Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scissors for Good Causes

It started with the lettuce in our garden. We grew a lot of it. We cut a bunch off with scissors and ate salad several times, but the stuff grew right back. We offered to share it with friends and family. Some did take us up on it but not nearly often enough to deplete the supply.

Then I was reading a book that recommended sharing excess home-grown produce with your local food pantry. That had never occurred to me. I guess I have seen so many canned food drives for the Utah Food Bank that I just assumed that canned food was all they took. I checked the Utah Food Bank website and found out that home-grown produce was welcome. Moreover, I learned that the "Food Bank" actually consists of several food pantry locations, so it was easy to find one near my home.

That very day, my five year-old daughter and I delivered several bags of lettuce to a local food pantry.  ("Mom, why did you say we were giving the lettuce to people without food, when they had tons of food in there?" she asked as we left.)

I took this self-portrait before the cut. 
I had to use a mirror to get all the hair in the shot.
Here is the "after" picture.
Putting the excess lettuce to good use inspired me to think about other things I was growing in excess--namely, my hair.  I usually wear it long and like it that way, but lately it has been insanely long and driving me crazy.  Pregnancy is very good for hair growth and since my baby has been born, I have had trouble finding free time to go to the salon when my husband was also available to watch the kids.  The result has been a Rapunzelesque look that works best for fairy tale princesses locked in towers, not real people.

I researched Locks of Love, a charity that uses donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients and others with medical hair loss, and found that they require at least 10 inches of length, cut off  without dropping to the floor, for a donation.  My hair was so long that I could spare 10 inches and still have enough left over to wear a ponytail.  I told my husband about my plan and he was so supportive that he took a one-hour break from work in between patients to come home and watch the kids while I went to the salon.

I went to the local Great Clips and was pleasantly surprised to learn that when you donate your hair to Locks of Love, the cut is free and Great Clips ships the donation for you, so you don't even have to cover postage. 

The cut has been a hit in my household.  My hubby thinks it is sexy.  My daughter is excited that I have the same haircut she does.  (My daughter did not inherit my rapid hair-growing gene.  It took the first three years of her life to get hair to her shoulders.  Just in time for her third birthday, she gave herself a haircut at the scalp and had to start over.  Now she is back at the shoulders again.)   I questioned my two year-old for his opinion.  "Mommy hair pretty," he replied.  My six month-old can still pull it, which is probably all he cares about.

I like it fine.  I definitely prefer it over the Rapunzel look I was sporting before.  If I had not been donating it, I probably would have cut it a little longer than it is now, but with my hair-growing capacity, it will be at my ideal length in no time. 

I am certainly happier than the last time I cut it short, which is when I was a freshman in college.  Yes, that long ago. I had a sadistic roommate who lobbied everyday to cut my hair beginning with the day we met.  After about two or three weeks of incessant speeches from her about how stupid my long hair looked, I finally caved, arguing to myself that my hair grows fast and that wearing it long wasn't important enough to me to merit listening to these self-esteem-threatening speeches daily for two full semesters.  This line of reasoning didn't stop my tear ducts from overflowing after the first snip and after that I was inconsolable.  Helpful people either assured me that my short hair looked great, which felt to me like they were siding with the nasty roommate, or that it would surely grow back soon, which reminded me of the logic I had used against myself and reinforced my self-reproof for sacrificing my hair to please a sociopath. Over a decade later, I am happy to report that I have finally dared to cut again, and this time, I have suffered no psychological repercussions.


  1. short hair suits you better, very flattering to your pretty face