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No Short Cuts for Rebecca Phillips

May 25, 2018

Rebecca Phillips BeforeAfter graduation, Physician Assistant student, Rebecca Phillips, did what most students do after commencement. She posed for pictures, went out to eat with family, and celebrated with her friends. But what Rebecca did that most students don’t do, is get her first haircut in four years.

“When I was in high school I learned of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign and Ioved the idea of turning my hair into wigs for those fighting cancer,” says Rebecca. “I grew my hair out throughout high school and donated it after graduation. I thought I would do the same throughout four years of college.”

As her hair grew longer, the urge to cut it began to creep in. “I was tempted many times to cut my hair but I knew it would be worth it in the end. I was blessed with healthy hair, and I think it is the least I can do to help those who lose their hair as a result of cancer treatment.”

Many people who lose their hair because of chemotherapy find comfort in wearing a wig. A hairstyle is just one way of expressing individuality. A wig or hairpiece helps patients establish a look that feels comfortable and familiar. Most patients who wear one agree that when they look good it helps them feel better.

Rebecca Phillips AfterThe day after graduation, Rebecca visited Ross’ Beauty Salon in her hometown of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Sharon Knisely, a hairdresser at the shop, recalls the appointment, “I think it’s wonderful that Rebecca donates her hair. When she made the appointment, we knew that she reached her goal and that someone was going to get her healthy hair. She came in, sat in the chair, and after a few snips over 18 inches of hair was gone.”

After the appointment, the hair is packaged and sent to Pantene headquarters. “I received a note saying that my donation arrived and that four wigs were made from my hair,” said Rebecca.

Rebecca plans to continue to donate her hair for the foreseeable future. “I recommend anyone looking to cut their long hair, to consider donating, says Rebecca. “You have the ability to brighten someone’s day and give them comfort and confidence through what can be a very difficult time.”

Physician Assistant Program