Niagara Gazette

June 3, 2013

Loss of locks was labor of love

By Michele DeLuca
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Debra Buccarelli had her “tail” clipped on Thursday.

She had 10 inches of her hair lopped off her head to celebrate 10 years of being cancer free and to honor the memory of her long-time hair stylist, who died two years ago of cancer.

Buccarelli plans to donate the pony tail to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that creates wigs for kids with cancer. This is the third time she’s done so. The first time, 10 years ago, she donated 20 inches of her hair. The time after that, two years ago, it was another 20 inches.  Both times the cut was done by her friend, Patricia Shira, at Salon Donna Marie on Buffalo Ave.  Shira died of cancer about seven weeks after that last tail clipping.

On Thursday, at Total Solutions Salon on Niagara Falls Boulevard near Walmore Road, one of Shira’s fellow stylists did the honors, carefully rubber banding the tail of dark hair so it could be mailed to Locks of Love in Florida.

The stylist, Jeannie Rodgers, got a kick out of doing the clipping. “It makes you feel good,” Rodgers said. “Trisha would have loved it,” she said of her former colleague, Shira.

Sporting a new, short, curly hairdo, Buccarelli detailed her passion for cropping her hair for cancer victims. “I want to convince people to cut their hair off and donate to these poor little kids that have no hair and are fighting cancer,” she said. 

Since this is the third time that Buccarelli has cut her hair for the cause, she was asked if she planned to immediately begin growing it to do it again.

The 47-year-old grimaced.  Despite the fact that she’s been told her new hairdo makes her look ten years younger, there’s a little issue that could be a problem. Locks of Love can’t accept hair that’s turning silver, she said. 

“I don’t know,” she said about her next donation. “The gray keeps coming but I keep pulling them out with a tweezer.”

Those who want more information about Locks of Love at (888) 896-1588 or visit