Seneca Valley student Beth Holl recently went through a major breakup—with her hair.
After growing out her brown mane for several years, she chopped off 14 ½ inches last spring and donated it to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, a program that donates wigs made out of real hair to women fighting cancer.
A high school senior, Holl said she was inspired to give her hair to the cause after watching her own aunt’s battle with cancer. Holl said she liked Beautiful Lengths in particular because it creates wigs for women who, like her aunt, lost their hair during Chemo treatments.
“It was probably, no joke, one of the best feelings in the world,” she said of lopping off her locks. “My head felt so light.”
The good feelings continued after she spotted a contest in 17 Magazine asking readers to share their breakups stories—only they couldn’t be about boys.
Holl, who said she’s obsessed with the magazine—and even belongs to its social club— was intrigued. Although she was about to leave for a chorus trip, she wrote up a fun little essay about the day she ended her relationship with her long locks.
“I told my hair, it’s not you it’s me,” she said.
In April, while on another chorus trip (this time to Disney World), she learned she won the contest. As it turned out, 17 Magazine had been trying to contact her for days, but she had been unavailable due to the trip.
“I freaked out and said, ‘Someone get me a phone!’” she said.
The following month, 17 Magazine flew Holl and her mom out to New York City for a photo shoot and a “break over” to show off her short and sassy new do.
Holl spent nearly a whole day being fussed over by stylists and getting primped for hair and makeup. When it came to the actual shoot, Holl smiled, jumped and laughed on command for the camera. Near the end of day, she admits she was ready to fall over.
“It sounds like I’m such a diva but I was so exhausted,” she said. “I was slumped in a chair. I don’t understand how anyone can do this all the time.”
The article, including tidbits from Holl’s essay, was in the September issue of the magazine, which actually came out in August.
After a family member called crying to tell Holl she saw her in the publication, the whole family, including her dad, Seneca Valley head football coach Don Holl, got into the car in search of copies to buy for themselves.
“My family has like 10 copies laying around now,” she said.