If you know me, then you know that I’ve usually worn my hair pretty long — rarely is it shorter than a few inches below my collar bone. I’ve cut it short before, (I wore a “slightly angled bob” once because I was too scared to go for the full effect) but it’s never been that short. I would say long hair has been my comfort zone for a long time because of my mom. When I was young, she used to force me to cut my hair super short, and I hated it. When I was old enough to make my own hair decisions, I “rebelled” and grew it out once in high school super long. Considering that my hair is ridiculously thick and heavy, it was quite a feat to manage that mane. I chopped it off eventually, but probably only 4-5 inches.
Even when I cut it short, my hair was relatively shorter than usual anyway, so it wasn’t a drastic change. However, now and then I like to do something that really puts me out of my comfort zone. I’ve always wanted to donate my hair to a cause like Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths because it makes me sad to see all that hair (and someone in my family gave me great straight, healthy, low-maintenance hair genes — thank you to them!) go to waste. Even so, to donate you have to cut about 8-10 inches off (depending on where you donate), and that’s a lot of hair. I chicken out every time. I’ve even tried to grow it long enough so that it wouldn’t be so short when I cut it, but to have that heavy of hair in the Texas (or New York) heat is simply impossible. Plus, I break too many hair ties for my own good when it’s that long — growing it out is just too hard.
This last time I walked into the hair salon, I went with the same intention as ever: cut off 4-5 inches and freshen it up. But then I started thinking — when will I ever donate if I don’t do it when it’s this long? I started talking to my stylist, (who really deserves the props for this) and she convinced me that we could make my hair look good even without 10+ inches on it. Again, the nerves hit, and I almost chickened out. But then I started thinking about how I was going to cut off so much hair anyway — why not cut a few more inches and donate it to someone deserving who really is losing their hair and can use it? My hair will grow back even if I don’t like the cut (and my hair grows freakishly fast anyway). This was an opportunity to do something amazing, and I was going to cut my hair anyway — just do it. I told her to make the cut.
So, she measured, tied it up and started snipping. Whew — my heart was actually pounding as I felt the all the weight come off, and I held all that hair in my hands. (It’s a little creepy to see it like that…) But then she started styling it, and I was so happy with the end result. Even if it’s too short to tie up in a ponytail, it makes me so happy that my hair didn’t go to waste. Finally, I checked off something that I’ve been wanting to do for years!
I chose to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths in the end. Even though Locks of Love is a great organization, they’ve been said to throw a lot of hair away because of their criteria. Pantene might do the same if they don’t like my hair, but either way — I tried!
If you’ve been meaning to donate, just do it — that’s my advice. Every time will seem too soon, and it feels so good afterward because you know it’s something that would have been thrown away anyway. So, make the cut! Good luck! 🙂