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Posts Tagged ‘Doodle Doo’s’

The symptoms of shock

08 Jan

So I took a combined First Aid/CPR course this weekend. And as if I didn’t already know this, they harped on the fact that shock is a very dangerous condition – something that requires immediate, advanced medical care. Symptoms of shock include feeling weak or nauseous, chest pain, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness, feeling anxious, agitated, or confused.

Yep. Sounds familiar. I think I felt every single one of those things as I sat in the chair on Thursday afternoon having my first hair cut in 3 years. But luckily for me, it was merely a mild form of psychological, and not physiological, shock. I didn’t require immediate medical care. I just required a glass of wine and a perspective check.

As I wrote previously, I have been growing out my hair with the ultimate intention of donating it. And this past Thursday afternoon, I made the big cut. Because my hair is so wavy/curly, it always appears about 3 inches shorter dry than it does wet. In fact, I didn’t really have a concept myself of exactly how long my hair was until I arrived with a wet head of hair at the salon and they combed it out for me. This is by far the longest my hair has ever been. Ever.

Now, here’s the shocking part. No. Not that those jeans do not do my rather prodigious butt any favors. I think that is clear to everyone. No, that’s not shocking. Okay, maybe a little surprising. To me, anyway. I mean, I love those jeans. They are way comfortable. But this is the first time I’ve ever gotten a back view of myself. So, yeah, a little surprising. And also surprising may be the fact that I got this hair cut at a children’s salon called Doodle Doo’s. A place where they sell a lot of toys and dolls that many of my friends think look super-creepy. Surprising sure, that I didn’t go to a grown-up salon, but to people who know me, not really shocking. But wait, I’m way off topic here. Back to what plunged me into my psychological shock. The big cut? This much anticipated and 3 years delayed hair cut? Took approximately 4 minutes. No joke. With a quick snip, snip, snip, snip of her scissors, Cynthia had me completely shorn. And as she spun me around to look in the mirror, with my ponytailed hank of hair held in my hands, my mouth fell open and I, yes I know this is going to be difficult to believe, I was speechless.

Here’s the thing, as excited and ready as I was to donate my hair. And as much as I feel grateful for the ability to do it at all, grateful for my health. When I looked in the mirror at my new short hair, it was like looking at a stranger. Just as I had no idea how wide my butt looks in those jeans, I had no idea how much of my self-image, no that’s not the right phrase, maybe my self-impression, was tied to my hair. I instantly looked and felt fundamentally different. And it was, well, shocking.

I have been jokingly referring to my long locks as my “college hair.” Because when I was in college, lo those many (many, many, many) years ago, I did have long, wavy hair. I took just about as much care of it now, as I did then. Shampoo, conditioner, towel dry a bit, hair product, air dry. Never touch a comb or a brush. Rarely pick up a hair dryer. Don’t bother fighting the butt-center natural part. Don’t even attempt covering the broad, high forehead with bangs. Just let my head-strong hair do what it wants, and let it grow. Yep, my college hair. And having all that long hair now, well, it made me feel younger somehow. Despite the fact that even my gray hairs were getting longer, it still made me feel, I don’t know, sexier. Which of course is an asinine statement. I was not sexy in college. I was a flannel & ball cap-wearing, grunge/indy-rock loving tomboy who lived in (apparently wide-ass accentuating) Levi’s and Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Yep. Pretty much like now. Except back then I was even more of a neurotic mess. Completely unsure of myself. I may have had a better, more athletically fit body then, but I don’t think there was anyone who would have said, oh, yeah, that Krista girl is sexy. So why now, at my more advanced age and in my time/baby-softened body, would I believe that having my college hair made me look sexy? An utter mystery.

But I sat there in the chair, having a Samson moment. Because staring back at me from the mirror was the pure mom version of me. There was no more pretending that I was some cool, young thing. That girl in the mirror, with her hair hanging in wet curls above her shoulders, definitely drives a minivan. Which made it all the more ironic when Cynthia said it made me look younger. I don’t want to look younger! I don’t need to look younger. I want to look cooler.

