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Oprah Winfrey had a surprise for viewers of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday, November 2.

“It’s taken months to get to this moment,” announced the multi Emmy Award winning host. “And it involves a two-time Academy Award winner, a sharp object… and me.”

The surprise featured an appearance by Hilary Swank, who had her long and flowing blonde hair cut off by Winfrey on the show for charity. Over 9 inches of Swank’s golden locks were lopped off and donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a campaign working with the American Cancer Society to provide free wigs to women who have lost their hair after cancer treatment.

“I’ve been growing it for the last six months,” said 33 year old Swank. “I’ve been taking a lot of vitamins and taking really good care of it, knowing that it would go to a woman in need.”

Pantene Beautiful Lengths was launched in July 2006, in response to a survey that revealed that 58% of woman say hair loss is the most dreaded side effect they face when undergoing chemotherapy. Over 17,000 ponytails have been donated to the cause so far, and last year Pantene made a $1 million donation to the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women’s Cancer Research Fund, a campaign committed to saving lives by raising money and awareness for women and families affected by the disease.

“I’ve had a lot of people in my life, loved ones and friends, who have been devastated by cancer,” said Swank. “I’m really thankful for my health, and I wanted to find a way to give back.”

During the show, Swank also talked about the high rates of cancer in America, revealing that 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with some sort of cancer during their lifetime. This means that 700,000 American women are diagnosed with the disease every year.

“Eight percent won’t get their potentially life-saving treatment, because they don’t want to lose their hair,” said Swank. “I thought, ’Here’s my hair, cut it off, save your life!’”

“I’m proud to promote the goals of such a unique and heartfelt program,” she continued. “It’s an honor to be associated with Pantene’s campaign, and I just hope my contribution will help to inspire others to get involved in whatever way they can.”

More information about Pantene Beautiful Lengths can be found at www.pantene.com and www.myspace.com/beautifullengths.

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