Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Locks of Love

This week I donated my hair to Locks of Love, making this my fifth time donating my hair to this very special organization. I've been growing it out for a while now with the purpose to cut it, and now that it's a new year, what better time to get a new hairstyle and do something I can feel good about in the process. (Before and After pictures at end of the post.)

I donated 11 inches of hair.

Some of you may already be familiar with Locks of Love, but for those of you who are not, I'd like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about them. Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that makes wigs for children (in the US and Canada) who have long term hair loss due to a long-term medical condition. The hair pieces are made for financially disadvantaged children who may not otherwise be able to afford a quality wig. The organization's mission is to "return a sense of self confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss"

I had first learned about Locks of Love from my mom, a hair stylist, when I was 15. She had encouraged me to donate my hair to the organization because I had what they needed; long, beautiful, and virgin hair (non-color treated). At that time, only non-color treated hair donations were accepted and they required 12 inches of hair. I agreed, but when the time came to cut my hair, I cried. I'll admit, it seems a little silly now, but I had associated so much of my identity with my hair and cutting off so much of it was a little traumatic (for lack of a better word). My mom felt awful, thinking she had forced me into doing something I wasn't ready for, but I did get over it, my hair grew back, and before long I was ready to donate again!

My first Locks of Love donation in 2002

While I was growing my hair for a second donation, I saw a young girl on a TV program talking about her experience with hair loss due to chemotherapy. It was heartbreaking to hear her story of how some kids at school made fun of her, called her names, and told her she looked like a boy. Not only did this young girl have to endure childhood cancer, but she also had to face bullying due to the results of the treatment that would help to save her life. During the show she received a donation from Locks of Love. I remember seeing how happy she was and she said it was because she could look and feel normal again. 

It had been a little over a year since my first donation to Locks of Love and I wanted to do it again, and this time I was truly ready. I didn't want to wait for it to grow out as long as it had been before. I pestered my mom almost every day until she finally agreed to cut my hair. I was excited, but she was a wreck (understandably so) because this time we'd be going much shorter. Thankfully, I loved my new hair cut, but it received mixed reviews the next day at school and in the days and weeks ahead. In fact most people said (to my face) that I looked ugly, but it didn't matter to me because I did something good for a child who wasn't as fortunate as me.

Short cut during Junior year of High School in 2003

While in college I donated my hair two additional times, opting for short styles both times, similar to the one I had when I was in high school. 

Two short cuts after each donation while in college in 2005 and 2008

This time around I didn't want to go as short, so it took a longer time to grow my hair so I'd have 11 inches donation. Right now (at the time of this post), the minimum length for donation is a 10 inch ponytail or braid, measured tip to tip. If you are ever interested in making a hair donation, I'd advise you to check out the current donating requirements before you cut, as they may change. Over the past 11 years that I've been donating to Locks of Love, they've changed the requirements a few times. 

This time around I can still get it in a ponytail!

If you would like more information on Locks of Lovedonating hair or money, or purchasing Locks of Love jewelry be sure to check out their website. 

Have you ever donated to Locks of Love or do you want to in the future? Let me know in the comments :)


6 comments:

  1. That's a really nice thing to do. And I think you look beautiful after each cut-- long and short.
    Good for you!

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    1. Thanks Natalie! That's always nice to hear :)

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  2. That's an amazing thing to do for those in need. I have a friend (male) who has been growing his hair out for two years in order to donate to locks of love! Cute blog, I am now following :)


    Hope you can check out my blog!

    ninikat.blogspot.com

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    1. That's great! I'm sure he will be relieved once he gets rid of the extra length, lots of extra work for people that are use to short hair. My brother had grown his hair out a few years ago to donate to Locks of Love as well. Thanks for following! I'll be sure to check your blog out too!

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  3. It looks great short! And an amazing cause :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm still getting use to having almost a foot of my hair missing but it feels great. Locks of Love is great.

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