Tomorrow, Saturday Nov.22nd, is National Donate Your Hair Day. If you’ve been thinking about cutting your hair to donate now would be the perfect time. When you donate your 8-inch or longer ponytail through the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program Pantene pays to have the hair turned into high quality real hair wigs, which are then made available for free to cancer patients in need.
Since launching in Canada seven years ago, with the support of thousands of generous Canadians from coast-to-coast, Pantene Beautiful Lengths has donated thousands of high quality, real-hair wigs to help women living with cancer regain their confidence and sense of self.
It is a very cool program, one that is near and dear to my heart. Back in February I cut my knee length hair and donated 24 inches of it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. But you don’t need to make that drastic of a cut, you just need to meet a few minimum requirements:
* Donated hair must be a minimum of 8 inches long (measured from just above the elastic band of the ponytail to the ends)
* If donating wavy/curly hair, you may straighten it before measuring
* Hair should be freshly washed and completely dry, without any styling products
* Hair may be coloured with vegetable dyes, rinses and semi-permanent dyes; it cannot be bleached, permanently coloured or chemically treated
* Hair may not be more than 5 percent grey
My daughter’s reactions to my big hair cut were initially mixed. My kids were asleep when I got home. The first time the six year old saw me after my haircut, she just followed me around and just stood there staring at me with this dumbfounded look on her face. Eventually she said something inane, like “Um… I’m going to go get dressed now.” and then she came back and stared intently at me some more, until I finally asked her “Well, what do you think of my hair?” and she said “It looks very nice mommy” but you could tell she was just trying to be polite. After a long pause she added, “But it’s curly!!” in this sad offended tone. I explained that the stylist had curled it, but that once I washed it and it dried it my hair would probably be much straighter. She had this look of total relief of her face. “Oh, whew. Well you better wash it right away then! Right now!” I told her it might still be a little wavy since it is so much shorter and lighter now.” And she said in this very serious tone, “Well, I sure hope it’s straight. I need it to be nice and straight and just like mine.”
About five minutes later the three year old woke up. She came in the room and oohed and awwed at my hair. She climbed into my lap and touched it and petted it and giggled with glee. She got down off my lap and circled around me twice to check it out from every angle. “Wow, wow, WOW Mama, you’re hair is curly now! Curly and just like mine. I so so happy!”
Kids. They crack me up. Of all the reactions I expected to me chopping off more then half of my hair, this curl/no-curl obsession was certainly not one of them. But they are still at that stage where they want to be Just Like Mom, so I really shouldn’t have been surprised when they both told me that they wanted to cut and donate their hair too.
I stalled for a few months, both because I wanted to make sure their interest was genuine and because the littlest one’s hair wasn’t quite long enough yet. But some six months later they were still asking, “When will we donate our hair, mom?” So a few weeks ago we headed into the salon for their big cut.
While technically I could have cut their hair at home and then donated it I remembered how crummy my previous attempt at trimming my daughter’s hair at home had gone, and I wanted a professional to do it. So we asked around and found a local salon that both catered to kids and also had previous experience with cutting hair to donate. My girls came home with cute matching bob cuts, and two little braids it two little ziplock bags waiting to be mailed in to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program.
They were really excited about the idea of helping someone else by donating their hair. They were so proud of what they had done, and so was I.
If you (or your little one) are thinking about cutting your hair to donate, you can find all the info you need (including the address to where you should mail your hair donations) at the Pantene Beautiful Lengths website.
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.