Haircut for a cause: Glenwood Springs local donates his pandemic hairdo to children in need
“How long will you let it grow?”
“Does it get annoying?”
“What are you going to do with it?”
Landon Langer’s decision to grow his hair out during the pandemic was met with many questions. He ended up waiting 15 months between haircuts, albeit with some trims to keep his hair healthy along the way, so that when it did come time for the final cut it would be in great condition to donate to a child in need.
“It wasn’t anything too entirely noble. My dad has donated his hair several times, and I thought that was always kind of cool. … As the pandemic started and kept going — I don’t know, it just became a thing,” Langer, the maintenance manager at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, said. “I decided once the mask ordinance was lifted, if my hair was long enough to donate, I would donate it. If it wasn’t, I would wait until it was.”
Suzanne Mardesen from Grand Hair Designs in Glenwood Springs said Langer was the first man in her 31 years of hairstyling she had come in and donate his hair. She added that she’s always encouraged customers to send their hair to Wigs For Kids, a nonprofit that doesn’t charge for the final wigs and primarily works with children who are losing their hair due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
“It was quite a transformation that’s for sure. … I knew he’d been growing it and waiting for the pandemic to be over before he cut it, that was kind of the premise of it. … He gave me the call and was like, ‘Let’s get it done,’” Mardesen said.
Langer said he was glad to have supported a cause bigger than just seeing how long he could get his hair from the start of the pandemic to the end of the mask ordinance. He took home the sectioned off ponytails after the appointment and mailed them in a boxed ziploc bag for the organization to make into a wig.
“I couldn’t stop smiling through it all. It was entertaining to see how much hair there actually was, and to see that it was something that could help somebody. Because it’s just something that grows on me every day, might as well do something with it,” Langer said.
It takes at least 8 inches of hair to make a donation to Wigs For Kids, and during the process Mardesen will section the hair into ponytails to make sure she’s sending as much as possible. She added that she thought Langer’s choice to give away his hair was amazing, and while it may seem like a small sacrifice, it makes a big difference to the children who are on the receiving end of the wigs.
“I was just thrilled. … That is definitely virgin hair that Wigs For Kids can use for a little one to have a wig,” Mardesen said. “It’s a great organization. They don’t charge the recipients for the hair.”
If you’re tired of rocking the man-bun or just not sure what your upcoming style will be, Langer said he recommends looking into Wigs For Kids and considering a donation that will go a long way to boost a child’s confidence and give them a sense of normalcy.
“If that’s your hairstyle, you want to keep it that way, that’s fine. But if you’re not sure what to do next with your hair, think about donating it. … If you can help someone out who’s in need, it’s a cool way to go about living,” Langer said.
Reporter Jessica Peterson can be reached at 970-279-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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