May 1, 2012 10:30 PM by Ariel Wesler

8th graders take up hair care challenge to fight cancer

Eighth graders at St. Mary's school in Santa Maria are challenging themselves when it comes to hair care. They have decided not to use any hair products for an entire month. A student came up with the project she's calling "Step Towards Beautiful" with money benefiting cancer patients.

Remember what it's like to be a teenager? You're judged on just about everything, especially how you look. Students can wash and condition their hair, but cannot use hairspray, gel, mousse, or any other hairstyle product.

The class is determined to prove it's what's inside that counts.

For Isabella Aguilar, 13, this wasn't just some hair-brained idea.

"One day, I didn't wear any hair product in my hair and I was thinking, about how hair product makes such a difference for people," she said.

So, she decided to ask her 8th grade class to get in touch with their inner beauty and raise money to fight cancer by going without hair products for an entire month.

"A lot of people freaked out. One kid even said he was going to shave his head," Aguilar said.

Their teacher, Mrs. Yates was surprised to say the least. Because they wear uniforms, their freedom of expression is already limited.

"They're teenagers and they're giving up their hair?! It's amazing to me. I was blown away," Yates said.

Every Friday for a month, the class will donate at least one dollar. The money will go to support Santa Maria's new Mission Hope Cancer Center.

"I really hope that it will help find a cure for cancer to help those people who don't have hair feel beautiful without it," Aguilar said.

That's not to say the project didn't leave some feeling, shall we say, a little self-conscious?

"A few of the guys had a harder time than the girls did," Yates said.

The students hope the project spreads to other grade levels and even other schools. The class has already raised almost $60 dollars since it started the fundraising project last Friday.


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