OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- More than 100 girls at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park got a haircut Friday, and they did it to donate their hair to cancer survivors.
Year after year, girls at St. Thomas do their hair. They brush it, tie it in bands, and make sure it's just right. However, it's not for beauty, but for those who lost their loved ones to cancer.
This is the 11th year for the event, but this year was extra special for one senior.
"It's just kind of surreal that all of these girls are giving their hair," said senior Maggie Gould, who last her mother to breast cancer. "It's a piece of us, and it's beautiful how all of these girls have the confidence in themselves and others to donate that hair."
On Friday, Gould stood up in front of hundreds in her schools auditorium to tell them what having a wig meant to her mother.
"The first time my mom lost her hair she was absolutely lost. She had no idea on what to do with her life. Before she lost it she had the most beautiful amazing blonde hair, and now she was just waking up with less and less of it," Gould said.
She held up a bag of her mother's hair, telling the crowd that although it may seem "gross," the hair was so important to her mother that she kept it.
The hair the girls cut has been donated to Missy's Boutique at KU's Cancer Center.
"My mom got her wig from there," Gould said.
She held up her mother's wig to show the audience how natural it looks.
"It's actually really nice feeling, and you can't actually tell it's a wig because it looks so real from the girls like all of you who are donating their hair," Gould said.
On Friday, the senior let go of her locks once again so someone like her mom can find confidence again -- if just for a while.
Gould stood in front of the crowd and was the first to cut her hair.
"This right here will grow back, and it will be the exact same," Gould said. "We may not like it for a few weeks or months, but at least it's not forever."
More than 100 girls cut their hair together at the ceremony, letting go, knowing that tomorrow it will start to grow again.
"This event here at Aquinas has shaped me as a teenager, and really made me who I am, and I'm so thankful for this, and this school," Gould said. "It feels good. I feel proud to be my mom's daughter, and that other people get to use it."
Over the past 11 years, St. Thomas Aquinas girls donated more than 1,200 ponytails. To be eligible each ponytail must be at least 8 inches long.