If you know me, I’m always changing my hair. When Ben and I got married, we had a powerpoint presentation of us over the years, and the person running it said, “You’d think Ben was with a different woman all through the years,” because my hair was different in a lot of the pictures. I like change, and I’ve always enjoyed trying something new with my hair.
Well today I finally made the big “chop” that I’ve been working on for the past 4 years. I’ve been growing my hair out to donate to an organization that makes wigs for people who have lost their hair for various reasons. I was thinking about going with Pantene’s “Beautiful Lengths” but some attention has been brought to “Angel Hair” and “Wigs for Kids” as well, so I’m going to explore my options before sending my hair away. I don’t need a pat on the back for doing this. I just wanted to bring some awareness to it like someone did for me around the time I started growing my hair out. A friend around my age had grown her hair out to donate and I thought to myself, “It’s not too late to do this. If she can do it, then so can I.” Here are some things I wish I had known years ago about donating your hair:
1. Virgin hair is the best quality for a wig. Long before I had years of short hair, I had long hair – hair that had never been dyed or highlighted. Eventually I had that hair chopped off, and it could’ve been donated then. At the time, not as much attention was brought to donating hair.
2. Highlighted hair can’t be donated. It doesn’t process well for wigs. That’s why it took me so long to get my hair long. I spent the first 2 years growing out my highlights.
3. If your hair is 5% grey you can’t donate it. When I started growing out my hair, I had my hairdresser check it because, believe it or not, this lady has grey coming in. You can’t tell because I’m always coloring it! I was able to color it during my growing out phase with semi-permanent dye which is okay.
What I did was no big deal compared to what some people have to go through with regards to losing their hair (i.e. cancer), but I will say that it made me very thankful for the hair I have. I have always taken my ability to do what I wanted with my hair for granted, and growing it out was hard for me at times because when I wanted to get it cut I’d say to myself, “No, I’m going to do this! I’m going to donate at least once in my lifetime.”
Perhaps when my little girl is older it will be something we can chat about and consider, and, providing my grey hair doesn’t take over, something we can do together. In the meantime, I’ve gone back to my short highlighted hair for the time being, feeling grateful for the hair that is on my head.
Some before and after pics: