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How to save lives--one haircut at a time

There are tons of articles on this website—and countless others—about things you can do with your hair. Tress tricks, hair hacks, summer styles, perfect products.

But there’s one more thing you can do with your hair that you might not have considered yet: You can shave it all off, like 16-year-old Ohio native Katie Gusinger.

This spring marked the fourth time that Katie completely shaved her head to help raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity dedicated to funding childhood cancer research. To date, she’s raised more than $20,000 to help kids conquer cancer—and her selfless move is majorly inspiring.

We caught up with Katie to find out how her chop-for-charity movement got started…and how other girls can help make a difference, too.

GL: What gave you the idea to shave your hair for fundraising?

Katie: I started getting involved in 2011, when someone I knew was diagnosed with a brain tumor. My grandpa died from a brain tumor two years before, and my heart just really went out to my friend. I set up a veggie stand and sold bracelets to help raise money for the family. And then in 2013, I just decided to take it to the next level and shave my head in solidarity with two kids who has been diagnosed with cancer.

GL: Were you scared of what you’d look like or how your friends and classmates would react?

Katie: Honestly, I really had no fears about doing it. I was more worried about how it would look growing back than how it would look completely bald! Everyone in my school has been really supportive since my first shave. Sometimes people do ask me if I’m a boy…but I just think that’s funny. When people ask me questions or make comments, it’s an opportunity for me to tell them about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and raise more awareness for my cause—so it’s a good thing!

GL: How long will you continue to cut?

Katie: My plan is to do it each year until I’m a senior in high school—and maybe even after that. Hair grows back…so why not just do it? There’s nothing like the feeling of donating and seeing how happy it can make other people.

There are tons of ways to get involved with fundraising for St. Baldrick’s—shaving your head is just one of them! Click here to learn more.

Have you ever rasied money for charity, like Katie did? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Katie Gusinger.

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by Vanessa Tropona | 6/30/2016