PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - While long, luscious locks can make a statement, they can also create change.
"Everyone knows like a family member or friend who has cancer," said Pineville High School Junior Keerthi Stanley. "Like, it is such an awful disease, but it is really common too."
That's why Stanley decided to organize a ponytail drive working with Pantene to donate wigs to cancer patients through the American Cancer Society. It's a part of the senior project she is doing a year early.
"There are medical strains and financial strains, they shouldn't have to go through the emotional strains too," Stanley said.
With the help of stylists from Hair Loft in Pineville and her project mentor Katie Vanderlick, everyone was ready to get snipping Thursday.
"It's so important to feel good about yourself," said YWCA Executive Director Katie Vanderlick. "What this program is doing for women and the confidence that it is giving them, I'm just really excited to be a part of that."
One by one students took the plunge, anxious to part with their hair, but excited for a new look.
"I had to like get in the mindset of like, yeah I am cutting all my hair off," said student Kayla Kokemor.
A few even exceeded the 8 inch requirement.
"I love it so much, it's like a whole new person," said Pineville Junior Grace Campbell. "Normally I'm just tired and it's weighted down, but now it's lighter and jumpy."
Stanley participated too. And although her mom Cynthia was reluctant at first, Stanley convinced her to join in on the fun.
"It feels really nice, like it is really different but it's just a good feeling," Stanley said.
While she loves her new look, she is most excited about the 18 ponytails that will go towards a new look for cancer patients.
"It just gives you a lot of confidence, and to be able to give that back to others would mean so much," Stanley said.
Pineville High School students who still want to participate have time to do so. Ponytails can be dropped off at the front office until mid March.