21 August, 2005

The Road To Hell Is Paved With My Hair

One of my bridesmaids has cancer. She's been fighting it off and on for 5 years now, with mixed results. She called on New Year's Day this year to get caught up, and fill me in on her bone marrow transplant. We went through the usual discussions–how much weight we put on over the holiday, how many people from High School turned out to be gay–and got around to hair. Joan has always been one of those friends who likes to make suggestions for improvement. Every woman has a friend like this, who means well. At least they better, because if they didn't you'd want to back a van over them. "That may not be your best color" etc. Her suggestions have invariably led in my case to firming undergarments and breast-enhancing sweaters. ("Be proud of what God gave you up top, and hide what He stuck you with around the middle.")

I was sure when we got to hair I'd hear the latest about pixie cuts and pageboys and perms. (If it begins with a 'p', I don't want it done to my hair) To my surprise, she told me that I should keep growing it out.

"You've always had beautiful hair, Kathy." I'm paging through the TiVo menu on 'mute', so that I can have part of my brain distracted from what is surely a Personal Improvement Talk.

"Thanks." Man, I miss the be-doop sound of my TiVo.

"I think you should grow it out and then donate it to Locks of Love. They use it to make wigs for cancer patients."

As this is a charitable cause which takes little (read: no) effort on my part, I thought it sounded relatively painless. I was up for it.

"I know you love Little Women. You can be just like Jo March, and donate your hair to a good cause." Wow, I feel good about this conversation....

"Yeah, I'm just like Jo. Amy told her that her hair was her One Beauty." (I've always wanted to slap that pickled-lime eating prima donna.)

"Exactly."

At that point, I figured I'd go ahead and do it anyway. I was just hoping that she wouldn't get my hair.

In the movie of my life, you'd see me over the next eight months in a variety of hysterical positions. Waking up in the middle of the night by pulling my own hair; snagging brushes in butt-length tangles; collecting an endless variety of hair ties. I own scrrunchies, thick rubber bands, thin rubber bands, barrettes and banana clips. You know those scenes in movies and tv shows where a male character wistfully holds his wife's 'before' lingerie up to the camera, and then whips out some whale-size pregnancy panties? That's how I felt when I could no longer wrap my cute purple Turbie Twists around my wet hair. They have been gradually replaced by heavy bath towels. I couldn't even use the cute yellow ones because Quinn has claimed them .

By Thursday I'd had enough. I finally went to be shorn of my Charity Locks and get back to some decent length hair. I figured that if nine months is long enough to grow a baby it ought to be good enough for a head of hair. Proudly I sit in the stylist's chair, whip off the scrunchie and announce my intentions.

"Honey, nobody is gonna want this hair. It's too damaged."

It thrilled me to discover that my one beauty is too damaged for charity. I decided I'd delay the part where I get Backslidden and wallow in self pity long enough to finally Get A Decent Haircut. I'm pleased to report that I no longer look as though I make my living selling vegetarian chili in the parking lot of a Dead Show.

And Locks of Love takes Visa.

4 Comments:

At 9:41 AM, August 22, 2005, Blogger Aunt Lydia said...

So did you donate your hair anyway? If I didn't have hair, I'm not sure I would care if the hair I got was damaged or not. I'd just be glad not to look like a cue ball. Anyway, looking forward to seeing your new haircut!

 
At 6:31 PM, August 22, 2005, Anonymous tom said...

I'm sorry that your hair was too damaged. That does sound like a worthy cause.

 
At 6:08 AM, August 23, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

The donated hair has to be 10 inches from tip to tip. The last two inches of my hair were full of split ends, etc. I personally think they should have taken it, because they could have trimmed it up and discarded the unusable parts.

I know nothing about hair and wigmaking, though, and took the stylist's word that it would have been too damaged. I thought it looked okay in a pile on the floor, but what do I know?

 
At 1:50 PM, March 28, 2007, Anonymous La BellaDonna said...

My sister donates her hair fairly regularly (that is, more than once. Maybe more than two or three times.)

I, on the other hand, have been hanging on to mine. I figure people afflicted with cancer aren't going to want something that looks like a cat toy.

It looks like a cat toy because the cat plays with it. So at least it makes someone happy, which is a Good Thing.

 

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