Over the past eight years more than 200 students at Killarney Secondary have cut their hair to make wigs for cancer patients.
This year Grade 10 student Vy Nguyen gave up her ponytail at the annual Cutting Edge hair donation event, and she's more than keen to do it. "It's for such a good cause," she said.
Hair donors receive professional cuts from hairstylists who volunteer their time at the event. Some students without the minimum eight inches of hair to donate opted instead to shave their heads and raise pledges to support the cause.
"I had someone in my family who had cancer and I want to give back," said Grade 11 student Jesse Boutilier as his hair fell to the ground around him.
The event also gave students a chance to challenge social norms of beauty.
"A lot of people are afraid of cutting their hair short because they're afraid it won't look good," said second-time hair donor Ashleen Hundal as the hairstylist combed through her now short hair. "But donating is a really good thing to do, and I discovered last year that I like having short hair," added the Grade 10 student.
Organizers of this year's event, Grade 10 students Lauren Lowe and Michelle Yang, are proud to see the event come together. "Cancer affects a lot of people and sometimes getting a wig for a woman, or even a man, can help return a sense of normality to their lives," said Lowe.
Yang and Lowe hope to see the event continue at Killarney long after they graduate. They plan to pass on the torch after they leave high school, just as previous graduates had passed the torch to them.