Growing hair rapidly could be viewed as a blessing or a curse. Troy Lane sees it as a gift — one he can share with others.

On December 28, Lane had his 14 1/2 inch ponytail cut to be donated to Locks of Love. The group, based in Lake Worth, Florida, provides custom, vacuum-fitted hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children with long-term medical hair loss.

“This was my second time to donate to Locks of Love,” Troy said. “The first time was in November 2003, when I had a 12-inch braided ponytail.”

Troy said he doesn’t do anything special to assist his hair growth, and doesn’t take vitamins. His wife Karen, however, takes plenty of vitamin E, but can’t achieve the same results.

“I don’t remember where we learned about Locks of Love,” Troy said.

“I told him about it the last time I wanted him to get a haircut,” Karen said.

Lane owned and operated Lane’s Auto Upholstery in Corsicana over 15 years, and is now building spec houses in Angus. He is also the maintenance director for Head of the Class Tutorial Academy, which he and Karen own. Karen teaches sixth grade math at Blooming Grove Junior High, and saw the need for a tutoring operation to provide aid to any child in Navarro County grades one through 12. They are parents to Gary, age 23, who works for the sheriff’s department, and Garrett, age 9. Both boys have burr-cuts, not ponytails.

“Gary’s got that short, ‘sheriff-do,’” Karen said. “I begged for Troy to get a businessman haircut, but I guess he’s growing it out again. He’s already got three inches.”

Locks of Love has very specific requirements regarding donated hair. It must be at least 10 inches in length, and be virgin hair, which has never been permed or color-treated. It must be enclosed in a zip-loc bag before mailing, and must be bound on each end of the ponytail.

“I just thought it was a good cause,” Troy said. “I’m using my ability to grow hair fast to help someone else — plus I’ve always had long hair.”


Deanna Plemons may be reached via e-mail at

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