Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Love of Locks

How many people have a love/hate relationship with their hair? When I was growing up, my mother never let me grow my hair, so my impression is that I spent my childhood looking like a dork. I was sometimes mistaken for a boy. Still, as an adult I’ve gone from long to boy-short and back again many times.

My daughter’s hair has always been her crowning glory. People go crazy for it. Long, spiral curls people swear they’d kill for. The picture was taken after we straightened out as much of the curl as we could, so she could show her friends how long it really was – down to her waist.


So she floored me when she told me of her plans to cut it off. She didn’t want to be a slave to it – the long hours of detangling and styling. She worried about hanging on to it for so long she’d be too afraid to ever part with it.

She’d been scheming for some time. She planned to grow it long enough to donate, and still have a little left over for herself. Then homework schedules and water polo practice started, and plans turned to urgency. She needed a change, and she needed it RIGHT NOW.

We looked up Locks of Love. She was willing to part with the full ten inches required for a donation. In fact, she wouldn’t have it any other way. All that work not to have enough for a donation didn’t seem like an option.

In salon number one, a surly stylist balked at cutting ten inches. We walked out. At home I listened to more rounds of agonizing about whether this was a good idea. We flipped through the hairstyling magazines a zillion more times.

Salon number two was more reassuring. I watched for what must have been a full minute as the stylist hacked through that thick ponytail. I could sense daughter’s relief when the ponytail finally came off – no turning back now.

She’s crazy about her new above the shoulder look. While looking up the information for donating, I realized I had a ponytail I could donate, too. Some time ago, in one of my long-to-short whims, I promised a stylist I wouldn’t freak out if she cut it all off. I tossed the ponytail in a cedar chest because I didn’t think it was long enough to donate, and forgot all about it. I might never have bothered to find out, but it turns out it meets the requirements. So thanks to my girl, we ended up with two ponytails to mail away. Only hers is so thick, it ought to count for three all by itself.

22 comments:

Suzie said...

What a wonderful thing to do.

Kim Kasch said...

Love this story. I've donated my hair once. Getting ready to do it again - they'll just have to pick the gray strands out ;-) It can't be helped.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Wow! That's a lot of hair!
That's a fantastic thing she did! Very brave and generous!

sruble said...

That is so great! I've never had enough to donate :(

Like you, I have gone from long to short to long again several times as an adult, and I had short hair as a child at least once or twice. There are 5th grade pictures of me with a Dorothy Hamill haircut where I look like a boy. I cringe every time I see them. I had long hair most of the time, especially after that! (There are a couple of pictures where I look like a girl with short hair too, it's just the boyish ones that make me cringe.)

PJ Hoover said...

Sounds like you've got a wonderful daughter there!

Carrie Harris said...

How cool. I'm growing mine out to donate too, although it's not half as pretty as your daughter's!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Your daughter sounds perfectly wonderful. Give her an extra hug from me tonight.

adrienne said...

Thanks, Suzie!

Kim - It's great that they separate it for different uses. I think they also use shorter pieces for boy hairpieces, too.

Becky - She's much braver than I was!

Sruble - I notice your profile pic changes hairstyle, too :)

PJ - Thanks, she's a keeper!

Carrie - Very cool that you & Kim are working on it - but will you go for that soccer mom bob you're so crazy about?

Green Girl - I will!

LW said...

A beautiful girl that did a beautiful thing…

Wonderful story…..

Louise

ICQB said...

What a great thing to do! And the wonderful thing about hair is that it grows back ~ eventually.

This reminds me of the old saying, what's the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut?

Two weeks.

It sounds as though your daughter is loving her new look, though. Good for her and all of her selfless planning!

Suzanne Casamento said...

That's a very cool thing to do. Coincidentally, my friend Krista cut and donated her hair to locks of love today. Must be something in the air... ; )

Brenda said...

What a wonderful thing for her (and you) to do...

I've never been able to let mine grow long enough to donate (as soon as I have a bad hair day, I'm in the salon getting it cut)...

Kelly said...

WOW! Her hair is gorgeous! I'm sure it looks cute now, too! I bet you both felt good about donating your locks, what a great mother-daughter moment!

sruble said...

Thanks for noticing. I like to keep up appearances :)

adrienne said...

Louise - Thanks! I agree, but I'm a bit biased...

Suzanne - I love a coincidence. How cool of your friend - I hope she likes her new look, too!

ICCB - Good one! I think I've heard that one, and there's some truth in it, too.

Brenda - You're much more sensible then I am - I get out the scissors and try to trim it myself!

adrienne said...

Kelly - Oops, you snuck in there :)Thanks! She reads this so she'll love the compiments!

Sruble - Hee-hee. I keep wanting to do a self portrait but I never get around to it.

Rena said...

Your daughter has beautiful hair! I bet she loves it shorter now too. My oldest cut hers for Locks of Love awhile back too.

Mary Witzl said...

Good for you and your daughter!! I did this in March; I sent a massive 18-inch ponytail to Locks of Love. I can honestly say that I've never been so happy to get rid of anything in my whole life, not even the disgusting dust-collecting plastic lamp my husband bought on sale that kept falling over when anyone brushed past it.

And I'm a huge artichoke fan too.

Bish Denham said...

Good for you and your daughter!

My sister, whose hair grows at an amazing rate, has donated twice to Locks of Love. I have two much gray in mine or I'd donate mine too...

adrienne said...

Rena - Good for your daughter! It's hard to part with that much at once...but for young girls it seems to grow back so fast.

Mary - Wow! Eighteen inches - that must have been liberating!

Bish - I read that Locks of Love will accept gray hair. They sell it to offset manufacturing costs - another way to help :)

Mary Witzl said...

Adrienne and Bish -- Locks of Love will definitely accept grey hair! It is used to offset manufacturing costs; it is made into wigs for ladies our age and as it is rather rare -- middle-aged women not being overly inclined to grow out their greying tresses -- it is actually prized more than youthful hair. So grow it right out if you want, then send it off -- and be proud: grey and greying hair is valuable!

adrienne said...

Thanks Mary! I hadn't even considered that long gray hair is not that common...interesting point!