TIPP CITY — It started off with a little friendly competition and ended with a pink mohawk and donations to cancer charities.
Tippecanoe High School teacher Randy Sentman hadn’t had a haircut since the start of the 2016-17 school year until Friday, when he raffled off chances to shave his head to his students.
Sentman donated 10 inches of hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, a program that makes wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments, and his students raised $100 for Relay for Life.
“People’s reactions all day have been great,” he said Friday afternoon. He cut off ponytails to donate Thursday evening and turned heads all day as his hair got shorter, he said.
On Friday, he sold raffle tickets to students in each of his classes for 25 cents apiece. Sentman’s new haircut slowly took shape throughout the school day as winning students each took a swipe with the clippers. At the end of the day, hair stylist Kelly Snider shaped his hairdo into a pink mohawk.
“My wife’s awful excited,” he joked.
Sentman started growing his hair in 2016 as part of a competition with his daughter to see who could grow their hair longer.
“My daughter was joking that, ‘You’d never have hair longer than me.’ I said, ‘Really? You want to have a hair-growing contest?’” he said.
Then the Tipp City school district lost two teachers to cancer within about a year and Sentman decided to keep growing his hair to donate to a program that makes wigs for women who have lost their hair.
Sentman, who lost his mother to cancer in 2004, has grown out his hair to donate once before. This time, he wanted to get students involved and thinking about giving back to others.
Students jumped at the chance to both take the clippers to their teacher’s hair and donate to a good cause.
“It’s not hard to spend the money because it goes to a good cause,” senior Alea Leganik said.
It’s also a unique classroom experience students are not likely to forget, Sentman’s students said.
“I took a video because I want to remember it,” Leganik added.
Terrah Bruner, who participated in the raffle Friday and won the chance to pick Sentman’s new hair color, said she and her government teacher now have something in common.
“I’ve donated my hair twice, so I know what it’s like. I’ve been through that pain of growing it all out and how long it takes,” she said. “It’s such a good thing to do.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.