updated 23 Jul 2013, 22:29
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Fri, Jul 19, 2013
The New Paper
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Hair for a good cause
by Charlene Chua

Samantha Zhang

The luxurious locks cascading down her back have been a source of envy and jealousy for women around her.

But what these green-eyed girls don't know is that Miss Samantha Zhang has been growing out her hair for the past three years for a good cause.

The 22-year-old aspiring actress-model hopes to donate her silky tresses to someone who is sick and in need of it - TNP readers included.

Write in to tell us why you need Miss Zhang's hair and she'll choose the most compelling case and gift her chosen recipient with her locks.

She's so serious about it that she agreed to the arrangement without hesitation, despite knowing that this means she will have to cut off her hair and compete in the finals on July 28 at the Pan Pacific Singapore hotel with a short do.

She told The New Paper: "A few years ago, I saw children with cancer (who were bald) and I knew then how much they must have wanted to feel hair on their heads.

"So I started growing out my hair. Many women think it is for vanity's sake.

"They look at me with jealousy and envy but I don't want them to feel this way.

"I'm not bitchy or self-centred, I truly like to help people.

"I'm open to giving anyone my hair, as long as they really need it."

In our hot and humid weather it has been a hassle to wash her thick "all natural" locks that have never been straightened, permed or dyed, Miss Zhang admitted.

She was excited that in the next two weeks, the culmination of three years of effort will finally make a difference in someone's life.

She said: "I'm not worried that losing my hair will affect my chances in the finals.

"I joined Miss World Singapore to help the less fortunate so my emphasis is not so much on physical beauty.

"I love my hair and I think it's long enough to make two wigs. I need someone who needs hair!"

She added that her mum had allowed her to keep only a short bob when she was younger. That was because her mum felt that if she had long hair, she would "play with it and not study".

Miss Zhang - whose scientist mother works at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and professor father teaches physics at Nanyang Technological University - really shocked her parents when she told them she wanted to study acting in the US.

Said Miss Zhang, who studied in China and Japan when her dad was working in these places:

"They said they couldn't understand why I'm so different from them. I mean, my mum is trying to invent a machine which can detect life-threatening illnesses like cancer and my dad is lecturing on 'Tri- ple E' - electrical and electronic engineering.

"But when I said that I was serious about acting, they remembered that they were forced to study what their parents wanted.

"So they let me pursue my passion."

She graduated last year with a degree in acting from Pace University in New York.

Since she returned to Singapore last September, Miss Zhang has found herself a manager and plans to discuss career opportunities with MediaCorp.

She said: "I'm not that kind of actress who wants to be known for her beauty or for doing pretty girl roles. I would like to tackle roles that are difficult and unglamorous."

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