I have a love-hate relationship with my hair. It grows quickly, which is both a blessing and a curse (my one experiment with a fringe was extremely frustrating as I had to trim it weekly to keep it out of my eyes). I’m never sure what colour my hair is – it’s either light brown or dark blonde depending on the lighting and the season. In the summer, I get gorgeous natural highlights. I’ve dyed my hair twice – not permanently, and not recently. Again, the quick rate at which my hair grows would mean that I’d be forever touching up roots and that isn’t something I want to spend time and money on. My hair is what my former stylist (he retired from the haircut business to teach others how to work magic on hair at the high school trade level) calls “poker straight”. I will never need a straightener. It is also incredibly soft. So soft that clips and pony tail holders often slide out. I’ve had some success with curling irons but it usually involves mousse in damp hair and half a container of hairspray to get a couple hours of moderate curl. My hair is fine – when it is short (at my ears or even at my chin) it seems even finer. So for the last decade or so I’ve kept it shoulder length or longer. Every couple of years I donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The minimum donation length is 8″ but I’ve donated 15″ twice (I still had “medium-long” hair afterwards too). I’m at the point where my hair hits the small of my back so I need to do something about it. This is where the trouble starts.
I’m not a fashionista. I don’t like looking through beauty magazines because doing so often brings up all sorts of body image issues. I don’t know what type of hairstyle would look good on me and though I want a change, I don’t want a drastic one. My best friend has been hounding me for years to get a short haircut. I don’t think that going from below the bra line hair to a short cut would be too drastic for me. I also have a practical need for slightly longer hair – I work with kids who have special needs and being able to pull my hair back so that it can’t be pulled is really useful. I don’t want to have to pull it back all the time and right now it is so long that having it tied back is the only practical option, whether it is in an updo or a braid. I’d love to have hair that didn’t need to be tied back or done up all the time but I’m not sure what that would look like. The other problem is that since my stylist retired, I’ve been bouncing around and haven’t yet found anyone I trust completely. I have had some really bad haircuts in my past when hairdressers didn’t listen to me or when their idea of a trim ended up being 4″ shorter than my idea of a trim. I’m not the kind of girl who washes her hair daily (it’s too soft as it is, and washing it daily makes it even softer and completely unmanageable). I own a blow dryer but have used it mostly to make melted crayon art. I don’t want to buy (or use) a ton of hair products, and I really don’t have time in the morning to spend more than 10 minutes on my hair trying to make it look “right”. I need a style that is pretty much wash and wear.
The final issue is that the last time I donated my hair, it didn’t go as planned. I raised money to support breast cancer research, and donated my hair at a Toronto Argos game. It was my 4th donation so I knew what to expect – two elastics, hair cut in between them. Except the volunteer hair stylist (a friend of a friend) didn’t follow the program and cut 2″ above the top elastic. This made my hair seriously uneven and when it was evened up, it was too short to pull back. I cried for days. It grew back, as it always does, but I don’t want to have that happen again. Given that horrible experience, you may ask why I want to donate my hair again. The answer is simple: it’s something I can do to help others. After the last debacle, while I was feeling sorry for myself after the game, someone approached me to thank me. He told me that a close friend had received a wig through the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign and that it had given her a much needed boost in morale at a very difficult time in life. I have never forgotten his words that night or the picture he brought to show me at the next home game of his friend. I feel that donating my hair is something I should do because I can and because it is a small gesture that can help a woman going through hell. So I’m announcing it here – I’m going to donate my hair in the near future.
Now all I need is to figure out what to do with it after my donation. I’m including a pic of what my hair looked like 6 months after my last donation it grew out quickly – it took a lot of fussing with the curling iron to get it to flip and there is a section at the back that flipped the other way so I don’t really want to do this again. Besides it’s not really a style it’s just shorter hair that still doesn’t do anything. My hair looks like that now except it’s a good foot longer.