Thursday, January 10, 2013

Manes of Meaning

Growing up I had really long hair. I would cry if I thought too much got trimmed off during a hair cut, and I certainly never envisioned myself with short hair, or hair even above my shoulder blades! I frequently heard how beautiful my hair was, girls on my sports teams always wanted to french braid it, and my sister used to always lament about how her hair would never grow as long as mine. It was what I considered my trademark for much of my life.

Oh, how things have changed! I still love having longish hair (not nearly as long as when I was young!) but I also have grown to love the times when I  donate my hair to Locks of Love and I have some cute and sassy hair for awhile. I usually opt for a longer bob-esque style, and I typically leave the salon, ponytail in hand, thinking: "Wow, I love my hair short!"

My goal is to donate seven ponytails by the time I am thirty. I am currently growing my hair out for pony #5.

(Why seven you ask? Well it takes between 6-10 ponys to make a wig, so I figured donate enough to make most of one wig!)

My list of donations:

Pony #1: Waaaaay back in 2004. It was the summer before I left for college and I knew I needed to update my 'do before sorority recruitment time. It was my longest ponytail and a huge shock after 18 years of life with hair that was past my waist.

Pony #2: Some time in the spring/Early summer of 2006. I kept my hair short for awhile after then. It was easier to take care of, and also provided less prep time before 8:30 classes and a 7am job in college!

Pony #3: December 2008. After a long stint of decently short hair, I grew it out through my senior year of college and then after starting my first job in DC in October, I cut it off when I went home for Christmas. I remember it was really fun coming back from Christmas vacation and seeing my co-workers (one in particular :)) surprised faces when they saw me with 12 less inches of hair!

Pony #4: October 2011. I had just reached enough length to cut a little over 10 inches off. This was the first time I was hesitant to cut it, as I had gotten back into the swing of having long hair and doing pretty curls and ballerina buns. Luckily, I had an awesome hair cut, and the timing for going to Turkey a few days later was perfect. Short hair when traveling was such a dream! Who wants to be spending time blow drying and styling 17 inches of hair when you have a new city or country to explore?!?

So Pony #5: I have six inches now. I am shooting for 11 again. Probably by October of this year I will be able to cut it! With my goal of getting #5,6 & 7 done in 3.5 years (eep! 30 is getting too close for comfort people!), I need to grow and cut as soon as I possibly can!

If you are thinking about donating you hair (Which I highly suggest!) I have some tips and tricks I have learned over the years:

  • Buy good products if you are not trimming your hair frequently and/or when it starts getting really long to avoid breakage and dryness. Good shampoo, conditioner, and a UV protector were essential for me! I've used the Alterna brand for the UV and heat protectants, and it has been great
  • Avoid a lot of heat styling, if possible. Now, I love to curl my hair, so I try to do it in moderation, and I have been using a heat protector to keep some of the damage at bay. Less heat damage=less hair cuts=faster donation times!
  • Trims. I used to trim my hair 4 times a year when I was growing it out (once a season) and maybe a quick appointment to clean up my swoopy bangs. For pony #5, I have even gone more rogue, and scaled back to 1-2 haircuts a YEAR! Yes, a year. Now, this is partially because my hair has remained in really good shape and the ends have stayed healthy. It is also partially related to expensive haircuts in DC and my budgeting limitations. Regardless, it can be done, but I would recommend at least 2-3 hair cuts a year just to make sure you don't get too mangy.
  • Something new I am going to start trying is Biotin. Sara swears by it for healthy hair and nails. I'll give it a try to see what happens, but I figure anything to keep my hair and scalp happy!
You can read about donation #4 here.

Have any of you donated your hair before? Would you donate you hair?

When I am done with pony #7, I am thinking about really going all out and dying my hair for the first time. Problem is, I don't know if I would want to go darker or lighter! What do you think would be more fun?

1 comment:

  1. that is so wonderful! and i love that you are doing this. ps: biotin works!