Cutting & Donating My Hair!

I've always had long hair. Well, I have if you don't count my super short hair phase when I was about thirteen, but we won't talk about that as it looked horrific because I had no idea how to anything with it besides brush it, so, I've always had long hair.
Long hair is cool. You can do so much of it and, yeah, it looks pretty sometimes, but the idea of shorter hair has always appealed to me, for numerous reasons. One being that it much lower maintenance and takes less time to do things with, the others including the fact that it just looks rather nice and it may make me look a little bit more like I have my life together (for some reason). I've never been one to experiment with my hair. I'm not a particularly spontaneous person in any aspect of my life. Whenever I leave the house I have to plan my outfit, how much money I'll need to take with me and what mode of transport I'm going to use at least three weeks in advance. I'm also terrified by the thought of drastically changing my appearance, hating it, and then not being able to change it back. Therefore, I'd never just go to the hairdressers in the spur of the moment and ask them to cut and dye my hair a crazy colour. Although, don't get me wrong, I would love to just go blonde or something but, in laymans terms, I just haven't got the guts. I'm a wimp.

However, despite the fact that I've always had long hair, mainly because I've never had the courage to have anything other than long hair, long hair bores me. My hair has always been the same length, no layers, no fancy style, I have it straight most days, sometimes I curl it (which takes 200 years) or other times I shove it up in a ponytail or a bun when it REALLY GETS IN THE WAY (or looks super greasy). But I recently got to the point of thinking, 'you know what, I just REALLY WANNA CUT IT. LIKE, REALLY.' So, I did.
But, like I say, my hair has never undergone any fancy treatment, it's never been coloured, bleached or any of that jazz. I use heat on it when styling but that's about it. Therefore, it has always been in perfect condition, bar the odd split end, if I do say so myself. So, when I decided that I was going to cut it, it almost seemed criminal to just allow it to fall onto the salon floor and then swept into the bin. I thought as though my hair would be going to waste if I just got it cut off and that was the end of it and so I decided to do something with it as oppose to just throwing it away.

I became aware of the world of hair donations a few years ago now and it has always been something that interested me so I waited until my hair was long enough to donate a decent amount and I got it all cut off (well, most of it) and donated it to charity.

The charity I sent my hair to was Little Princess Trust, who provide real hair wigs for children made from donations sent in by people whose hair meets the requirements. Their wigs are free of charge for young boys and girls across the UK and Ireland who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment and they work tirelessly and meticulously with experts to ensure the wigs are as realistic and appropriate for the children's needs as possible. As well as supporting cancer sufferers, the charity also provide wigs for children with other conditions which result in hair loss, the most common being alopecia.

The Little Princess Trust was founded in 2006 by the parents of Hannah Tarplee, the original Little Princess, who sadly passed away after battling Wilms Tumour in 2005 and has grown massively. They now receive a lot of donations, including from celebrities such as Jessie J and Harry Styles. Hannah's parents struggled finding a decent quality wig for Hannah and it took a long time before they were able to find one for her, although, when she received it, Hannah was delighted and very much enjoyed wearing it on special occasions. After Hannah passed away, so many people kindly offered financial and practical support and Hannah’s parents, Wendy and Simon, decided that the most appropriate way to use this help was to launch a charity dedicated to providing specialist real hair children’s wigs, thus, Little Princess Trust was born. Since its inception, the organisation have helped thousands of young boys and girls by providing them with extra confidence boosts and an extra dosage of happiness into their lives by producing wigs of such high quality with the help of caring donors, and the work they do deserves a lot more recognition as I believe it isn't all just about finding cures and the best medical treatments, although charities that do those things are great. I just really love the fact that this charity focus solely on the happiness of these young children and aim to make their lives as normal as possible despite what they are going through. Wendy and Simon are still very much involved with the charity's work and have set up something absolutely life changing.

So, what is the actual process of donating your hair like, you may be wondering. Well, it's probably simpler than you think. The charity ask for hair that is 30cm long, although donations of a shorter length can be used for shorter wigs for boys. The donor washes their hair before having it cut, then gets any dead ends snipped off first. They then must plait their hair, or tie it into a ponytail, and ask their hairdresser to cut it just above the top hair bobble, leaving the hair still in the plait and suitable for the charity to work with. You are then free to have your hair cut and styled as you wish. There are certain requirements that must be met in order for your hair to be suitable for donating, which are given in detail on the LPT website, however, as long as your hair is in good condition, there isn't much of an issue! It's great how the charity are willing to accept such a variety of hair and want to ensure that as many people who want to can donate.

I am delighted that my hair is going to such an amazing cause. I was very excited to get it cut, not just because I wanted a change within my own appearance, but because I know how much a small sample of my hair, which I have taken for granted for seventeen years, is going to change someones life. A few separate donations will be combined for one wig, which is why donations are so important as just person's hair cannot just make one wig, and it warms my heart to know that I am able to contribute towards putting a smile on someones face through next to no effort of my own. Of course, I'm not encouraging anyone to just go and get their hair cut for the sake of cutting it, however, if you are contemplating getting the chop anyway, then why not donate it if its suitable? Besides, it'll only get swept up and thrown away if you don't. You only realise how precious your hair is when you suddenly lose it and so you can make a big difference to the mental health and happiness of a small child just by getting your hair cut. It's magical really, isn't it? Although, if your hair isn't suitable for a donation, perhaps this will encourage you to look more into charities and ways in which you can help people out. When we think of charities, we often associate them with money, a thing which many of us are short of at the moment, but you don't always have to empty your bank account in order to make a difference. Sometimes, there are other things which you can do to show your support. Many charities, also, don't want your money, if anything they just want people to be willing to raise awareness and to know that there are people out there who appreciate what they do.

When it came to actually getting my own hair cut, I washed it in the morning and had it cut at 12pm, then, I had it blow dried once 31cm had been snipped off. It was my first blow dry and let me tell you that it was wonderful. I sat in the chair thinking "Ugh, I wish I was someone like Victoria Beckham so I'd get to experience this every day." My hair is now at the shortest length it has ever been, well, if you don't count when I was a baby that is. I am super duper pleased with the finished result, (well, it's a little late now if I'm not isn't it, HAHA!) and I cannot wait to start styling it. I feel like I was always meant to have short hair. Plus, I am excited about how much time it is going to save me getting ready in the morning, meaning I can probably have an extra half an hour in bed - OH YES! To me, it's just hair, and if I didn't like the outcome, it's going to grow back but, to thousands of boys and girls, it isn't just hair, which is why I really wanted to donate mine to help make a inevitably tough time for them slightly more bearable.

Additionally, I chose to raise money for the charity too by getting my nearest and dearest to sponsor me. This isn't necessary, however, the charity also appreciate money donations greatly and I wanted to do as much as possible. In total, I raised over £200 thanks to the generosity of relatives and friends, which I am so thankful about as they too have helped to make a difference.

Check out the video below of my hair being cut!

I would love to know if any of you have donated your hair in the past or if you are considering it! It is, probably, one of my favourite things that I have ever done and I already wish I could donate again! I have also decided that I now look like Velma from Scooby Doo...and I love it.
My hair is now off to a better home and I look forward to it being made into a wig for a very deserving child who I hope gets a lot of enjoyment from it.

Love, Emily :) xx

1 comment:

  1. It's such a nice thing to do! And btw you look amazing with short hair! :) xx