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Donating your Hair... more than just cutting.

My daughter’s first “haircut” was at the age of 2.  She was born with a head full of fast growing hair. By the time she was 2, her dark brown hair was shoulder length with gorgeous silken baby curls hanging at the ends. Once she had her first haircut, the curls were gone (I cried a little), but her hair grew even faster. 

Now, at the age of 7, she’s had a few trims (a couple of inches at the time), but never even considered having an actual haircut with style. 

Until this summer…

We were watching American Ninja Warrior when one of the contestants, Kevin Bull, came on the screen followed by a story clip of his condition, alopecia. 

My daughter asked about it, and she was very curious to know why there were people that didn’t grow hair…especially the children they were showing on screen. We had a long conversation about medical conditions, including cancer, that some people endure and why some treatments make you lose your hair. She was devastated to learn that there were kids out there that had to go to school with no hair. She was worried about bulling among other things that go on inside a seven-year old’s mind. 

We looked at pictures of kids after undergoing chemo (she likes visual learning), and she asked if they can get wigs. YES! I said.  I told her that people donate long hair to make wigs and kids with many conditions can get them. 

Then she decided (on her own) that she wanted to cut her very long hair and donate it. 

I was shocked, and emotional, but it is obviously a decision that she was making, and I saw how firm she was in her determination. Either way, I gave her a couple more weeks for her to think about it. I mean, ALL her life she’s only known to have her long hair. Cutting it so short is a big decision, even for an adult, and I needed to make sure she was sure. 

And she was.

We scheduled the appointment and I could see she was a bit nervous before hand.

The awesome hairdresser measured her hair and began to cut.

Her face says it all when she realized the cutting was actually happening, and she feels the scissors going through her hair…

She styled it and placed two small red hair extensions for some added flair (she has been asking to get red highlights…but I refuse to bleach her hair at such an young age).

The highlight idea was a hit! She was so excited and happy with her new haircut.

And we are shipping the ponytail!

That night, she was crying, and although she wouldn’t tell me, I knew it was because she missed her hair… but it got better once I reminded her of the good act she was doing by donating her hair. I can only imagine what was going through her head... change is hard enough for an adult, developed brain, just imagine what it is for a kid. Abrupt change can be stressful. Thankfully, she is mature for her age and quickly came to a point where she was fine.  

It’s been almost a week, and she’s rocking her new do. 

Now the task continues as I haven’t decided which entity to send the hair to. Wigs for Kids is the one I originally chose, but I’m afraid they won’t accept her hair as it is just short of their 12 inches minimum requirement.  I would HATE for her hair to go to waste. 

Our next choice was the Pantene program, but my daughter insists that it must go to kids.  After researching, I realized Pantene does adults.

And there’s also Locks of Love. They donate mostly to kids with alopecia, and not cancer as our intentions were…but I think we are okay with that. They only require a minimum of 10 inches, and we got 11…. So I guess we have a winner!

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If you have long hair, consider donating it when you cut at least 8 inches.... Don't let it go to waste!!!

As for my daughter, she said she's going to let it grow so she can donate her hair again.  I'm a proud parent. 

Always,

Mia.