I’ve always been known for having long hair — long, LONG hair cascading down my back in gentle waves. People compliment the length, the color (totally natural), and its body. My long hair is something that makes me feel feminine, sexy, confident.
This past weekend, I cut 8.5 inches of it off.
I was reading about hair donations and thought about how I hadn’t done it in more than 10 years — I had it cut at 18 as a freshman at the University of Florida during a donation drive. Why not do it again? I researched multiple groups for their reputation and ethics and chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which creates wigs for women who lost their hair due to cancer treatments. The company partners with the American Cancer Society and does not charge the recipients for the wigs.
Plus, selfishly, they only require 8 inches of donations and I was antsy to do it once I got the idea in my head (other groups require 10 inches).
I made my appointment at Ulta in Fort Lauderdale, and before the big day, took some pictures of my hair. It sounds stupid to be attached to your hair, but I am. Most people with long hair treat it like a security blanket. I remembered at 18 I cried in my dorm like a moron after I donated my locks. I figured I’d allow myself to do the same thing this time around: quick pity party, then get over it and have fun with my new look.
Plus, my hair will grow back. The women who will receive my hair don’t have that luxury.
At the salon, my hair stylist, Melissa, was excited to help me donate and was familiar with Pantene’s program. After carefully measuring, braiding, and securing my hair, she held her hefty “donation scissors” just below my neck.
“Are you ready?” she smiled.
And after just a few snips, I was holding a braid in my hands and I had hair to my shoulders. I thought I would be sad to lose my long hair (OK, for some people I still have long hair) but I was more excited for the change. I’d have a little baby ponytail! Bouncy curls! Less shampoo! I think Melissa’s positivity and suggestions of all the fun things I could do made it easier.
So here I am, short and bouncy hair. I feel like I look more mature and my waves will be more defined since they’re not weighed down with so much hair.
Plus, it feels good to know someone out there might get a confidence boost with their new wig. No pity party over here.
TIP: There are multiple organizations that do hair donations — be sure to research before you choose one. Some of them claim to do it for charity but charge recipients for the wigs! The two standouts for me were Pantene Great Lengths and Wigs for Kids (which requires 10 inches). Also, check out Instagram and Facebook — you’ll be motivated by all the kids, women, AND men who have donated their hair!