Gone to a Good Cause

I suppose it all started about two years ago. Somewhere between periodically trimming my hair and keeping up with my highlights, I decided I wanted to grow my hair long again. Like, really long. Like, this was going to be the last go-around, before I chopped it all off in favor of a more mature style. Any style, really.

And so the seemingly endless process began. I’m not sure at what specific point I decided that, when I eventually cut it, I would donate my ponytail to Locks of Love. Why not? It was only hair, after all. It would grow back, I was cutting it anyway; and, most importantly, it was for a great cause.

Of course, working in the editorial department of this newspaper, I frequently receive photos and stories from children – usually in elementary school – who have been similarly inspired to perform this good deed. Some have even committed to donating their hair every couple of years or so, as soon as they have the requisite 10 inches to cut off. Talk about patience!

Me, I thought I would never reach the point I needed to. My hair would grow a few inches over the course of several months, and then become fried and frayed at the edges, necessitating my having it trimmed a few inches. And so the cycle continued, the theory being that healthier hair grows faster. Doesn’t it? 

Of course, though it’s only hair, I was still somewhat apprehensive regarding the outcome. Not being especially proficient in the whole “styling” field, I knew I needed enough left over to be able to put it up on those oh-so-frequent “bad” hair days. Either that, or invest in a very large hat.  

I don’t know why, but between the brushing and blow-drying and straightening…let’s just say the only way I could possibly be rid of all my split ends would be to shave my head and start from scratch. (And even then… maybe they come in already split?) As my hairdresser incredulously remarks each and every time I come in for a trim, “I don’t understand how you do this to your hair. It’s soooo easy to take care of! I would kill for hair like this!” Apparently, I’m missing the – what do they call it…knack?

Well, fast forward two years or so from the initial brainstorm, and I finally got up the nerve to schedule the Big Appointment. The novelty of long hair had worn off with the realization that it would never be as healthy as I wanted it to, nor would I ever look older than the “17 or 18” that people regularly estimated. I needed a new look.

And so, with just a couple of snips, it was done. One ponytail, measuring precisely 10 inches – gone to a good cause. Many have done it before me, and many surely will in the future. I’m proud to be among them.

And, on the plus side, I think I can hold off on the hat for now.


{Published: August 25th, 2010}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment