Not long after we got married (wow, almost four years ago!), Mason agreed to grow out his beautiful curly blonde hair to donate, only if I would grow mine out as well. Apparently his hair grows much faster than mine, mostly because I got regular trims to keep it looking good, because he cut his off about two years ago and donated it. About the time he was planning to donate to Locks of Love, I saw an advertisement for a new donation program called Beautiful Lengths by Pantene. Intrigued, I did a bit more research and decided that Beautiful Lengths was where I would make my donation, and I strongly encouraged Mason to do the same.
Both are fabulous hair donation programs, but while Locks of Love is geared toward donating hair to “financially disadvantaged” children who lose their hair to medical treatments from any diagnosis, Beautiful Lengths hits home for me a bit closer. Pantene launched Beautiful Lengths in order to collect hair donations in order to make wigs for adult women who lose their hair to chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. I think that both programs are noble, but I was especially drawn to Patnene’s program because of the audience – adult women fighting cancer.
For those that may not know, I was 22 when I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I did not undergo traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and thus did not lose my hair, but I did have to battle for my life through medical treatments, and I wasbattling cancer. I was 24 when my mom was diagnosed wtih Breast Cancer, Stage 3A. She was well over the 18 year old age limit for Locks of Love. (But not by much, right Mama!?) She did lose her hair, and she was incredibly brave about losing her hair. She elected to have her head buzzed when it began to fall out and she decided not to wear a wig – but she is an anomaly in having chosen not to wear a wig. While my mom was battling for her life, I knew of 3 additional women, personal friends, who also were battling cancer and also lost their hair. They wore wigs. One of them recently passed away.
It’s women like myself, my mom, my Nana, my aunts, Jenny, Rhonda, Mama Lynn…the list continues. It’s because of those women that I chose Beautiful Lengths.
It was an emotional decision, but one that I was proud to make. I had never had hair so long, and it honestly grew on me. I was attached to it and used to the easy styling involved, so making the cut made me anxious. I went to see Joyce, my longtime friend and hairstylist, and totally gave it all over to her – let’s do this! After nearly five years of not having short hair, I had nine (9) inches chopped off. Joyce herself a cancer survivor, was very encouraging of me as I continued to grow it over the many, many months. And she also helped me to pick out just-the-right-style for my new, short do. She didn’t want to be in any of the pictures, but below you’ll see a documentation of her fabulous work! Thank you for your work and attention to detail, Joyce.
I chose to “make the kindest cut of all” and I encourage you to do the same. Mason has done it, too. If you are thinking of making a hair donation, I encourage you to strongly consider Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. Go read some of the stories on the blog, look at the pictures, read about the involvement of the Entertainment Industry Foundation…and consider making the kindest cut of all. While you may miss your hair, you won’t regret it. That’s a promise!
the obligatory pre-cut picture
almost ready to make the cut
and beautifully styled by Joyce.
This is for you,
Mama, Jenny, Rhonda, Mama Lynn (Nancy), Nana, Claire
…and all of the other women battling…