CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tears streamed down Jennifer Gould's face as the layers of hair fell at her feet.
The 41-year-old wasn't upset that her full head of hair was cut down to stubble by a stylist Saturday afternoon. She wanted to be bald.
"Beauty is in the heart," Gould said, flashing a grin as she sat in the salon chair at House of Dimitri in St. Albans. "Bald is the new sexy."
As her brown hair piled up on the ground, Jennifer held the hand of her mother, Marie Gould, 60, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in May.
Marie said she is done with chemotherapy. The doctors have "done all they can do, and I'm in God's hands right now."
The Kanawha City resident lost all her hair while battling cancer. She usually sports a baseball cap.
Jennifer said if her own mother can live with a bare head, she could too. She is now her mother's "cancer buddy."
"My hair is important to me, but when my mother got cancer and lost all of her hair, now it's just hair to me," Jennifer said. "She has accepted who she is and if she can live without hair, then I can too. It's just hair. It will grow back. She is a beautiful human being, and I will stand next to her and fight it."
The Goulds and their family, friends and co-workers met at the St. Albans salon Saturday. The gathering celebrated Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially devastated children, teens and young adults in the U.S. and Canada who suffer from long-term medical hair loss.
The hair donated Saturday will be made into a wig for a child and will have Marie's name inscribed inside as a way to honor her, Jennifer said.
"Long after her passing, a little kid will wear a wig with her name in it, and she will live on," Jennifer said.
Although Jennifer couldn't donate her hair -- it had highlights, and hair cannot be used if it's been bleached -- three others present did donate to Locks of Love.