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Growing, cutting, and donating my hair is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. (Keep scrolling to see how to donate your hair and the address of where to send it.)
My hair is long and thick, but also precious to me. I’ve always loved how thick and beautiful it is. I’ve always been told by others, even strangers, how they would “kill” for my hair. For this reason, and because I don’t look great with short hair, I’ve kept my hair long. It was a part of my portfolio when I attended the Art Institute.
Then, some years ago, one of my life long friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I saw how she lost her hair, and the need for a wig, I needed to help her somehow. She lived hundreds of miles away, but I knew I could help. In past years my mother-in-law had her long hair cut and donated to make real-hair wigs. I wanted to do the same. Cutting my hair and donating it would not go straight to my friend, but it would go to someone that needed it just the same rather it be a woman, man, or child.
When I went into the salon to have my hair cut and donated to the program my MIL had used, the stylist informed me of some facts that I previously did not know. She let me know that the company I was donating to, was recently caught not giving their hair to the recipients. It was a big scandal. I did not want my hair going some place other than a wig.
Then she told me that her mom, a breast cancer survivor, received her real-hair wigs from the Beautiful Lengths program by Pantene. I had heard of Beautiful Lengths, but I thought it was Pantene’s hair care line. It is so much more.
The Beautiful Lengths program is a great way for me to give my precious hair to others. And if you can’t donate eight inches or more of hair, but still want to help then you can donate $8 instead.
[bctt tweet=”The DOs and DON’Ts of #donating #hair for #realhairwigs #PanteneBeautifulLengths #giveback #cancer #spooniebloggers”]
There are some DOs and DON’Ts for preparing your hair for donation (taken from the Donation Requirements page).
Preparing Your Hair: DO
- Use a conditioner after every wash to help keep hair moisturized and protected against damage.
- Use a spray, leave-in conditioner for extra protection when using heated hair appliances.
- Look for new technology in your drying and styling tools to help minimize damage.
- Avoid excessive teasing of hair, as it can uplift cuticles, making them fragile and susceptible to breakage.
- Use deep-conditioning treatments once a week, or as often as needed, to help minimize split ends and keep hair in top condition.
Preparing Your Hair: DON’T
- Use a brush on wet hair when you step out of the shower; once hair is washed and conditioned, use a comb with smooth, wide-set teeth to gently detangle hair, working from tip to root.
- Attempt to blow-dry soaking wet hair immediately; to expedite your blow-out process and help prevent thermal damage, towel-wrap your hair for 10-15 minutes and remove excess water before using a blow-dryer.
- Overbrush hair; despite the common myth that 100 strokes a day are good for hair, this can lead to breakage. Regular, gentle brushing promotes hair health and natural oil distribution.
- Wait more than eight weeks to get hair trimmed; regular salon visits are essential to keeping hair healthy and beautiful.
On the day that you cut your hair for donation, please review these simple steps to prepare your hair, how the stylist should cut it, and where to send the ponytail(s).
Over the years this tradition of growing out my hair and donating it has taken on more and more personal reasons as I meet more people.Currently, I’m growing my hair to get at least 12″ to donate. It’s a process, but it’s worth all the time and energy I put into it. I’m proud to say that my daughter shares this passion.