWHL after her niece, Sarah, was diagnosed with Leukemia at age three. Through Sarah’s five years of chemotherapy treatments, Villemure witnessed many children who had lost their hair and wore synthetic wigs made for adults. Given Villemure’s experience in the hair industry, she knew human hair looked most natural on children, however, natural wigs are very costly and knew most families were unable to afford them. From this experience, Villemure made it her mission to “Cover Young Heads to Heal Young Hearts.”
Each wig costs $1,500 to make. Relyea hopes to raise money for wigs and donate hair that will go to other children who can be helped as much as Aubree has.
Relyea expressed her immense gratitude for the outpouring of support, saying “This community has shown us so much love and grace, there is nowhere else I want to live and raise my children. The response we have already gotten for this event is beyond mind-blowing. God has given us an opportunity to give back and I am so thankful we have the community to help do this big.”
100% of the hair and proceeds donated at this event will go directly to (CWHL). For those willing to donate their hair, it must be at least 8 inches in length. Haircutting will begin at 3 p.m. followed by a free will donation dinner at 5 p.m. and the live auction to begin around 6 p.m. Be sure to bring all the kiddos as there will be an Art Me Party with face painting, rock painting, and a visit from Justin the Clown at 6 p.m.
For more ways you can help children with hair loss, visit childrenwithhairloss.org.