So to be frank, despite feeling really good about the gesture I was making, and smiling like an idiot in the picture as I held my ponytail in my hand, I was hating my hair cut. The rational side of my brain knew that it was a good cut, one I’d worn before, that would be easy to handle and would grow out well. The rational side of my brain knew that it was probably more fitting to my face, my personality, my lifestyle than those long, flowing locks. The rational side of my brain knew that Cynthia had probably just transformed me into the person I should be, instead of the girl about whom people might think, who is that almost 40 year old kidding with all that long, wavy hair? But the irrational side of my brain? It was screaming and wailing like one of those idiot girls on America’s Next Top Model who freaks out on makeover day.

But what was that I said I needed? Ah yes, a glass of wine. And some perspective. So I came home, still in shock, hair still wet, and started with the glass of wine. Which did have a nice calming affect. Then I started thinking about why I did this. Why I made this big cut, instead of just having Cynthia trim the ends to maintain the health of my hair. I was doing this drastic thing, making this big cut, so I could donate my hair to Beautiful Lengths. I was giving my hair to a group that makes wigs for cancer patients. What if I was the one who lost all my hair? And I mean really lost it. What if I was the one who needed a wig to make me feel more beautiful, to help me feel less sick? I might think that above the shoulder bob was the cutest, sassiest thing I’d ever seen. And I used my 38 year old brain, dug down into some of the wisdom I’d accumulated and stored away over the years to realize that confidence is far sexier than my hair could ever be. My hair was sexy in college, but overall I wasn’t. My body was sexy in college, but overall I wasn’t. Why? Because in so many ways I lacked confidence. But I have that now. And even if I don’t have that same tight body. Even if I don’t have that same long hair. I’m sexier now than I ever was then.

And yeah, I do drive a minivan. Because yeah, I am a mom. But hey, no matter what you think of my Levi 515′s, at least they aren’t mom jeans…

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Off with her hair!

28 Dec

As many of you know, my hair has been getting pretty long these days. Maybe that has something to do with the fact I haven’t had a hair cut in, oh, well.. three years. Yep. That’s right. No hair cuts in three years. And for me, that means my hair has gotten mighty long. Not as long as some, since my hair seems to grow at a snail’s pace. But still long. Long enough for my purpose anyway.

I suppose I didn’t really start out with a purpose. Just wanted to grow my hair out. For quite awhile there I was wearing it short. Boy short. And I think I have the facial structure to pull off super short hair. (Please don’t feel the need to tell me if you disagree with this statement.) But when I was in high school and college I used to have decently long hair. So I suppose I was revisiting my college Krista self. Having one last hurrah with a ponytail before my hair goes completely gray. Yes, gray. I seem to be graying at a rather accelerated rate these past few years, and I still don’t want to start coloring my hair. I just can’t rationalize the cost and the time involved in the maintenance. I don’t know if I ever will. Maybe, once the balance of gray to brunette has tipped past a certain point I’ll eat my words and rush to the salon. But I just don’t want to. And I don’t think I look bad, per se. But I wasn’t quite ready to be the girl with the long gray ponytail, so I figured I’d take a shot at a last gasp with a brunette ponytail before the gray overtook it.

But even once it reached what I used to deem it’s optimal length I just kept on growing it. Because by then my purpose had changed. My whole life I have wanted to donate my hair, but it has just never been long enough. Like I said, it seems to grow at a snail’s pace, and every time I would think I was even getting close to being able to donate it, I would loose patience with the process about 2″ too short. But not this time. This time I’ve got it in the bag. And what better way to start a new year than doing something kind for others while also giving yourself a new, updated look?

