UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — Upper West Side native Caleb Rosenfeld first donated his hair to cancer patients in 3rd grade. In the near-decade since, the now high school student has turned that early childhood experience into an ongoing drive that inspires others to cut their locks for a good cause.
Introducing — Cutting It With Caleb.
Rosenfeld describes it as “an ongoing hair drive I started in 6th grade that encourages and spreads the word about hair donation, about its importance, and helps with the actual process of donating the hair.”
As of February 2021, the hair drive has helped collect 203 ponytails and 2,156.5 inches of hair for charity.
That’s 179 feet of donated hair.
A different type of breakdown reveals it’s the equivalent of donating 25 Shaquille O’Neal’s worth of hair, 32 Tom Cruises, or 71 golden retrievers.
Rosenfeld aims to collect at least 3,000 inches of hair by the end of 2021.
The high school student lists multiple reasons why hair donation is special, but he highlighted:
“You are never going to know who gets your hair, you’re never actually going to see the person who benefits from it, oppositely, they are never going to see you,” Rosenfeld told Patch. “So one of the really special parts of this is that for all I know, halfway across the world or even in my neighborhood, I could pass someone on the street who is wearing my hair and who is benefitting from my hair.”
Rosenfeld recently donated his hair for the fifth time since 3rd grade.
“For hair donation, anybody can do it, especially as a younger kid,” he told Patch. “I remember thinking, ‘what can I really do as a 3rd grade, how can I really make an impact,’ and this is something with no age requirements, no special talents, no socioeconomic barriers, anyone can do it.”
In a possible pandemic silver lining, Cutting It With Caleb saw a slight uptick in hair donations as people weren’t able to get their regularly scheduled haircuts during the spring and summer months.
The ongoing drive also helps those wanting to donate find a barbershop for the cut and the process after of making sure the hair gets properly donated.
Rosenfeld partners with the hair salon Ellie’s Hair Design on 243 East 84th Street, which will give you a haircut and styling for free if you’re donating the locks after.
Additionally, Cutting It With Caleb recently launched a new initiative with the organization Hair We Share, which makes specialized hats for children experiencing hair loss.
To find out more about Cutting It With Caleb and its different initiatives, you can visit its website here.
If you want to take it a step further and are interested in donating hair, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.