CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Bethany Falknor of Chesterfield watched her mother go through cancer twice — first breast cancer, then uterine cancer. She remembers how her mother grappled with the various effects of the vicious disease.

“She wore wigs constantly,” Falknor said.

Falknor said her mother’s face would light up when she would put on a new wig.

“Something we take for granted like, oh, it’s annoying to us we have to brush it out every day or it gets tangles,” Falknor said. “It’s a blessing to them.”

A scene at Planet Hair Wigs and Accessories. Photo credit: Sierra Krug

Wigs can be costly. A fact Cheryl Tankersley, owner of Planet Hair, a custom wig shop in Henrico, is all too familiar with.

“Cancer is very expensive. It can devastate a family,” Tankersley said.

Tankersley struggled with her own health complications that led to hair loss as well. She’s made it her personal mission to help ease the burden hair loss can take on families and children. Her business works to provide wigs to those struggling with hair loss. There’s a hairstylist in the building, Tankersley can size and match people to the wig of their dreams, and she sells scarves and other accessories.

She provides wigs to children under the age of 21 free of charge.

“I get to bless them because the community blesses me with their hair,” Tankersley said.

To continue to provide these life-changing wigs to kids for free, Tankersley said it’s crucial that members of the community continue to donate their hair.

A scene at Planet Hair Wigs and Accessories. Photo credit: Sierra Krug

In just a few weeks, Falknor is donating her hair for the first time. She said it is meaningful knowing such an easy thing can make such a difference to those going through hard times.

“If you’re going to cut it anyways, why not donate it to a good cause?” Falknor said.

Each one of us has opportunities every day to bless people,” Tankersley said. “I want to be the blessing somebody prayed for today. So just donating their hair, it’s a blessing to a child and they get that completely free. It’s just amazing.”

A scene at Planet Hair Wigs and Accessories. Photo credit: Sierra Krug

Tankersley said many organizations that collect hair to be made into wigs for children who’ve lost their hair because of cancer, do charge kids for the wigs. So, both Falknor and Tankersley recommend seeking out a non-profit that provides wigs for kids for free.

Tankersley accepts nearly all hair, whether it’s dyed, gray, young, or old. You can donate by sending your hair to Planet Hair or you can drop your ponytail off at the door. More information is constantly updated on the business’s Facebook page.