Soldiers Donate their Hair to Children with Cancer

February 27, 2012  

Dozens of hair salons across Israel are offering free haircuts, to men and women who are about to begin their military service, on the condition that the cut hair will be used for wings to benefit children with cancer.

When Corporal Daniel Segal of the Nahal Brigade joined the army, he knew he was going to have to part with his long blond hair. “It’s certainly something that defined me for a long time,” he said. “I haven’t really gotten a hair cut since the eighth grade.”

Before joining the army, Daniel attended a military preparatory program (mechina), where he was taught the value of volunteer activities, especially with children. “In mechina I thought a lot about how I could find myself …. A week before the beginning of my military service I decided I had to do it [donate my hair].”

After a short search on the Internet, Daniel found the organization “Zichron Menachem,” an organization dedicated to supporting children with cancer and their families. One of their projects is donating hair to make wigs for sick children.

“Although everyone told me that I could make thousands of shekels on my hair… I didn’t want to make money. I wanted to my hair to profit children with cancer,” Daniel said.

“The issue of hair is part of coping with cancer, and many of the patients are deeply traumatized by the significant hair loss, because this is actually the person’s signature,” explained the center’s Executive Director, Haim Erntel.  

He continued to state that “the average child with cancer needs a wig for a year at least,” often, for longer, in which case the child would  require an additional wig.

A wig made of real hair can cost thousands of shekels, but because of hair donations these wigs are available to the children free of charge.

“I was really proud of myself that I contributed to this effort, and when I received the certificate of appreciation by mail it made me feel really good,” Daniel said. “I guess sometimes I miss the hair, but I highly recommend that anyone who is about to go into the army consider donating their hair. Just think of a six year old child who is sick with cancer and what you can do to help.” 

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