One of my favorite things about blogging is the chance to encourage you wonderful readers with ideas for blessing each other. Don’t you just love how looking for ways to bless people often ends up nourishing your own soul?
When I set out to find a new ‘do after a few years of long straight hair, I didn’t really have hair donation in mind. I’ve actually never had hair long or healthy enough to donate before now! Wearing Lilla Rose accessories and taking care of my hair with natural products has made more of a difference than I ever imagined!
So, when my friend Nicole posted on her blog about donating her hair, my initial thoughts were just that it was a sweet thing for her to do, and I love that she blogged about it.
After a few weeks though, the idea of donating just wouldn’t go away. I even started to see it as a bit of a challenge - how much could I donate? How short could I go?
Pinterest to the rescue, as usual. ;)
I spent umpteen nights browsing short hair styles an vacillating between something safe and something daring. The shortest I’ve ever gone was a chin-length bob, and I honestly had no idea if I’d look good with shorter hair.
In the end, I decided that if I was going to find out, now is a good time! My hair is healthy, I’m not pregnant (which would mean hair loss afterwards, most likely), and I’m young enough that I’ll be able to grow it out to my heart’s content again.
So, with just a tiny bit of trepidation (and a couple of setbacks that meant rescheduling my appointment – which almost psyched me out), I made my way to my stylist’s chair with Pinterest up on my laptop and my head at her mercy. Thankfully, she was uh.may.zing (Juneau folks – go to Tenaya!)
That big smile on my face in the “after” photo isn’t because I adored the cut (it was pretty and well done, but I was still way freaked out). It was because when I picked up my bundle of cut-off hair to pose and felt the weight of it and the healthy texture, my heart jumped and I felt over-the-moon proud to be able to offer something so very substantial to someone in need.
Up to that point I’d been telling myself (and everyone else), “It’s just hair.” and “It will grow back.” I was obviously coping with my nervousness, trying to bolster my courage while acting like it was “no big deal.”
After it was all gone and there was no going back, I let myself really soak it in…
It WAS kind of a big deal.
That was two FEET of hair! It took me a good four years to grow it out that long! And I imagine that if I woke up one day to find my beautiful tresses falling to the floor because of illness or medication, it would be very disheartening!
My donation might be just what some little one needs to keep on fighting.
I walked down to the post office today with my envelope of hair addressed to Wigs for Kids. Spring is finally here in Alaska, and the sun felt wonderful on my face and neck. I’m definitely still adjusting to the newness of it, but I have no regrets!!
Here are some tips for navigating this process:
* Determine which organization you want to donate to ahead of time. Each one has different regulations for hair donated that include length, whether or not it has been dyed or chemically treated, and whether or not hair can be greying.
* Use Pinterest for hairstyle inspiration. I love Pinterest, and I just can’t say enough how much easier than a search engine it was to narrow down what I wanted.
* Ask around to find out if any salons in your area provide free or discounted cuts if you want to donate. If you have friends who have donated, ask them, or browse through the directories available on some of the donation sites to find a salon partner.
* Prepare your children (and husband, haha!) for the change by explaining hair loss and prosthetics if they aren’t already aware of these issues. They will adjust faster knowing *why* you are cutting it, just like you will!
* Look over the instructions for cutting and shipping before you go to your stylist. Wigs for Kids, for example, asks for hair to be divided into at least 4 ponytails before being cut.
Hair donation organizations to consider:
Locks of Love – Requires at least 10 inches. Colors and perms ok, but not bleached hair. Grey hair ok.
Wigs for Kids – Requires at least 12 inches of uncolored and untreated hair. No grey hair.
Children With Hair Loss – Requires at least 8 inches of length, but all hair in good condition is accepted.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths – Wigs for adult women. At least 8 inches long. Some restrictions on dyes.
Do you know of any other organizations I can include in this list? As you can see from my brief synopsis Wigs for Kids has some of the stricter requirements, and since I met them I decided to donate there. I have only heard good things about all of these, though. :)
For more ideas on how to Be a Blessing, check out the other posts in this series.