When I was 15-years-old, I had just come home from spending a summer travelling all over Europe. It was a life-changing summer, but nothing could have prepared my levels of maturity and strength for the news my mother was about to weigh down on me. “I have breast cancer” she nervously giggled as we lay in my bed together. She was only 45-years-old, and I don’t know if I really understood the significance of her words at that time. I just knew that it was bad, and that she was going to be having surgery.
Months later, I was away at my performing arts boarding school, and she came to visit. She looked funny, and we had such a close relationship so I decided I had to tell her. Cautiously, I broached the subject. “What’s going on with your hair,” I asked. Little did I know that she was wearing a wig. I felt awful for mentioning it, as I knew that losing hair must have been so traumatic for her.
I am happy to tell you all …thrilled beyond words really…that my mother survived breast cancer. Not once, but twice. She is the most amazing woman I know, and I look at her like she is a modern-day female Hercules. I thank my lucky stars every day that she beat that awful dreaded disease.
For all of these years, I have wanted to donate my hair as I remembered that time in my life. Finally, a couple of years ago, I began what I call “my hair journey.” Yes, it took me two years to grow my hair long enough to be able donate, but finally, I decided it was time.
Yesterday was the day, and I called the lovely people at M Salon in Tucson to let them know my plan. My hairdresser gave me some very seriously disappointing news. Though the Locks of Love organization accepts chemically treated hair, they will not accept bleached hair. I guess there is bleach in highlights and in the way that they style hombre dyes. Immediately, I refused to accept no as an answer, and so I went to the computer to research. Pantene, which I had heard of before, does not accept chemically treated hair at all. Again, I was utterly disappointed. Not giving up, I found the Angel Hair Foundation. Yay!!!! They prefer virgin hair but will also accept any chemically treated hair, too! I had found my organization. Not only that, but this organization makes hair prosthetics for children and teens, which touches my heart like I can’t even begin to tell you. Click HERE to go to their website to learn more about this amazing organization and to watch some of the stories from the kids who have received “Angel Hair.”
So now for the end of my hair journey, which ended yesterday:
Look how much hair I had!!!! My heart was pounding outside of my chest as I knew I was about to lose it all.
We braided it up….one of the criteria from the Angel Hair Foundation.
Here’s the snip, and that’s my adorable hair dresser Courtney. I highly recommend her, because not only is she adorable, but she’s an amazing hair stylist!
OMG! My hair is gone. Please, please, please, dear Lord (and Courtney) make this hair look good when you are done.
Okay….here it is….this big moment of my reveal!!!! Here I am with short hair and so excited that I finally completed my hair journey. I think it looks good. It’s been so long since I’ve had short hair, but wow….what a change!
Thank you, M Salon, for helping make this happen for me. This is one fantastic salon y’all. If you live in Tucson and need a good haircut, come check them out. Click HERE for their website. Also, if you are interested in having a “hair journey” of your own, there are many organizations that accept donated hair. Here is the criteria from the Angel Hair Foundation:
- Donated hair should be a minimum length of 12 inches, or longer is preferred.
- Hair must be clean pony-tailed and braided (this keeps the hair in one direction).
- Place rubber band or pony tail holder on each end.
- Non-chemically treated hair is preferred (but any hair in good condition will be accepted).
- Gray hair is accepted.
- Place donation form and hair in zip loc bag and mail to Angel Hair Foundation
- Donors are given a certificate in appreciation for their kindness.
- Download Hair Donation Form and send it along with your hair.
- Please write legibly, so we may send you a thank you and an acknowledgment of your donation.
In honor of the Angel Hair Foundation and my “hair journey,” my song of the day is “Calling All Angels” by the band Train. Most important for this topic of illness that leads to hair loss is their lyric, “I won’t give up if you don’t give up.” What a perfect expression for this topic, so click HERE to go to Youtube to hear this awesome song.
My “hair journey” is something that I will never forget, and I hope it inspires others to think about doing the same thing, because there are lots of angels out there that could use a little help.