#33: Chop your locks for cancer

Chop, snip, cut!

It’s all gone…16 inches of my hair! The big chop happened about a week ago. 12 inches were cut, braided and mailed to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a free wig donation program to the Canadian Cancer Society. The other 4 inches were then snipped away to create my new style (I’m lovin’ it!).

There are so many simple ways to make a difference in the lives of others that require just a little time, caring and thought. Cutting your hair for cancer patients is a great example of how you can incorporate giving into your regular lifestyle. There are real-hair wig programs that accept donations of as little as 6 inches, which is great for people who like their hair long, or for people who already have shorter hair. All you need to do is ask your hair dresser to gather your hair tightly in a braid or ponytail, with elastics secured at both ends (and preferably in the middle too, for extra security), then you mail your donation in a regular postage envelope to a program of your choice. There are many great non-profit programs to choose from online, which donate wigs to recipients for free (however, there are some that don’t necessarily state that the wigs are given for free, so be sure to double check this). According to the Canadian Cancer Society, “it takes approximately 12 donations of unprocessed hair and costs about $1,200 to craft a single hand-sewn wig for a child”.

I have often thought about the extent to which one’s exterior appearance is a part of who they are. While the sentence ‘it’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts’, is valid when thinking about what we value in someone, there is no denying that the person we see in the mirror everyday and that others see as soon as we enter into this world, plays a role in shaping one’s identity. I can only imagine how losing one’s hair, coupled with going through a trying experience such as cancer may create feelings of estrangement, sadness and loss. Giving a wig to a kid, donating some locks of love, or cutting for cancer can help restore a sense of confidence, self-esteem and personal identity in the person receiving the wig. Not to mention, you will also feel great knowing you’ve done a good thing. Just picture the smile on someone’s face as they run their hands through their new, luscious, real hair wig for the first time and toss their hair around delightfully. Glorious!

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