Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Big Chop

I was thinking about it months ago that I needed a change. I didn't know what. I didn't know how, but I felt like I was in a rut and I needed a small boost to recharge me.

HRD, the local salon that Kim had her bachelorette at will cut your hair for Locks of Love. I stumbled upon this small tidbit of information and it got me thinking. LisaF always seems to do it every few years once hers gets outgrown so clearly it's not a difficult or arduous task. And the more I thought about it (which by the way, equals at least 4 weeks of thinking in real time) I really wanted to do something contributory. I don't feel like I give enough in life. I used to give to charities here and there but Trevor has made me jaded about organized non profits because a good chunk of your donations go into the general business costs of running any business, and not to the actual starving cancer kids you think it's going to. So now I'm freaked out about giving money to people...great.

But giving my hair? Well, I know that hair isn't a tax write off, but as much as I complain about my hair I know a lot of people would envy having long, thick, healthy, non chemically treated, not blow dried everyday, natural hair. If I'm being honest with myself I'd rather have my hair than thin, wimpy, flat, lifeless, stringy stuff any day. But there are people who, by a twist of fate have lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments and feel alien. Who feel less womanly, less normal, less themselves all because they're balding. And we all associate our physical appearance with who we are. Women in particular don't feel womanly without hair. A guy can be bald and be masculine, but a bald woman does not want to be masculine. She just wants to feel like herself and be able to go to the grocery store without anyone staring at her.

So after a lot (a LOT) of selfishness on my part about wanting to keep my hair, I decided to take the plunge. I started talking about it and the more I talked about it the more courage I got and October is Breast Cancer Awareness month anyway, so that was the last straw. I finally walked into that salon and said "I would like to donate my hair." And that was it.

I gave 10 inches of my own hair. And I won't even lie, I was totally psyched out. My husband was making me nervous by saying "Are you sure you want to do this?" and that was the LAST thing I needed to hear but I still trudged through, even if I was in bed with my blankets over my head just a half hour before the big cut. But knowing I already made this commitment made me keep going. I don't wimp out at the last minute. That is douchey behavior.

I know I can grow mine out again. And it felt stupid because it's just hair, even if it was an awful look on me, it was just hair and I could grow it back. And the person receiving it would love my hair 80 times more than I ever could. I don't even like combing my hair in the morning. I never blow it out. Every rare moon I'll flat iron it. It's a security blanket much more than a fashion statement. I liked it because it represented something to me; it felt secure.

So...you're likely wondering what is left on my head now that I've lopped off such a significant segment. Since I'm mean I'm going to drag it out. HA! No the real story is I'm obliged to show my parents before I show the internets. That someone in Japan gets to see it before my parents who live down 3 streets see it? Yeah, I'd probably get an annoyed look from them like, "gee, that girl. Did we never teach her any decorum?" I'm old enough where I wouldn't be yelled at, but I know they'd be a bit miffed at me.

Where am I donating this? Well, there's a lot of charities out there that'll take it, surprisingly. There's the ubiquitous Locks of Love, but they give hair to kids. No offense to those alopecia kids but considering the tone of my donation I wanted it to go to a woman in need, so I'm giving to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program which specifically targets women who've lost their hair from chemo and who are unable to afford real-hair wigs. Considering real-hair extensions cost like $600 I imagine the cost of a full-on real-hair wig is pretty crazy for someone who's likely spent every penny they've got on medical bills. And I sure hope they have insurance...but anyway, that's a whole other topic.

I forget where I read it (if I find it I'll revise this) but it said something to the effect of long hair being like a black dress. It works on a lot of people and it fits a lot of occasions well, but after five minutes you've forgotten about it. It's unremarkable. No one remembers anything about a bland little black dress. Short hair on the other hand, makes a statement. It's like the red dress in a crowd.

Consider me part of Team Red Dress....with a pink ribbon.