With just a few snips, Audrey Yurtinus lost about 12 inches of her long, reddish blonde hair.
Yurtinus, a 1991 Douglas High School graduate and eighth-grade health teacher in Las Vegas, donated her mane on Wednesday morning to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to low-income children who have long-term medical hair loss.
Yurtinus got the idea from a teacher who works across the hall from her, who donates her hair about every two years.
"'Your hair is so long and straight,' the teacher told me," Yurtinus said. "She said I should really donate it."
Yurtinus said she does not personally know any children that could benefit from her donation, but is happy to give to an important cause.
Her hair was cut at Platinum Plus Salon and Day Spa at 716 N. Carson St. by stylist Diane Klustka, Yurtinus' hairdresser for the past 15 years.
"She doesn't trust anyone to do her hair down there [in Vegas]," said Yurtinius' mother, Jaydene Yurtinus.
Klustka snipped the long hair above a rubber band so that it would remain intact for proper mailing. She cut the hair for free.
Stylist Bill Framstead of Platinum Plus said about two customers a week want to donate their hair to Locks of Love. Framstead also collects hair from Liaisons Salon and mails it to Locks of Love when he obtains a substantial quantity.
Yurinus' donation will be combined with about 10 to 15 other ponytails to create a hairpiece for a child aged 6 to 18. Locks of Love receives nearly 2,000 donations a week and has helped about 1,000 children since its creation in 1997, said executive director Susan Stone.
To begin the wig-making process, a silicon cap is crafted to the exact mold of a child's head. Then, 150,000 hairpieces are hand-injected into the cap. Without the donations, the wigs would cost $3,000 to $6,000, Stone said.
"They can swim, sleep, and shower in these things," Stone said. "They are not just hairpieces. With these, the children are not on stage any longer and can live a normal childhood."
Stone said people can apply for up to five different wigs throughout their childhood.
To qualify, parents must provide a tax return, a photograph of the child, a doctor's note and two letters of recommendation.
For information call 1-888-896-1588 or visit online at: www.locksoflove.org