Special Education Student Donates to Locks of Love

Samantha Winn, Co-Writing Editor

Over 12 inches.

That’s how much hair was cut off for senior Sheyenne Morris.

Though cutting off a foot of hair for any other person would be just to change up their look, for Morris, it’s about functionality.

Sheyenne Morris is special needs.

“In our class, the biggest thing we are trying to do is teach the kids to be functionally independent on their own, and her hair is so long and her arms aren’t that long, so she can’t even brush it herself or wash it,” Sharon O’Keefe, Morris’ teacher said.

O’Keefe and Student Teacher Emaleigh Watson — a senior from the College of Charleston — worked together finding a solution to help Morris.

“I showed her videos of the girls who had donated hair and she saw and girls who had hair really long so she could see how pretty it still was cut short and I just asked her ‘Is this something that you think you might want to do… and she just smiled and she said yes,” O’Keefe said. “So we just kept talking about it then to be sure…so she came in and all day today, she hadn’t been nervous…. So she was very excited for it and I couldn’t be happier and she can take care of her hair herself.”

Before the big haircut, O’Keefe, Morris, and Watson made a trip to the Cosmetology department and had discussions with her mother for approval.

Finally the day came. With Morris’ hair sectioned off into several ponytails, she sat down in the chair. Her hair was brushed, it was time.

Snip Snip.

Her life got easier in an instant.

“How much it is going to help Sheyenne to be so independent and how generous and brave she is because she has had this hair,” O’Keefe said. “I’ve known her for six seven years and she’s always had this hair. And just how brave she is to finally make such a big change and cut it, and to help someone else.”

Watson decided to donate her hair to Locks of Love as well.

“I didn’t know if Sheyenne would do it or not, and I think it would be great for her to have someone to do it with, so I did it,” Watson said.

“She can like comb it and wash it herself and before she couldn’t,” Watson continued. “So now she can style it and brush it and so if my hair is short, I can show her like ‘oh this is how we do it’.”

O’Keefe thought it beneficial to get the student body involved in her haircut and donation.

“I just thought it would be perfect. I mean she is a Wando student and to get the whole of Wando — my sister is a cosmetologist and originally I was just going to have her come to the classroom and do it and I thought, look this is a Wando thing to have Wando cosmetology cut a Wando student….make it Wando all around,” O’Keefe said.

With Wando support, O’Keefe hoped it would make Morris feel special.

“I also told her that y’all would be out here and she would be a little special movie star and getting her picture taken and that just made her smile more,” O’Keefe said.

After the haircut, Morris smiled as she held the cut hair in her hand for the picture.

“I’m happy,” Morris said. “I like it.”