For the past year, I've been growing my hair out to donate. Pantene has a program, Beautiful Lengths, where you can donate your hair to be made into wigs for cancer patients. They only require an 8-inch ponytail, but it can't be more than 5% gray, and there are some restrictions about dyeing. My friend, Patty, told me about it after she came over one day with her long brown hair cut short.
I'm a natural redhead. Not auburn, or carrot-y red, more strawberry, but certainly red enough for every school photographer to say, "Gimme a big smile, Red." Every. School. Photographer. For years, I wore my hair very long, nearly to my waist. It is thick and wavy, in addition to being red, so it was the first thing anyone noticed. It seemed to me that I was "the little red-haired girl."
I'm now at an interesting age, between lifting an icy eyebrow at you when you ask how old I am and snarling, "Stop bugging me, I'm xx years old!" I've been wearing my hair around shoulder-length for a few years, and part of me says if I shortened my style, it would make my face look younger, in that "Extreme Makeover" kind of way. But part of me wants to keep the length and pretend I'm still the little redhaired girl.
So I decided to have one last hurrah with long hair and grow it out for charity. This way, I could justify the lengthy locks and say good-bye for a good cause. I made my decision last March, 2008.
Here's a few things I've learned so far:
1. Long hair is expensive and time-consuming. I go through a bottle of Mane 'N' Tail conditioner every other week. (Don't ask why I'm not using the Pantene products - I couldn't possibly afford it.)
2. Long hair on a woman of my age is not, um, flattering. Worn down, it accentuates the direction that gravity is taking every other part of my face. Worn up, I look like one of those stereotypical big-haired Southern gals when it's fluffy, and like an onion when it's flat.
3. Long hair is still long hair to men; they love it.
What is it about men and long hair? My husband adores my red-blonde waves, but it's not just him - or me. I even know a guy who didn't want his wife in their Christmas picture because she had cut her hair. There's got to be some psychology thesis examining the roots (pardon the pun) of the effect of long-haired females on the male libido. If anyone out there knows this answer, please share with the class.
I mention this because I went to Larry, my hairdresser, thinking that today would be the day for THE CUT. I am completely ready to give a ponytail to someone who needs it, and don't think I will ever wish for long hair again. Unfortunately, I had not told my husband to be prepared for a new wife when he got home. Fortunately, my hair still isn't quite long enough to give Pantene a decent ponytail. My hair got a reprieve, even if I didn't. Larry thinks it'll be ready by the first week of July.
That's, what, three more bottles of conditioner?