Polamalu preps for 'Mane Event'
By Rachel Weaver
Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 5:44 p.m.
It will be the scissor-snip heard round the 'Burgh.
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, keeper of the most illustrious locks in the NFL, will cut his hair at Heinz Field on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, to benefit Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Troy Polamalu has one of the most famous heads of hair in America,” says John Hamilton, VFW Adjutant General. “To have him take a role in our efforts is appreciated. We hope this event will help bring public awareness to the vital work the VFW is doing on behalf of those who deserve it most — our nation's veterans, military and their families.”
The event is part of the VFW's “Mane Event,” a fundraising campaign in which participants solicit donations from friends and family, then get a haircut and post a picture of the results online.
Polamalu and his wife, Theodora, are longtime supporters of veterans, as several of their family members and friends have served. They are founders of the Harry Panos Fund for Veterans, named for Theodora's grandfather who fought in World War II. The fund provides support for military-focused charities.
Polamalu is dismayed by the lack of moral support for veterans in today's society.
“Unfortunately, we live in a society now that is all about, ‘What have you done for me lately?' ” he says. “Once a veteran is done with his service, we just kind of forget about him. I don't think anybody could argue against the fact that they've done more for this country than any other person.”
To draw attention to the issues, Polamalu will give his famous mane a “ceremonial” trim. He'll only lose a 3-inch lock, but the cut is still significant — it's the first time scissors have touched his head in more than a decade.
For Polamalu, hair is about more than making a style statement.
“Every time a piece of my hair comes out, and I look at a 20-inch strand, I'm like, ‘Wow, what happened when this first started growing?'” he says. “You think about all the life experience that you've had, and my hair's been a part of me. It's kind of become my fifth appendage and my identity.”
No one in the Polamalu family brushes that sentiment off.
“We don't even cut our children's hair,” Polamalu says. “They'll joke around like, ‘Daddy, I want my hair like that,' and it's like, ‘Son, in this family, that's blasphemy.”
To donate, visit www.vfwmaneevent.org
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