Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Big Cut for Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths

by Meghann on January 16, 2013

Two years ago I was inspired.

A new friend of mine had recently chopped all of her hair off to donate it and her enthusiasm regarding the experience was contagious. Thanks to Pantene Pro-V’s Beautiful Lengths program (which partners with the American Cancer Society) her donated hair contributed to a free, real-hair wig for a woman with cancer. Growing my hair out and donating it was something I’d always wanted to do and hearing her tale inspired me to make the commitment to finally do it.

So I started growing my hair out with a goal of eventually donating 8+ inches to the program. Right when I was on the verge of donating a year later, Derek proposed. Plans to donate were temporarily put on hold until after the wedding. I maintained my long locks with regular hair cuts and developed a new goal of donating as much hair as I could after the wedding.

The long hair got old fast and I got super lazy with it in the progress. I basically gave up blow-drying, straightening, and curling my hair and instead opted for the natural look, which looked like I just rolled out of bed most of the time (not exactly a good thing).

On January 5th, the wedding came and went and my very talented hairstylist twisted and styled my hair into an amazing updo that was full of texture and life. I loved, loved, loved it.

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And eleven days later, I was ready for the big cut!

The before:

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The online directions for Beautiful Lengths hair donations were pretty straightforward:

  1. Gather hair in an elastic ponytail holder
  2. Cut above the elastic
  3. Mail hair yourself  

That’s it.

The salon has nothing to do with the process and anyone can cut your hair, as long as it’s all in the holder and you have at least 8 inches to donate (so say the requirements for the Beautiful Lengths program, I know other programs may require a little more).

The online instructions did suggest folks with curly or wavy hair straighten their hair before donating to ensure you have an accurate length of the hair. The measurements should also be taken from the longest layer, not the shortest.

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I told Stephanie (my stylist) to take as much as she could, while leaving the hair above the shoulders. She made the ponytail and I kept waiting for the butterflies to kick in, but they never did. She grabbed the scissors and, without warning, started cutting. For some reason I had pictured it would be one swift cut, but it took her a couple of minutes to make her way through my thick hair. She even stated that it was the thickest ponytail she had ever cut into.

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From end to end, I ended up with 11 inches of hair to donate to Beautiful Lengths. That’s 3 inches more than my original goal! Hopefully this hair will help create a beautiful wig for an amazing woman out there. It’s actually fun to think of all the history that comes with my hair and the other hair donations that are used to create one wig (they use several donations to produce one wig). With my hair, I’m sending love (this hair helped create my wedding day updo) and strength (for all the ponytails this hair has been in for marathon and triathlon training).

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After the “big cut” everything else was cake. I wanted a short bob that I could dress up with curls or wear straight with little prep time. Stephanie did go a little shorter than I wanted, but I’m still happy with the results. My head feels sooooo much lighter already!

From the front:

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Side:

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Back:

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It’s a big difference and I was ready for the change. Long hair has it’s moments, but there’s something to be said for how EASY short hair is! Maybe now I’ll stand a chance at actually doing my hair on a regular basis. Maybe.

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Have you ever donated hair? How much?

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