The (Latest) Big Chop: Donating My Hair

This week I did something crazy.  I chopped my hair off (!).  Here is a visual...

But, let's back up to Saturday.  That night, Danny and I met our friends out for a show featuring our friend, Brian, on bass.  The band performed the entire Fleetwood Mac Rumours album--and did it well.  We sang along, laughed, and enjoyed every minute.  At one point in the night, during all the fun, I saw a beautiful young lady standing near us with an awesome haircut.  It was a pretty, ultra-short pixie, with a swoop of longer hair to one side.

After inquiring whether those around me liked the cut, Danny encouraged me to ask the girl where she gets her hair styled.  I felt a little weird, because I didn't often ask strangers about their hair, but she, very pleasantly, told me of the salon and the cross streets in Richmond.  I excitedly wrote it down for a little research after the show.

Because they weren't open until Tuesday, I had to wait to call for an appointment.  Luckily, almost immediately after arriving home from the show, I got a good two hours of googling celebrity styles and attempting to envision differing options on my head.  Danny was a great sport and helped me search.

Tuesday came and I was ready to make the appointment.  The salon is called Parlor, it's in the city of Richmond, and it is fabulous.  Because the girl hadn't told me the stylist's name, I had to call and make the appointment with whomever was available.  Despite this fact, after reading online reviews, I was confident and optimistic about what I would get from any of the stylists there. 

Parlor is a hip, interesting, and welcoming salon, new to Broad Street, in Richmond, VA.  Shortly after my arrival, I met my stylist: Tiffany.  She talked with me, heard my rambling story of how I had discovered the salon, and I soon found out that she was the exact hairdresser who would have been recommended to me, if her name had been given! Crazy huh?!  She understood what I wanted and how to make it happen.

My needs for this new do:

1. Easy and quick to maintain each day.  Since making this cut, I've shaved between 15-20 minutes off of my morning routine!  Yay!

2. Short--I was ready to be rid of the long, heavy hair.  Within a month of my go-to becoming a low ponytail (day after day!), over the years, I've discovered that this is an indication that I need a drastic change.

3. Donate the hair.  Prior to my appointment, I decided that I wanted to donate my hair to Matter of Trust, rather than an organization like Locks of Love.  Because these drastic changes don't come along all too often, I thought doing something meaningful with it would be a good move.

Why Not Locks of Love?
I've donated to Locks of Love several times, once in high school and at least once in college.  Though they do good work with some of the donations, the amount of people helped with their efforts seems fairly small considering just how many donations they get each year.  Also, much of the hair donated to their organization is not usable for their purposes, so it gets sold and isn't used as the donor may have intended. 

According to this Huffington Post article, in 2011, Locks of Love did not account for approximately $6 million worth of hair that was donated to the nonprofit.  In response, president of Locks of Love, Madonna Coffman said, "A check would be easier for me" [than a hair donation].  This is because, as the article articulates, many donors are "unaware of the guidelines and often send strands that are that too short, too processed, or gray."

Why Matter of Trust?
Matter of Trust, however, uses human and pet hair to assist in cleaning up oil spills.  As this benefits everyone, by keeping oil runoff out of water and assisting with major oil spills in the ocean, I thought it was something (small) I could do to contribute.  Check out this Huffington Post article on Matter of Trust and their oil spill efforts.  And take a look at the website; you can donate ponytails as short as three inches and they even take the leftover hair from trims--human or pet hair!  So, if you groom your spouse, children, or pets at home, think about it.

Tiffany, despite the odd the request, seeing as it was not for Locks of Love, carefully cut the pony tails off and rubber banded them for my intended donation.  (Though my hair strands are fairly thin and my hairline starts way back, like mentioned in How I Got Over My Fivehead, I have a ton of it!  Two ponytails worth, apparently.)

I found the Matter of Trust donation option on this blog: The Frustrated Bunny.  In this post, the author goes through various facts and figures regarding the reality of hair donation charities.  At the conclusion, she mentions Matter of Trust and I was delighted to look into it further.

So, here's how it turned out.  I'm not always thrilled with my lack of photogenicity, but here goes anyway...


Because I've now had three days of (almost) no hair bliss, I can confidently say I've made the right choice.  I had a few worries: Would it look good?  Would I feel beautiful?  Would I feel fat?  But, I'm happy to say, something as small as a haircut has actually made my life easier and better.

Happy Friday!

Would you ever chop off your hair?

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