MAE Student Donates Hair to Locks of Love

Writer: Margaret Vasquez, Admin Assistant Intermediate, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Leonardo Saenz, NMSU Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department Graduate student, donated his hair just before Valentine’s Day to Locks of Love, a charity that provides human hair wigs to children coping with hair loss due to medical conditions or the side effects of medical treatment.

On Friday, February 12, Leonardo took a seat at Salon Cheveux located on University just north of campus so that Barber Stylist D.J. Tellez could tie off and snip multiple ponytails of 10- inch hair lengths. Over a year ago, the office staff in the MAE Department challenged Leo to grow his then chin length hair so that he could donate it to the Locks of Love charity. Through that time, Leonardo quietly stayed with the challenge. One faculty member who heard about Leo’s recent donation said he now understood why Leo had been sporting such a lion’s mane all this time. Leo said that when he returned to Mexico to visit family, his father expressed a desire for a more clean-cut look but soon became a fan when he learned why Leo had abandoned haircuts. On July 11, 2020, when Leo served as best man at the wedding of his friend Abner Luna Garcia, he had to come up with a plan for his long locks in order to be appropriate for the event. For class, Leo typically puts his hair in a ponytail but for Abner’s wedding Leo decided to only pull half of his hair back for a more polished look.

Leo joins two other male students, Rob Clay and Robert Wiley from the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department who previously donated to charities that help children with human hair wigs. Locks of Love ( and Wigs for Kids (, both accept hair donations and donation details can be found on their websites.


Leonardo Saenz with long hairLeonardo Saenz cut pony tailLeonardo Saenz with hair cutRob Wiley modeling his long locksRob Wiley preparing for the hair snipRob Wiley after his hair cut.

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