I finally cut my hair! To be honest, this haircut has been on the back burner for quite a while, especially since I created a “Chop it Off” inspiration board on Pinterest. On the board grace pixie cuts, bobs, and my favorite cut, the Lob. There’s just something about the Lob that oozes confidence and coolness to the person that has the cut. This and the high maintenance of my eventual waist length hair gave me the desire to chop it all off! I would have cut my hair sooner, but my mom wanted my hair long for my graduation, so we compromised and I cut my hair 4 days after my graduation. This was my third donation and first time donating to the organization, Children With Hair Loss. In this post, I’ll share my hair donation story, all the details of the big chop, and how you can donate your hair too!
How I started donating my hair as a tradition…
I started donating my hair the summer after I had promoted from the eighth grade. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Northern California summers, especially in the Central Valley, our summers are hot. Like a dry, suffocating heat. Temperatures of up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit are normal and trips to the local pool are frequent. As you can probably imagine, having long, thick hair in this weather is more of a hassle than a dream. After seeing how miserable I was, an aunt suggested that I donate my hair. My first thought was “Wow, people actually do this?”. I was amazed because the concept had never crossed my mind and I was intrigued and excited about cutting my hair short for the first time since I was in kindergarten.
What also really motivated me was that donating my hair to a person, possibly a child, battling cancer or other disorders that result in hair loss was inspiring. If I could provide even a small gift of happiness in the form of a wig, then I had no problem about parting with my hair. It is just hair after all, it grows back! So that’s what I did, I chopped my hair, donated it to Locks of Love, and continued on with my life, enjoying my new, shorter look. This would continue on the summer I graduated high school, just in time for my freshman year of college. The second time, I donated my hair to Locks of Love again, in which, years later I would learn to not donate to them because of reports that they sell the wigs they make.
So this is how my hair donating tradition started! I didn’t intend to donate every 4 years, life sort of made it that way. It seems that every time I move up in pursuing my education, I chop off my hair. What makes the recent donation special is the fact that I donated to Children With Hair Loss, a non profit organization that gives wigs to children for free! They take most types of hair, as long as it is at least 8 inches and healthy. If you are even considering donating your hair but aren’t sure where to donate, I highly recommend donating to CWHL (learn more here). In addition, what also made this recent cut special was that I donated 16 inches. It’s the most I have ever donated! I felt a strange but happy sense of accomplishment when my hair stylist measured my ponytails 🙂
My advice for donating hair:
- Do your research – From what I have previously mentioned about the Locks of Love scandal, it is important to do your research about the different organizations/charities that make wigs from hair donations. After all, you are the one undergoing change, it just makes sense to be as informed as possible to give you peace of mind and make the donation worth it. From my research, other places to donate hair instead of Locks of Love are:
- Wigs for Kids: Minimum length is 12 inches, Wash out highlights acceptable, No chemically treated hair and no gray hair.
- Pantene Beautiful Lengths: Minimum length is 8 inches, No chemically treated, dyed, or bleached hair.
- Wigs 4 Kids: Minimum length is 10 inches, Under 10% gray hair acceptable, No chemically treated or dyed hair.
- Children With Hair Loss: Minimum length is 8 inches, Non-chemically treated hair preferred but all hair accepted, even gray hair!
- Matter of Trust- Clean Wave Project: Minimum length is 3 inches for ponytails, chemically treated hair is accepted.
- Don’t even think about it, just do it! – If you have been pinning lob inspiration pics on Pinterest and scrolling through the #Lob on Instagram, then you are more than ready to make the big chop! If the amount of money saved on shampoo and the selfless deed of giving someone a bit of happiness isn’t motivating enough, then I don’t know what is!
- Know how short you want to go – From a pixie cut to the ever popular lob, the possibilities are endless with this new change. Having some inspiration pictures at you hair appointment are extremely helpful for your hair stylist. This also avoids the whole situation of going shorter than you expected. Save yourself and your stylist the drama of going through this and bring pictures!!
- Keep your hair healthy- I know this is obvious, but it had to be said! Eat a healthy diet, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. A pill or oil is no substitute for a healthy mind and stress free life, just saying.
- Have a mini photoshoot with your long hair- Not necessary, and maybe a bit over the top to some people, but capturing pictures of your long luscious locks is fun! Do all the things you can do with long hair (curl it, braid it, bun it, etc.) and capture it on camera. It is so cool to see the long hair to short hair progression!
- Get it cut by someone you trust- Another obvious piece of advice, I know but this haircut is not the time to experiment with a new hair stylist or friend that claims to know how to cut hair. Instagram is a great resource to find a new hair stylist, in fact, that is how I found mine! If it comes down to it, have your mom do the initial chop and then go to the salon to get it cleaned up and shaped. In my experience, I’ve done both and come out with a haircut that I love.
That concludes my story and guide to donating hair! I still can’t believe I donated 16 inches of my hair. My hair feels so much thicker and healthier now and it has grown a bit in the month after I cut it. Since donating, I’ve learned that it is much easier to travel with shorter hair; you use less shampoo, drying time is shortened, and styling is a breeze! I am seriously considering keeping my hair this length for a while and maybe even going shorter. We shall see 😉 Until next time!
Peace, love & blessings,