Cut My Hair For Donation

"There's many a man has more hair than wit."
William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors

I have had long hair for a long time, pretty much all of my adult life. In high school, it was orange. In college and beyond, it was shaved on the sides and back. Finally, after our wedding, I let it all grow out, and eventually J trimmed it so it was all one length. For a few years now, I've thought about cutting my hair short and donating it to a nice organization that makes wigs out of the hair for cancer patients or children with hair loss medical issues.

I had thought about cutting my hair short for a while for several reasons:
  • Long hair is a pain to maintain, and I had been doing it forever.
  • Since I've been working out, having long hair really gets in my way.
  • Giving something of myself that could help someone else and costs me absolutely nothing makes me feel good.
  • Finally, when I started this project, I felt like I was going to become a changed man, and I wanted a visible change to represent this as well.

I did a little bit of research on places that I could donate my hair, and I found three. There may be more, but these were the ones I saw online:
  • Locks of Love - I had heard of Locks of Love before because J and her mom donated their hair there, and they seem to be the most well known company to do this kind of thing. The wigs created from them go to children with conditions that cause hair loss, including alopecia, burn trauma, and cancer treatment. They need donations to be over 10 inches long.
  • Pantene Beautiful Lengths - I first heard about this program from my friend, coworker, and enthusiasm expert Mike Jutan. As a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, thousands of wigs have been distributed to women living with cancer through the wig banks across the country. They need donations to be over 8 inches long.
  • Wigs For Kids - Like Locks of Love, this program caters to children that have lost their hair. Each of their wigs are hand-tied individually to look just like the child's original hair. They need donations to be over 12 inches long. I decided to go with Wigs For Kids because I knew I had over 12 inches I could donate.

Since this is the 365th day of 2011, I wanted to do something significant, so I scheduled this particular item today. I called J's hairstylist Mary Barranco at
Ravisante last month and made an appointment for New Year's Eve. If you'd like to enlist her super shears, let me know. She's awesome!

I usually wear my hair in a ponytail, and this is the way it looked this morning.

Once in a while, I let it down, but it really does just go all over the place during the day.

I tied my hair back up into a ponytail, sat in the chair, and Mary cut it off. In my mind, I thought it would be so quick to cut through my hair, but it took a while. It was really like cutting a thick piece of rope. Here's a video of the moment of truth:

It felt weird to hold my own severed ponytail up.

There was no turning back from that point. Mary worked for a while on my hair. It's hard to tell what my hair was going to do because it has been long over half my life. I looked in the mirror as J and my awesome mother in law made many facial expressions of amazement. This was very entertaining to me.

When Mary was done, there was a ton of my hair on the floor.

When all was said and done, I was happy with the results of my haircut.

I think it's a great idea to give of yourself to others in need or those less fortunate. Even though I was a little anxious about cutting off all the hair I had become so attached to (literally and figuratively), my hope is that in some small way it could improve the life a young child, and how can I possibly feel bad about that?

It's a huge change for me, one that I welcome as I welcome the end of this year and the beginning of the next. I truly feel like a changed person, a year wiser and 365+ different experiences behind me, and now, I not only feel different on the inside, I look different on the outside.

Related Links:
Wigs For Kids Donation
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