It was something I’d considered doing since shortly after my sixteenth birthday, so I’ve been thinking about it for almost four years. Finally I just decided to go ahead and do it. I wrote “donate hair” on my summer 2016 bucket list to give myself motivation – crossing things off a to-do list is very satisfying to me – and now it’s done.
I’ve donated my hair once before, to Locks of Love when I was about ten or so, but this time I donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths instead. I chose Pantene because their services are free – they don’t charge customers for the wigs they provide, while Locks of Love charges on a sliding scale. Their business practice appealed to me more than that of Locks of Love because… like, the way I see it is that if I’m doing this for free, the least they can do is to do the same for, say, cancer patients whose hospital bills may be too much for them to afford anything more, such as a wig.
I will add, though, that the act of donating my hair was less important to me than was simply cutting it off. I mean, I want to help people in any way possible, so cutting it and leaving the clippings strewn all over the floor of the hair salon was never going to be an option, but mostly I just wanted it off. Donating it was just a fun bonus.
The fact that I have short hair now still hasn’t quite sunk in. It doesn’t feel real yet. It will eventually, I know, but right now my own reflection surprises me every time I see it, and I keep reaching up to touch the place on the back of my head where normally a ponytail or messy low bun would normally be.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE AN UNDERCUT NOW! It’s longer (and floofy!) on top, while the back and sides are shorter. Actually, they’re not short enough for my tastes, because the lady who cut my hair left those parts longer than I would have liked, so my friend Jill is going to buzz it shorter sometime later this week.
I love having short hair. It dries AMAZINGLY fast, and I can use less shampoo now. It doesn’t get tangled anymore, and going outside on these humid Iowa days isn’t nearly as miserable now that I no longer have to struggle with long hair. I’ve been fluffing my hair and making it do wild and floofy things ever since I got it chopped off. Jill recommended mousse and something called finishing paste to style it, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with both. I do miss the curliness/waviness that my hair had when it was long, but I’m also excited to see what new things it will do.
The reactions have been fun to observe, too. I got so many compliments when I posted a picture on Facebook yesterday morning! Some of my IRL friends didn’t recognize me when they saw me later that day, while my roommate thinks this haircut suits my personality better. (Not sure what that means, but hearing that made me happy anyway?) When I headed to acting class that afternoon some of my classmates thought that we had a substitute teacher and I was like, “No, it’s just me, but I’m a tiny floof now.”
(Floof is one of my favorite words. I apologize if I have overused it in this post.)
I’m both excited and apprehensive about the idea of being read as a lesbian more frequently. I’m worried about getting harassed, and at the same time I’m also looking forward to (hopefully) not being perceived as straight nearly as often because I WANT CUTE GIRLS TO NOTICE ME, DANG IT.
I do love long hair and will doubtless go back to it eventually, but not any time soon. I have a feeling that I’ll be more comfortable changing up my hairstyle from now on, and won’t procrastinate almost four years before making another drastic change, so that’s cool. It’s a fresh new #look just in time for me to move into my twenties. (Oh shit, that’s a scary thought. Forget I said anything about it. I’m in denial. I feel old already.) I’m SO glad that I chopped my hair off because I love the way I look now, and doing this has given me a boost of floofy self-confidence.