13 inches of hair helps kids
AVON- A large silvery mirror hanging in front of Samantha “Scooby” Katz revealed no sign of nervousness or fear from her. Across the room, the 13-year-old’s mother’s anxiety was showing through her eyes, noticeable to everyone in the tiny hair salon. Those who came to support Scooby in cutting off 13 inches of her three feet of hair could almost see her mother’s thoughts as they raced through her mind. “I hope she knows what she’s doing,” Natalie Katz’s eyes seemed to say. “What if it’s too much or not enough. What if she can’t put it in pig tails anymore?”
Scooby’s decision to cut her hair for Locks of Love – a charity that uses human hair to make wigs for children who have no hair due to disease or from burns – was comforting, her mother said.Having raised Samantha alone since birth, and watching her sun-kissed, light brown hair grow with her, it was hard for her to watch her daughter change her appearance and become more and more of a woman each day, Katz said.”Her hair has been so much a part of who she is,” Natalie Katz said. “She is a model and we wanted to be sure it was still going to be long enough, but I am just so proud of her for doing such a great thing by donating her hair.”Samantha Katz has been featured in Child Magazine, and was recently hired by Vail Resorts to be a child model for their advertisements, Katz said.With so many things for teenage girls in middle school to worry about – what lunch table to sit at, how to get a cute boy to notice them and what to do after school with their friends – it can sometimes be hard to get them focused on anything outside of their immediate world, Natalie Katz said.”When you can get young people to think about something other than themselves, that’s always a great thing,” said Christopher Ralston, co-owner of Bang’lz Salon who cut Samantha’s hair. “Locks of Love is a great organization, and she has such pretty hair to donate.”Friends Alison Bukacek and Carmen Castillo inspired Scooby to cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love, Scooby said.”I heard about it from somewhere before, and just thought it would be great if Scooby could do it,” Bukacek said. “I’ve been trying to get my cousin to do it, and maybe now that Scooby has my cousin will too.”
Inspired by her friends’ suggestion, Scooby asked her mother what she thought about the idea, and together they decided it would be fitting to cut 13 inches in honor of Samantha’s 13th Birthday, Katz said.”She has always been a good girl,” Natalie Katz said. “She does very well in school, and she has an amazing personality. This is just one more thing for me as a mom to be so proud of her for, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate her birthday.””Her donation will go to such a great cause, and it’s also good karma in return for all the good things the people in this valley have done for us,” she added.Aside from how good it made her feel to donate her hair, Scooby said there is a “bonus.””I will be able to wash it all at once now,” Scooby said. “And when I sit down I won’t sit on it or have it be all dragging and touching the floor.”After declaring how much lighter it felt, Scooby said, “I’m so happy I decided to do this, and I hope whoever gets the hair is as happy as I am.”Would she do it again?”I’m thinking maybe 16 inches for my 16th birthday,” Scooby said to her mother. “Maybe next time you can do it, too.””Sixteen for your 16th, and maybe 18 for your 18th birthday,” her month said. “I think it looks great, and however short you want to go is up to you sweetie.”Staff writer Alison Miller can be reached at 748-2928 or email@example.com.