The other day, Peyton (my 8 year old) decided she wanted to have her hair cut. Her hair was very long, at least 14 inches from the nape of her neck. She had trouble brushing the tangles out of it and difficulty washing and conditioning it. She wanted a shoulder length “bob”, short enough so she could easily brush it but still long enough to pull into a ponytail. Peyton is a kind and generous child, always making new friends and doing things for others. So when she mentioned that the wanted that much of her hair cut off, I decided to see how long one’s hair had to be in order to donate it. It seemed like the sort of thing she would like to do.
The Locks of Love website (link) provided the necessary information. They are a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss resulting from any diagnosis. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The hairpieces Locks of Love provide help restore children’s self esteem and confidence. It’s definitely the kind of cause that Peyton’s kind heart could easily embrace. I learned that hair must be at least 10” long from tip to tip and secured in a ponytail.
I explained the organization to Peyton and we measured her hair. Her new style was going to turn out a little shorter than she wished and it frightened her. She still wanted to be able to put her hair up in a ponytail or braid. She took a few days to think about it and decided that she could handle not being able to make a ponytail for a few weeks while her hair grew out in order to be able to donate to such a worthy cause.
We went to our hairdresser and she measured, then re-measured, and then measured again to make sure that the ponytail she was about to cut off was 10” and only 10” long. With the final snip of the scissors, Peyton seemed okay but a look of panic spread over her face when our hair stylist explained that she was going to have to cut off a bit more to straighten out the “cut”. It sank in when she felt the scissors across the nape of her neck. She looked like she wanted to cry and we quickly distracted her with the hair still surrounding her face; it was still almost shoulder length. The distraction lasted long enough for the haircut to be completed and revealed to her.
She LOVES it!!! She is completely enamored of her new style and the freedom of having her neck bare for the first time in, well, almost 8 years. She is thrilled that she can easily brush her own hair and we could hardly wrench the brush out of her hands that first night. The added bonus of being able to help a child in need made it even more memorable for us all. We are so proud of our daughter for choosing to give such an incredible gift to another child.