at the end of last august, i donated thirteen inches of my hair to locks of love. the total amount cut off was sixteen inches after they straightened everything out.
i made the decision to grow out and donate my hair in ninth grade after a girl in my girl scout troop had finished chemotherapy for leukemia. she had had this long wavy chestnut hair that was just beautiful and i honestly can't even begin to comprehend the trauma of going through the brutal treatment of cancer and losing my hair.
when i first started growing my hair out, it was about shoulder length. i had bangs.
okay, so ignore the bangs. it was ninth grade. but the thing is, my hair is CURLY so if i don't spend half the day attacking it so it's straight, it's only about half as long. also, the minimum donation length with locks of love is ten inches. i obviously had to grow it out so it would be the minimum donation length and so i could have something managable (read: not a fro) left over.
my original plan was to cut it the night before my high school graduation. i thought that would be a nice time for change and i would surprise everybody with my new, short hair. unfortunately that didn't work thanks to a scissor-happy hair stylist in eleventh grade. i was still getting regular trims so my hair would stay healthy, hence the goal of the end of twelth grade.
so my next plan was thanksgiving break 2006. towards the end of my freshman year at RIT, my hair was getting a bit massive. okay, so maybe that's an understatement. it was to the point where i could nearly sit on it. i was able to use it as a scarf if it was straightened. in facebook photos, my friends began to tag my hair as it's own person. by the time summer rolled around, it was too hot to have my hair. i wore it up or in braids for most of the summer. finally in august, i called my hair dresser. i would have gone in that day, except she had just gotten married and was on her honeymoon. i had to wait three more weeks until the end of august. several times, my coworkers and friends had to take scissors away from me as i threated to chop off my braids.
the day before the big snip (as ange liked to call it) i straightened my long hair for the last time. i went to work and it was like an emotional roller coaster. if a girl with a cute short hair haircut came in, i would get excited for the next day. if a girl with long hair came in, i got freaked out and nervous about cutting my hair. it was part of my identity.
the big day came. ange came with me for moral support. my hairdresser, kate, pulled my hair into one braid and tied it off at the top and bottom. when i first felt the scissors cut into the braid, i gripped the arms of the chair til my knuckles were white. she cut the whole thing off and the front of my hair fell down a bit past my shoulders. i was like "OKAY THIS IS SHORT ENOUGH FOR ME." but kate had to even it out. as she was drying it, i kept hearing ange be like "omg amanda!! it's so cute." kate had me spun away from the mirror so i couldn't see it in progress. once she finished, i tried to pull it into a ponytail only to find out i couldn't, i freaked out a bit, but once i saw the end results in a mirror, i was quite pleased.
this was the night before. my hair is like bigger than me!!
this was right after i had first seen it in the mirror. i was so excited!! i hadn't had hair this short since sixth grade.
after getting my hair cut, my friends all said i looked older. i also straightened it religiously until december. but it grew pretty fast!! i guess it was harder to notice when it was so incredibly long. i've since gotten it cut again, back in june. it's not as short as it was last august, but i'm not sure how i like it with my hair curly. so i've been straightening it for the most part recently. maybe i'll get it trimmed again. maybe i'll do it myself.
that's in november with my moral support, ange.
that last week, a bit fancy for my birthday celebration. obviously taken with photo booth on my NEW MACBOOK PRO.
having my hair longer was definitely easier to maintain (although it got a bit harder once it was super-long). it made me feel good to donate my hair to a worthy cause. somewhere out there, some little kid is running around with a massive amount of curly hair thanks to me. i haven't decided whether or not i am going to donate it again. it took a lot of will power, especially that last summer.
if anybody would like more information about donating your hair, it can be found at locksoflove.org