Les Richardson, center, gets two and a half years of hair growth clipped off by Oak Harbor resident Mollie Brodt at the Oak Harbor Relay for Life Saturday. Nathaniel Richardson looks on, awaiting his turn at the sheers. The Richardsons are donating their hair to Wigs For Kids to benefit cancer patients. Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News-Times

Father, son haircuts take on a new meaning at Relay for Life

Mollie Brodt attends Oak Harbor’s Relay for Life each year to lop off some hair.

Brodt opened shop at 8 a.m. Saturday in a tent near the event’s main entrance, available to Relay for Life participants who wanted to donate their hair to any nonprofit organization, such as Wigs For Kids, that use the hair to make wigs for cancer patients.

“Hair’s an identifier. It’s one of those things that we have the ability to change immediately and have that feeling that makes you feel good,” Brodt said. “This way you’re getting it twice — you’re getting a look, and you’re giving someone else a look.”

For father-and-son donors, Les and Nathaniel Richardson, their gifts were more than two years in the growing.

Les Richardson said he was inspired by his son, who donated hair on two previous occasions. The two made a pact in 2015 to grow out their hair and submit to Brodt’s shears at this year’s Relay.

Brodt tied the Richardsons’ hair into several foot-length ponytails, which are the length requirements set by Wigs For Kids, and removed lock after lock.

Nathaniel Richardson said his grandmother, a lung-cancer survivor, first gave him the idea to donate because she helped him understand how something as simple as hair could mean all the difference for someone waging that kind of war.


Nathaniel Richardson shows off the hair that he is donating to Wigs For Kids to to benefit cancer patients. Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News-Times