Haircut helps Habitat for Humanity program that involves women

Leroy Deaton had not had such a close haircut since he was in the Air Force more than 50 years ago.


He was goaded into shaving off his hair Jan. 19 in exchange for a friend's donation to Habitat for Humanity.

It'll grow back in a few weeks, Mr. Deaton said as his daughter Robin Crews, a hairdresser, gave him a "high and tight" haircut in a Habitat house being built with the aid of the group's Women Build program.

"I'm sure if the weather gets cold enough, I'll wear something (to keep my head warm)," Mr. Deaton said.

Before giving her father the military cut, she shaped his hair into a mohawk while onlookers peppered him with catcalls of, "You went from 39 to 78!" and, "At least yours will grow back!"

Friend and former Habitat President Pep Pepper had said he would make a $500 donation to the organization if Mr. Deaton would agree to be shorn as part of a fundraiser.

The idea started one night while they were talking about military haircuts, Mr. Deaton said.

"I said, 'I wonder what you'll look like without any hair again,' " Mr. Pepper said. "And he thought about it for a couple of days and called me and said, 'I'm going to take you up on that.'"

So, on a cold Friday morning, they gathered at the construction site on Tennessee Avenue in Aiken.

"We waited until he needed a haircut," Mr. Pepper said. "Saved him a couple of dollars."

As Mr. Deaton's hair fell to the ground in clumps, Mr. Pepper said it was "pure dedication."

Richard Church, the executive director of the local Habitat chapter, said the haircut fundraiser has brought in more than $1,000 that will be used for the Women Build program.

The program focuses on getting women involved in Habitat's home-building efforts, either in the actual construction or in fundraising or other tasks.

"(A haircutting fundraiser is) unusual. It's a first for us," Mr. Church said. "Here's a guy losing his hair for the women!"

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or