Give It Away

So they always talk about how great women's hair is when they are pregnant.

I can't say I've really felt the glowing-glory emotionally.
(Especially this time, since with a toddler around, I usually have enough time/energy to throw my hair into a pony-blob.)
You can see from these two photos
that over a span of 37 weeks
 my hair grew a lot!

Ha -- for once I'm not doing a belly comparison! Its all about the hair here...But a belly did happen. :)

I'm one of those emotionally-attached-to-my-hair girls. 
{Ask my friend, Lauren -- she does hair, and I have attacked her with my emotionally needy hair questions for years now! Lauren, your a good friend for not smacking me!}

I kind of rely on my hair to make me who I am.

The most poignant point of my hair journey came when I decided I wouldn't rely on my hair anymore, and I would cut it SHORT. I think I was turning 22 at the time.
(I wanted to include a photo -- but in this digital age, I think all the evidence has been pretty much erased by switching from my old junky PC to my Mac many years ago.)
I found out that I was still relying on my hair, and now I didn't have it.
I felt totally thrown off and not like me at all.
And pretty, was the last thing I felt.

I bought all these long earrings to try and feel more feminine.

But I didn't feel feminine.
And I didn't like it one bit.
I felt conspicuous when I was around anyone.
Totally naked.
And when I looked in the mirror I was full of regret.
I was on the edge of tears a lot initally.

But there wasn't anything to do but suck it up while I waited for it to grow.
I tried to just enjoy it for what it was worth, and work it. I never really got there. But at least I had tried a style I always had wanted to try.

Eventually it did grow of course,
and I felt much better.

I actually really enjoyed my hair at a short (but not THAT short) (it was medium/short) length soon after. And I think that was the easiest my hair has ever been to style.

I don't feel like I'm being to eloquent today as I write,
Mommy brain sometimes just can't quite kick it over to the full-mental-drive.
But what I'm trying to get to is...
hair means something to us women.
However we like to wear it, it means something to us.
And, if having a short hair cut was that hard on me, I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose your hair, not by choice.

I've always wanted to donate my hair, ever since I first heard of the idea.
I've always recognized the deep emotional void such a gift could fill.
But I wasn't always ready to go far enough to make the sacrifice, myself.
I wanted to.
But I just couldn't quite get there.

After years of thinking it through, when I was a sophomore in college I was ready to do it.
I had long hair, and I was ready to give it.
The scissors were out and when we looked up the donation guidelines.
We read: Hair that has been bleached cannot be used.
Mine was highlighted.
I was let down and sad. Had I known that ahead of time, I would have waited on the highlights. 
(The thing was, I didn't know I was growing my hair out to donate (it just got really long and I thought I was ready to give it away), so I never looked up the rules.)

After that, well, I just never had enough hair, in the right state, at the right time to go through with it.

But perhaps a month or so before that last pregnancy photo was taken, I saw my cousin (2nd cousin? Once removed? I don't know how that works) give her hair away. And the idea struck me that if I am ever going to do is the time!
I haven't used bleach on any of this hair.
And it's probably grown 5 inches or so since I got pregnant {I'm guessing} all while I wasn't paying any attention. (My current general hair styling motives are: spend less money --- growing hair is cheap. AND like I hair has mainly been thrown up in a messy bun for the last bunch of months.)
What better time than now?
Not to mention the fact that I'll be giving a bit more hair than I normally would, since my hair is still thicker and fuller from pregnancy. (I'm expecting the postpartum shedding to start in a month or two. And won't it be nice to not have such long hairs falling out when it starts?)

I'm getting more and more excited about this.
Its going to be so nice knowing I made a difference to someone.
I'm excited to finally be able to do something that has been on my heart for so long.

AND, lets be honest.
In general I'm just ready for a change.

I kinda wanted to make this into a big emotional deal for me. A big shift in my life, kind of thing. A renewal after my long emotional ordeal during this pregnancy.

It doesn't really feel quite that intense.
But if I wanted to, I could say that its part of the equation.
A new start.
A new me.

I actually feel pretty superficial when it comes to the change.
Just looking forward to less hair to wash, brush and dry.
But maybe 
superficial can be deep
when normally your surface means so much?

I don't know what my new hair cut is going to look like.
I have some pictures picked out for a general idea,
but I don't really know how short its going to be when all is said and done.
You don't just lose the inches you donate,
you lose some more inches when evening out the length that gets cut off in a ponytail. (The shape of the hair is kind of a V-shape when cut that way.)
So I'm not really sure where I will stand in the end.
I'm kinda excited about that too!
I've never wanted a surprise hair cut before --  always wanting something very specific. But right now, I'm really looking forward to a makeover that just evolves organically.

So come Friday afternoon...
I'll look different.
And feel different.
And some will be 8-10inches closer to having a little more sensation of "themself" back. 

I haven't quite decided which program I will be donating to.
I just learned that Pantene Pro-V has a program called "Beautiful Lengths" that makes wigs for women who have suffered with cancer.
And of course there is "Locks of Love", who mainly make wigs for children with alopecia.
Right now, I'm emotionally leaning more towards the Beautiful Lengths.
But I will pray about it a little more before Friday. 


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