Making the Cut

Walking down the icy streets of Georgetown one chilly winter evening, I made up my mind to finally take the plunge.

For the longest time, I had toyed with the idea of donating my hair to Locks of Love, a charity that made wigs for sick children – but had always lost the nerve to go through with it. The previous year, I had come close but chickened out when I saw the gleaming scissors hover precariously close to my ears.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had long hair. I’ll admit: I’ve always had a special attachment to it. For some reason, however, giving away something that was precious to me seemed … strangely gratifying.

Whoever said benevolence stemmed from altruistic motives?

Mine were purely selfish.

In November 2008, I took the plunge and cut off 14 inches of my hair. I slipped the ponytail into an envelope, said a little prayer for its recipient and shipped it to Locks of Love.

That was two years ago.

I’ve been growing my hair since then so that I can donate again. This year, I will be donating to Wigs for Kids. If you would like to join me and donate your hair for a cause, here are some options:

Locks of Love: Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hair prosthesis to financially disadvantaged children under 21 suffering from long-term hair loss a result of an illness or medical condition, including cancer. Hair must be at least 10 inches long to donate to Locks of Love. You can send your hair donation by mail using Locks of Love’s online hair donation form.

Beautiful Lengths: Pantene Beautiful Lengths creates wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. Donated hair must be a minimum of 8 inches long. Here’s how you can make the cut.

Angel Hair for Kids This is a Canada-based organization that provides financially disadvantaged kids who have lost their hair due to a medical condition or treatment with hair prosthesis – with no cost to the child’s family. If a child is too ill to go for the wig fitting, the organization will arrange for a salon professional to come to them. Your hair must be at least 10 inches or more. Read more about their donation guidelines.

Wigs for Kids Wigs for Kids gives hairpieces to kids who suffer hair loss due to burns, chemotherapy, radiation treatments alopecia, and other medical problems. Wigs for Kids asks for at least 12 inches of hair. You can send your hair donation by mail by using the Wigs for Kids’ online hair donation form.

Hair can do wonders for the self esteem of these children and women. I hope you will consider donating your hair, too. It’s a simple way of making a small difference.

I will probably never know the recipient of my donation or if my hair was even used but I’d like to believe that there’s a little boy or girl out there – with a smile on their face.

And maybe – just maybe – I had a little something to do with it.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. This is a very touching human interest story fit for a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series. However your hair may have been used, by donating your tresses to a noble cause, you have made sure your hair was immortalized… well, almost! It will last tomorrow and forever… because hair never dies. The hair that you have donated will live on long after you! Donating a part of yourself while your still alive for some thing good must be such a gratifying feeling. Wish Sikhs could donate their hair too!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shilpika Das, Tejas. Tejas said: Nice: Donate during this holiday season: RT @ShilpikaDas: From my blog: Making the Cut http://bit.ly/eI3GUU […]

  3. Shilpika, i really liked this piece.

  4. Congratulations on being such a courageous person.

  5. Posted by P.P on March 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

  6. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.

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