I got my hair cut. But not just a cut, it’s a cut with warm fuzzy feelings! I had been growing my hair for the past 3-4 years, mostly because I couldn’t afford a hair cut (damn you grad school!) but also because I had always wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love so that someone else could partake in the crazy explosion of curls that is my fro. The problem in the past was that … well, I’m impatient and often erratic when it comes to my hair. I’d swear that I would leave it be and grow it long. Then I’d get sick of it. I’d cut it off, then grow it, then when it was just about to hit my shoulders, I’d threaten it with fire, and cut it off again. What can I say? I’m a fierce and fickle mistress when it comes to my hair. But this time I’d had it: I was in it for the long haul. Plus, I had a deep curiosity to see how my hair would behave if it was more than 6 inches long. And so began the long and arduous trek to long-hairdom.
It started in October of 2009 with a very short pixie cut, by the next fall, I had made it through the roughest part of growing it out and had it at a cute bob. From there, it got to my shoulders, and before I knew it, it was crazy-times long.
All along the growing out process I would check in with my hair dresser and talk about how much longer it needed to be to get a good donation out of it. The Locks of Love website recommends 11 inches, though with my curls, that would shrink the overall length to about 7 … which is pretty short. I ended up deciding to give 12″ to try to boost up that overall number, but my hair dresser said that the foundation will take anything as short as 7″, if 12 is too much of a commitment.
To make the donation, all you have to do is give your hair dresser a head’s up when you make the appointment. That’s it. From there, they gather the hair and mail it in.
For the past year, I’ve been dying to get to the day when I could donate. It was taking upwards of 30 minutes to wash, condition, and detangle my hair. Plus an additional 3-4 hours for it to air dry. I know a lot of people have it a lot worse, but for a girl who is used to having her hair somewhere between a pixie and a bob, this is a big deal and took all the fun out of my lazy morning showers.
It wasn’t until the morning of that I started getting a bit nervous. Not that I was having second thoughts … well maybe a couple. As much work as it was, for a life-long tom boy, it was kind of nice having long hair. It made me feel girly and pretty. I would get compliments on my long curls and I wasn’t sure I was ready to give that up.
Not long after getting to the salon on the big day, my favorite hair dresser, Tula, took me back to her station. I sat down in the chair and she smiled at me. At this point, I was feelin’ real nervous. At some point I may or may not have shouted “Today’s the day!” She took out the measuring tape, stretched the curls to 12″, and put a clip in to mark the cut (good lord, that’s a lot of hair). She separated it into three pony tails. I nervously snapped a picture while she went in search of the envelope to package the donation. Before I knew it, it was all over. And I have to say, seeing those three ponytails of curls, I was so relieved: I could just picture how happy this would make someone.
From there, Tula washed, shaped and styled the crap out of my hair. I felt amazing afterward.
But I have to say, my favorite is when it’s curly.
One last thing! Donating your hair isn’t the only way to grow for charity. I’m sure that you have heard of Movember (where men grow a mustache for the month of November to raise money for charity), but it doesn’t only have to happen in November! In fact my boyfriend is participating in a two month beard growing event to support breast cancer called Beards for Boobs. You can also just support these brave beard-growers if you don’t feel like growing one yourself. Everyone wins!