After sporting long hair for years, I finally took the plunge and chopped it all off about two months ago for something new and fresh for spring. I embraced the change and quite enjoyed my sassy new do. It was less maintenance, easier to style, and consumed less hair product. Despite all that, I’ve decided to to go long again, but this time I have a mission.
In 2002, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer was a scary word, but more than the cancer itself I was frightened of the unfamiliar situation. I didn’t doubt my mom would be a survivor, but I wasn’t sure how to prepare myself for the surgery, the treatments, and most of all, how my mom would react to all of it. My mom was an amazing trooper and inspiration and also very lucky– her doctor found the cancer when it was still in its early, early stages. Surgery was successful and most blessed of all, she didn’t have to undergo chemo as radiation would be sufficient. Yes, my mom lost half a breast. She lost part of what anatomically defines her as a woman, but it wasn’t so apparent to the unknowing eye. I know my experience with her fight against cancer would have been different had she lost her hair.
I think hair is very important to women. I would go so far as to argue that part of our identity is defined by our hairstyle. We can feel a certain way and evoke a certain feeling with our hair. Long, loose curls can be romantic or a shorter asymmetrical bob can be sexy and sassy. Think of the hair phenomenons we’ve seen over the years: Jennifer Aniston and her layered “Rachel” cut; Ellen DeGeneres and her fun pixie do; SJP and her “Carrie” curls; Blake Lively with her “Serena” hair; the cast of Jersey Shore are known for their love of gel and hairspray; even Robert Pattinson and his unkempt hair has garnered much attention.
According to The Canadian Cancer Society, 40% of women and 45% of men will develop cancer. I have been affected by my mom. I have an uncle who passed away due to stomach cancer. My boyfriend’s mom is an ovarian cancer survivor. A number of family friends are cancer survivors. All this to say that my mission is to grow out my hair for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign. The Canadian Cancer Society and Pantene have partnered together to encourage hair donations to create real-hair wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer treatment. Find out more here. My hair grows fairly slowly and the minimum length for donation is 8 inches. My guess is that it will be at least a year before my hair will be ready to be made into a wig that will give renewed confidence to a woman who is affected by cancer treatments. Join in me in my venture as I keep you posted with periodic posts and pictures on how my hair is doing.