|By Michelle Kealey|
AGAWAM Last Tuesday morning Agawam resident and tattoo artist Chris Conant went from having hair that fell down to his belt-line to having no hair at all.
Conant cut off about two feet of his hair to donate to the Locks of Love program, which creates wigs for children with cancer.
At least 10 inches is needed for a donation and Conant hopes that he has enough hair for two donations.
Prior to his visit to the hair salon last week, Conant said the last time he cut his hair was about six years ago.
He said that he decided to donate his hair to the Locks of Love program when it started to get long again.
He added that his wife, Lesley, told him about the program when his hair was shoulder length.
Conant explained his aunt, Linda Conant, has been battling cancer and going through chemotherapy.
"I looked into donating it for her," he said, adding that once the hair is donated there is no telling where it goes. "I am doing it in honor of her."
He added that he originally planned to grow his hair for another two years, but since his aunt Linda was going through chemotherapy now, he decided to cut it sooner.
Rather than keep some of his hair, Conant decided to go all the way and shave it all off.
A friend of his had shaved off all of his hair and Conant said, "He looked like a different person for the better."
He also said his belief is to "go all the way or don't do it at all."
Before the hair was cut, he said, "I am looking forward to it. I am sick of waking up with it half-way down my throat."
He added, however, that his hair was easy to handle because he did not style it.
When Katie Clifford, owner of Katie Clifford Salon, cut off the two foot ponytail, Conant said, "This is starting to feel cool."
When his haircut was complete and his hair was completely shaved off he said, this feels weird" as he ran his hand over the top of his head.
"I hope after this, people become more aware of [Locks of Love]," Conant said.
Conant's wife Lesley said that she believes what her husband is doing is "wonderful."
She added that she teaches Reiki to cancer patients and the entire family is doing everything to support Linda.
For more information about the Locks of Love program or to find out how to donate hair, visit www.locksoflove.com.