Ocean Air student donates ‘Locks of Love’

Melanie An and hair stylist Kai Mateo at Bambino’s Salon in Carmel Valley with hair donation to “Locks of Love.”

Melanie An, 12, a resident of Carmel Valley, found out a way to help children who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. She decided two years ago to grow her hair out long enough for a donation to the program Locks of Love.

The organization Locks of Love helps children who have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses provided via donations such as Melanie’s help to restore the children’s self-esteem and confidence enabling them to face the world and their peers. Many come from financially disadvantaged households.

The 6th grade student at Ocean Air Elementary heard about the cause through a family friend who is a doctor at Rady’s Children’s Hospital. Melanie says, “I knew this was something I wanted to do because it helps kids who are going through some rough times and I just want to make it a little bit easier for them any way I can.”

The minimum donation length is 10 inches measured from tip to tip so there is enough hair for a hair piece. It also has to be in a ponytail or braid before it is cut. Donors can opt to go to a participating hair salon such as Bambino’s Salon for Kids in Carmel Valley, where Melanie went, or mail it in directly. Information on the program can be found at the link:

Bambino’s Salon owner Erika Marier decided to offer complimentary hair cuts to children who come in to donate on a Tuesday or Thursday. She says, “We are a salon geared towards kids so it makes sense to offer a reward to those who think of others.” Hair donors receive a certificate of acknowledgement in the mail for their contribution.

Bambino’s Salon: 12980 Carmel Country Rd., San Diego, CA 92130;

(858) 259-5887;