Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Power Of Hair

As you probably noticed yesterday, my hair has a lot of personality.

It has attitude. It does what it wants. I can only make a few suggestions each morning about things I'd like it to do. Begging, pleading, teasing, purchasing expensive hair products -- none of it matters. The final decision is never mine.

Some of you might have a love/hate relationships with your hair, too. Isn't it strange how a good hair day can give you almost superhuman confidence, and a bad haircut justifies buckets of tears?

Story time: When I was a senior in high school, I had hair just beyond my shoulders, and it naturally formed into big bouncy hot-roller curls. So when I went into a salon to get a cut three days before I was supposed to have my senior pictures taken, I expected the stylists to enhance the natural beauty to the point where I'd walk around in a perpetual glow (a la Touched By An Angel -- still on TV back then).

Instead, the stylist chopped my hair into a chin-length blunt cut (GASP! with me -- you curly-haired women know exactly how bad this is!) and left me staring at the mirror with tears trickling down my face. I hadn't seen what she was doing because glasses come off during haircuts, and I'm blind without mine.

I spent the next week crying myself to sleep. My parents spent $300 on senior pictures I didn't want anyone to see.

My point is that I know how bad a bad hair day can be. That's why I'm cutting all of mine off.

Tomorrow is the first day of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I plan to cut and donate my hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program so I can help provide one brave woman with a few good hair days.

My dear friend Marie was only 20 when she was diagnosed with cancer. We talked about the experience once she was in remission, and she said the worst part wasn't the diagnosis, or even the treatment. She said that when she looked in the mirror and her hair was gone, she felt like cancer had stolen her identity. That's when she wept.

So even though I'm a little bit nervous to cut so much hair, I'm going to make an appointment and do it. I'm going to try to show a fragment of bravery, give up part of the physical identity I've created for myself, and help someone else.

I'll try not to cry.

UPDATE: Did I cry? Find out!


Anonymous said...

You are very brave. I am praying for a happy outcome.

Anonymous said...

That is my new favorite picture of you. -- Amy

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful, wonderful person! I feel like I'm attached to those long, beautiful locks too in some way or another: they are ALL around my house, I've attempted to straighten them a handful of times, AND I've watched them grow into the length they are now. I support you in your decision to bring someone else joy.

synthfiend said...

Personally, I really dig short hair, and I know I'm not the only guy who feels this way. That said ...

What a selfless and generous gift you'll be giving to someone, and what joy it will bring. Shorter hair won't change the fact that you are still quite pretty, and even if you were completely bald, it would not overshadow the beauty of this gift. Very cool.

Andrea said...

That's very kind of you, to donate your hair. I'm sure you will make more than one woman smile, I'm smiling already.

Kiki said...

You just aren't you without your long hair. You said yourself that it was your source of power. I suppose this surrender of your power is for the greater good...