During a conversation with a co-worker in 2007, the topic of haircuts came up. I had shoulder length hair and was talking about shortening it. My co-worker asked if I’d ever heard of Locks of Love. I looked it up and liked what I read. My main reason for deciding to grow out my hair to donate was because I’d always loved my hair. The thickness, the texture, color, wave—everything about it. I knew it was a gift, and one I could share.
Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpiece to kids with long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. (Note: There’s a difference between Locks of Love and Locks for Love.) The latter one is commercial, for profit. They sell wigs from donated hair. Locks of Love donates them.
In 2008, I donated the minimum length: ten inches. My hair was THICK. It had to be cut in pigtails because a ponytail was too hard for my stylist to cut through.
2009: I was diagnosed with cancer. It made me realize what a gift my hair donation had been. After my cancer treatment, when my hair grew back, it came in different. It grew ever so slowly. It was thin, fine, and straight. It took three years to have a spare ten inches, having only two trimmings for haircuts.
Last week I donated another ten inches to Locks of Love. For me, my hair donations were like bookends for my journey of cancer. My haircut came a week before my last* surgery. (I’ve written “last surgery” before—this time it’s for real. Maybe more in an upcoming post…) I saw this haircut as closure for me. I even teared up when the skinny ponytail was off with just a snip-snip. My emotion wasn’t about the haircut. It was the sound and speed of it happening that made me realize the long hair days are over—and so is cancer.
If you have long hair, if you know of someone—male or female, please consider donating at least ten inches of your hair to Locks of Love. The requirements and directions are on their website. Be sure to follow them.