Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The best intentions

I've come to the steadfast decision that I'm cutting off my hair (oh, I hear it now--she's so desperate for blog fodder that she's blogging her haircut. No, there's a point, besides the need for blog fodder, which is really unnecessary since everything is blog fodder. Okay, not everything. Even I have my limits, but back to the real issue...). I cut my hair right before M's birth and have been growing it ever since. At first I loved it, especially when it passed through the around-the-shoulder phase, which is my personal favorite. Then for a while I even liked it long. Now it just seems like an unbelievable hassle. Between the washing and drying and styling and frizzing and endless resulting ponytails, I just don't see what all the long hair fuss is about. What's more, K's very good at finding any little piece of hair to grab. And her fingers are usually sticky. Yeah, you get the picture. Finally, it's all falling out. Well, not all of it, at least I hope not, but it is in that postpartum shedding phase, and I find long red strands all over the house. We even found one in K's diaper. Yes, she managed to eat one of my hairs. This has just gone too far.

Why not just make the cut? Because I have been growing it out with the express purpose of donating it, only I've reached the end of my patience as my hair seems to be reaching its maximum reasonable growth. We've measured and over the past few months have made no sizable addition to its length. I have about a ten inch layered ponytail, provided I'm willing to go really short, which I am indeed willing to do. This is all for a good cause (my sanity; oh, and the cancer patients too). The program I really want to donate to is Pantene's Beautiful Lengths, which provides wigs through the American Cancer Society's wig banks to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. I have a friend fighting a brain tumor right now, and after seeing what a difference a wig made for her, the program really struck me. And they only need eight inches. Great! Except... they only take eight inches. So the few layers that are shorter than eight inches aren't acceptable. And the nice representative on the phone couldn't tell me if that meant that they would use what they could and get rid of the rest, or if they would just throw the whole thing out. Call me particular, but I can't stand having grown it for 3 years only to have my donation in the trash.

So then there's Locks of Love, which gives wigs to children who have lost their hair for a variety of reasons. Since it's the most well-known hair donation recipient, I didn't really want to go that route, but they will take any ten inch ponytail, even if there are much shorter layers. Bingo! Except... they will sell off the shorter hair to regular wig manufacturers to offset the cost of wig production. Which means that, since most of my hair is not ten inches (just the very longest layer), most of it will not end up being used for the good cause I'd envisioned. And then I started thinking, if they're just going to sell my ponytail for money, I might as well just donate money to them and get a really great haircut of my own.

So this is my current dilemma. I have been focused on a cause for 3 years only to find that my dedication isn't exactly panning out. Do I force myself into donating even though it won't make the difference I hoped, just for the principle of donating, or do I accept that I tried my best and just give up? I could continue waiting--surely my hair will continue to grow, even by millimeters--but I don't want to. So really, it's not that I can't donate; it's that I'm not willing to wait until I can donate, which just makes me sound horribly selfish. And this whole thing was meant to be not horribly selfish. It was meant to be a good thing, a generous thing, a thing that might be someone else feel better, only all it seems to succeed in is making me feel worse.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I say donate the money and get a haircut you love! (You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?) Consider the last 3 years as donating your time. Commit to tell 15 people about the cause. And let go of the guilt. :)