Just today I went and made my hair cut appointment. Oddly enough, at a place called Doodle Doo’s that specializes in hair cuts for kids. But there is a woman working there who is a magician with hair. She is the only person I trust to cut my girls’ hair. Every hair cut she has ever given them has been perfect on the day of the cut, and better yet, has grown out well. So over the past year or so I kept telling her that I was only going to trust her to cut my hair. So today I sauntered in and happened to catch her between clients. “Ready to cut my hair off, Cynthia?” She smiled, put her hands in my hair, and said, “Let’s get the ruler.” Different charitable organizations that accept donations of hair have different parameters for the length the donated ponytail needs to be. In my case, I was considering two such organizations: Locks of Love and Beautiful Lengths. They require 10″ and 8″, respectively. As it turns out, Cynthia measured 15″ of hair from the nape of my neck. So I could go with either one and still have a decent length of hair left on my head. And so, now that my ability to donate has been confirmed, that leads me to the question of which charity to support: Locks of Love or Beautiful Lengths

To be honest, I have only done minimal internet research on both of these organizations. Perusing of their official websites, as well as some internet chatboards and various blogs. There is a lot of interesting and conflicting chatter going around, but I decided what I really needed to do was drill down to the essentials. Personally I think they are both doing good work and helping very deserving people. But what was my motivation for donating my hair? And whom did I really feel the most strongly about supporting? I went through the process of asking myself these questions and pondering some other variables…

Locks of Love: (from their website) ”is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.” Okay, score one for L-of-L. They are helping kids. This appeals to me immensely. Especially since I am Team Mary Hazel all the way. Having a friend whose child has been diagnosed with cancer sure amps up the desire to help sick kids. But then I get a little deeper into the description and I realize that those last three words are meaningful to me: “from any diagnosis.” Turns out that the majority of kids helped by Locks of Love “have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure.” Believe me when I say that any child who has lost their hair, whether it be from a specific hair loss related medical condition, or as a side effect of treatment for another illness such as cancer, deserves to have a quality prothesis like those produced by L-of-L. Every child in that position deserves “help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.” But I have to admit that cancer was one of the driving forces that lead me to stick it out this time, to make this donation. The idea of helping a child with cancer is overwhelming. But what was my main motivation: helping a child, or helping someone with cancer?

Then I moved on to the website for Beautiful Lengths: “a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society.” Score one for BL – a partnership with the American Cancer society. The wigs they produce are going to women who are living with cancer, women who have lost their own hair due to their cancer treatments. These are not kids, but women, like myself. Probably many who are my own age, perhaps even younger, who when they look in the mirror are reminded of their devastating illness. The loss of their hair takes away a part of them, a part of their self esteem, at a time when they most need to feel normal and confident. I admit that I was originally a little put off by the fact that this program was sponsored by a very much for profit hair care company. I already buy their products, so I suppose you would say I believe in the company, but it somehow seemed to color their altruism. For example their suggestion that I use their Beautiful Lengths line of products to prepare my own hair for donation. But in the end, who cares if they are a for profit company? They have created this amazing partnership. And the (self-proclaimed) ”role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer.” And that is a beautiful thing.

So who did I pick? Beautiful Lengths. For me it came down to the realization that I wanted to feel like I was helping someone in their fight against cancer, as they pick up the pieces of the damage it wreaks in its path. There seems to be an uptick lately in the number of children who are donating their own hair. And those donations typically go to Locks of Love. Children helping other children. Exactly how it should be. And I would encourage my own girls, should they one day decide to grow out their hair for donation, to consider either Locks of Love or Beautiful Lengths. But I keep thinking that maybe one day it will be me. Or my best friend. Or my friend’s wife. We’re getting to that age where cancer touches us from every direction – our parents, our kids, ourselves. And for me, at this point, the least I can do is donate my hair for the benefit of someone who is fighting for their life. This hair I barely take care of, this hair I take so much for granted, it could make a profound difference in another woman’s life. As it says on the Beautiful Lengths website: “To us, it’s hair, but to women with cancer, it’s hope.”

I will definitely be posting pictures when the big cut occurs on Jan 5th. But until then, I encourage you to consider your own donation and to visit the websites of both organizations I considered:

www.beautifullengths.com

www.locksoflove.org

 

Oh, and for the record, it seems that “Do NOT cut bangs” is winning the unscientific poll. Guess you’ll have to wait for the pictures on Jan 5th to find out what I decide…

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