I am going to spend a few minutes talking about my hair. I know it SOUNDS vain, but I hope it doesn’t come across that way in the end. I don’t want to BE vain, I want to be known as godly and loving and giving and caring, but we are all vain to an extent, aren’t we?
So, my hair. For years, I have been growing my hair out. I have had long or longish hair almost my entire life; you know, your hair kind of becomes part of the definition of you. Now, if you are one of those amazing free-spirited people who can change their hair up then you may not feel the same—or maybe you DO feel the same and your identity comes with the fact that you have the ability and care-free nature which supports your frequent hair changes—ok, I’m rambling.
Anyway, so, my hair is long. Super long. Like I sit on it and have to move it or put it up to use the bathroom long. And I love it. Like, guys, I really love my hair. It isn’t that it is thick and curly and luscious, because that really isn’t the reason (and it really isn’t luscious lol). It isn’t thick anymore, it is frizzy, and really, it’s rather dry, so I don’t love it because it makes me LOOK good, I love it because it helps me to define me. You see, my hair is really a curtain I use to hide behind, I think. But it is just so…ME. I’m easy-going, hippy-ish, boho-esque, and semi-crunchy and my hair fits those personalities. When I do get to dress up, my hair matches my outfits and it isn’t because I try; it comes naturally to my hair. And now you see the trend—I have become dependent on my hair (seriously laughing at myself here).
So here’s the thing. It’s hair. Hair is actually a big deal in some cultures. I read an old Native American proverb once (sorry, I don’t remember the tribe) about how a person’s hair is like a sense to them. When hunting, it could detect wind changes, hair gives off scent so a child would know when its parent is near and be a little less afraid. When I hear things like this I wish I knew more about my heritage because maybe it would make more sense—the way I feel about my hair, that is. But I do know that I have an emotional attachment to my hair as ridiculous as that may sound.
Here’s the thing, though, I am getting ready to cut my hair. I am a little terrified, but I am a lot convicted. When Scott got diagnosed with cancer I stopped dying my hair with the intention of donating it at some point, and that point has finally come. All the talk about how attached I am to my hair and how my hair is a part of me, while true, can’t drown out the voice in my head and heart reminding me that it really is just hair. AND, if I feel this attached to my hair as a grown woman, then how would I have felt as a young girl if I lost my hair? You see, I have always loved my hair. And it has always been a security blanket for me. As strange as it may sound, my hair is the one and only thing in my life that I and I alone had sole control over. I am blessed with very long hair, and with all the hormone issues I do have, lack growth of hair on my head hasn’t been a negative side effect of this.
But you know what? I have a little girl now, and she also loves her hair, and I have a boy who loves his hair, and that makes me both happy and sad. Myrah is a happy and healthy little girl, but somewhere right this moment as I type this there is a little girl mourning the loss of her once luscious locks. Noah is a healthy and happy boy with a head full of amazing hair, but somewhere there is a boy wishing he could have hair like Noah’s. Somewhere at this moment a beautiful girl is crying into her pillow, maybe wiping her tears on the hair that is falling out of her hair by the handful. Somewhere there is a mom holding her child and crying with her as she brushes the hair literally right out of her baby’s head. Maybe she is saving the hair as a memory; maybe she wants to throw it away as soon as possible because it’s a horrific reminder that bad things happen to children too.
So, you know what, my conviction has finally overruled the love of my hair and I am finally making the cut. I don’t at this moment know exactly how much hair I will donate, but I am going to donate a lot of my hair. I know my hair will not cure cancer or alopecia or even dry the tears that are caused by these things, but maybe it can bring a little girl or boy some joy. Maybe my hair can help a mom sleep easier tonight or help ease a dad’s guilt. Maybe my donated hair will create a beautiful up do for a girl’s first date or prom. Maybe my hair will simply keep a head warm as a little girl is attached to another bag of chemo—poison in her body to kill the cancer raging through. And I am worried about MY hair. Now, that is vain.
Ok, so I wrote that a couple of weeks ago and as most of you know, my entries are rather sporadic, but I always try to pick up where I left off. And, I would apologize for this, but hey, it’s just a part of my quirky personality.
SO, today I made the cut! A wonderful stylist named Kaci cut my hair for donation and then gave me a wonderful style and you guys, I LOVE IT. More importantly, I didn’t cry! Seriously, though, as I was trying to type this morning before the cut I got so emotional, but I’ve thought long and hard about this and my heart is so happy right now. All I can think of is how maybe some little girl will get my hair and be able to walk through the candy store without the stares of pity following her. Or how a little boy may get his Justin Bieber inspired locks and fit in with the other boys. You see, it matters so much to them!
Why does it matter? Because our culture places a lot of importance on hair, and our children can’t help but want hair. And it isn’t a bad thing. I mean, of course we don’t want our children to grow up vain and thinking that only looks matter, but don’t we want our children to be children? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that these children suffering from some devastating illness that took their hair away can feel normal for a day? I mean, let them be little. Don’t teach them to be vain, but let’s let these babies be babies and if donating a little bit of hair can help them remember how to be a kid again, let’s do it. If it helps them to forget for just a moment that they are sick and suffering, then why wouldn’t I want to help them?
Who am I to say no? I can easily grow hair and I personally know someone who can’t, so why shouldn’t I use this little thing to try to show love to another person. Sure, my hair isn’t a monetary donation, but I took a lot of time, attention, and care to grow it out so someone else could hopefully enjoy it. And all this is such a wonderful and gentle reminder that our gifts do not always have to be big. Everyone has something they can do to help another person. You can donate your hair or your time or your money to any cause you find. It DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BIG! Little things are JUST as important and can make such a HUGE impact on someone’s life!
I watched part of a sermon the other day where the preacher was talking about all the time and money we (collectively speaking) spend on awareness. I mean, think about it, how much is spent on awareness in general? Millions? Billions? If we took that money and spent it on the actual cause think of the amazing difference we could make! Make people aware by using your time! Show people you care by donating your time! Go to the food pantry and volunteer or mow your neighbors grass or deliver groceries to someone who is home-bound. Make meals to take to shut ins or just pick up trash in the park. Could you imagine the difference we would make in the world if every single person did just one nice thing for another person or their community a week? I imagine there would be more smiles than frowns!
So, friend, go do something nice today. Random acts of kindness are so amazing and a great way to teach children the art of giving without expecting to receive anything, even recognition, for what they did. Donate something; you will never regret the nice things you did for another person!
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV).
If you want more information about donating your hair to a wonderful charity please consider donating to Children with Hair Loss. This is a legitimate charity and they accept mildly chemically treated hair and gray hair. The minimum length to donate is 8 inches and the wigs they make for children and youth who are suffering are free of charge. It takes thousands of dollars to make one wig, but they are able to provide this for free to children who are hurting. They are run by donations alone! That is amazing!
Check them out at http://www.childrenwithhairloss.us/