Why I Cut 2 1/2 Feet Off

I have always found that the best way for me to heal from a hurt is to help someone else.

My mother died a year ago on Palm Sunday from cancer.

The treatments that she elected to receive caused her hair to fall out.

The women in my family all have very beautiful hair.

My mother who was 79 years old had very few grey hairs.

Of course, when she died she had next to no hair.

She laid in her casket peaceful.  I have to say she had a really nice shaped head and we decided, that since she really looked good even without her hair, to have an open casket funeral service.

I have been conflicted over her death because we were not close.

I found it ironic that the last time I saw her alive she told me that I should cut my hair.

I just looked at her and ignored her "commandment."

My body is mine.  She never approved of the things I did.  Being a vegetarian seemed to upset her and other things that worked for me did not meet her approval.  I didn't let that bother me anymore.  I knew she didn't approve of the way I chose to live my life and she never would.

Growing up I had two aunts who were both beauticians.  They lived in different states - one in Illinois (Aunt R) and the other in Michigan (Aunt E).

My father was adamant about them not cutting my hair.

I remember him telling them both that they were to never ever cut my hair or they would have to deal with him.

You really don't want to upset my father.  He was a big man 6' 3" and he meant business.

I would go visit Aunt E and my uncle in Michigan on a regular basis.  Aunt E was married to my mother's brother.  She thought my father's statement was silly.  One day while I was in Michigan visiting my aunt and uncle, Aunt E asked me if I wanted to get my hair done.  Of course I said yes.  What young girl doesn't want to look pretty.  She had always done my hair before I went home so I would look nice when I arrived back to my parents.  This time she inquired about cutting it and I told her that my father wouldn't like that.  She told me that he wasn't here to give her grief over it and if I wanted to have my hair cut that she would do so.  I said OK.  She cut my hair.  I looked cute with my new sporty, short hair.

I got back on the train and went home to Chicago.  When my father saw my hair he called Aunt E and gave her heck over cutting my hair.

Needless to say, I didn't get my hair cut again until I was in college.

I have always had long hair and now that my mother has gone, I thought I would do something that would help me feel better about her passing and hopefully help someone else too.

This wasn't a spur of the moment decision.  I have been thinking about this for a very long time.  I contacted several different organizations to determine what the requirements were for donating hair.  I picked two organizations and went to my beautician to have my hair prepared and cut.

I donated several long locks to the two organizations that would make wigs for those who have had cancer.

I still have long hair. It is a little bit past my shoulders.  It is no longer past my butt.

My hair grows really fast so it won't be long before it is really long again.

I know cutting my hair upset my husband because since he has known me I have always had very long hair.  This is a change for him and he will have to adjust to it.

I feel better about my decision and the donation.  I know that through it I have helped others feel confident.
WildSpectrumArts WildSpectrumArts
46-50, F
7 Responses May 13, 2012

Once when I was trying to let my natural silver hair come in...I went and tried to have the dark dye lightened...(I have had silver hair since my 20's, this happened in my mid 40's, I am 53 now) To make a long story short, the stylist FRIED my hair....after the blisters healed, I had my college aged children shave what was left of my hair OFF, down to the scalp. I called my husband at work and said "I just want you to know I had the kids shave my head bald" :-) Tell King it could have been much worse! <br />
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What you did by choosing to donate your lovely locks was perhaps a spiritual "letting go" as much as a physical one. I read once that in the old times Native American women shaved their heads when they lost beloved ones to show their grief and to honor the departed spirit. I applaud your choice and now that you are pregnant, the prenatal vitamins will make your hair grow extra fast! Bright Blessings to you. My daughter is expecting this Feb. so I will be thinking of you all along~ Hugs and Congrats. ~Hilly~

Hilly, thank you so much for you comforting words and sharing your story. My hair always grows fast so King has just been acting silly for nothing, I know it surprised him but my hair has been growing back really quickly. I got it trimmed yesterday and King didn't say anything except to say that my hair looked nice curled.

He's so in love with you Wilde....he's just "messing with your head" I couldn't resist that one! It's wonderful to finally speak with you. :-)

Likewise Hilly. King speaks of you often. He loves the ladies in his circle. He has told me all of the wonderful advice you have given him about becoming a father. Thank you so much. It really has helped settle both of us.

I know that you are both just wild with excitement. I am so happy for you both. King is such a gentleman. I don't have many male friends because most EP men are simple minded EP horn dogs. :-) You guys are so lucky to have one another and to now have two babies! Just think...just a few months!!! Can you stand it, doesn't your body feel so alive when you lie down...if not now...it will soon! Hugs and Happy Dances~Hilly~

LOL. Hilly, did you see that picture of King? He's a horn dog too. LOL. I'm still in shock that I'm pregnant, twins? Beyond understanding. I'm sure I will figure it out by the time I get ready to deliver them. Yikes!

2 More Responses

Wow. I can't believe you cut your hair. King sent me the picture he took of you last night. It looks great. I'm happy that you donated it.

WSA.... this was so kind of you... and what a healing experience. I understood everything you talked about in your story, if not directly, because it was truly heartfelt. I get it.....thanks for sharing this :)

Ruby, it was hard and actually a tear fell down my cheek with the first cut. Even after I had made my decision to get it cut I hadn't thought how much I was attached to my hair. My stylist made sure I looked beautiful afterwards. I was happy but sad too. I got in the car to go home and I just bawled like a baby. I'm ok with my decision and I'm no longer crying over my hair. I know it will grow back. I think of those who don't have luxury.

Awww this is so sweet! I can imagine that this was hugely emotional... I would have been bawling my eyes out, I completely understand. ;-) A day that has such happiness/sadness can actually be kind of cleansing in a curious way...

What a kind gesture you have made. I'm sure it wasn't all that easy parting with your locks but the thought of how much it will be appreciated by another helps. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Thank you Arsineh. As a woman with long hair, I know you know it isn't easy to part with it.

It is a good thing you have done to give of yourself to others so that they may have an improved quality of life.

Locks of Love is a great organization that takes donated hair and turns it into wigs for cancer patients. I think the only requirement for them is the hair has to be at least 10 inches. I have never given only because I never let my hair grow out long enough to do so, but my sister has several times and I know it goes for a good cause<br />
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What you did was truly a gift and I know that whoever receives it will be grateful that women like you are out there.

It's always a good idea to check before you donate to any cause. According to what they publish,Locks of love provides hairpieces to any child under the age of 21 who suffer any illness causing hair loss. If you are financially able to pay then there MAY be a fee based on a sliding scale, otherwise everything they do is free to those in need.

I did a lot of research before donating my hair. I donated through Pantene and Wigs for Kids. I also gave a generous financial donation to offset the cost so that the recipients would not have to pay for the hair replacement system.

I'm sorry I was being insensitive to your needs in healing from this situation. I realize that you cut your hair to help you and others. I shouldn't have posted my story not thinking about how what you were doing was a sacrifice of yourself to help others. I was being selfish. I think it was very honorable for you to do what you did. I just was surprised to see your hair cut after never seeing it cut before. You are beautiful and your hair looks lovely.

Thank you. You are forgiven.