Why I got my first haircut for 25 years

August 25, 2016 11:51

The subject of cutting my hair first came up in conversation with my boyfriend nearly two years ago. We were going to friends of his for dinner and he mentioned that the wife worked for Zichron Menachem, a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.

He asked if I had ever considered cutting my hair. My answer was a resounding "no way, never".

I had been growing my hair ever since an overzealous hairdresser chopped it off, leaving me traumatised and in tears shortly before my batmitzvah.

I still can't look at the photos without remembering that awful experience.

For many people, their hair defines who they are. I have always wanted it long, this had been the case for more than 25 years and, earlier this year, it was the longest it had ever been.

I feared my hair would be cut too short

A lot has changed in nearly two years. We got married last year and, in December, my niece cut her hair for charity. It got me thinking. If she could cut hers, maybe I should, too? After all, my mum kept saying it needed a cut and my husband complained it got everywhere.

No matter how attached I was to my hair, I had the choice of doing what I wanted with it. Many people don't, including the children supported by Zichron Menachem.

I measured my hair and decided to wait a few more months to ensure it was long enough to donate to the charity. I told my close family and a few friends that I was going to cut it just before Pesach. But Pesach came and went and I put the cut off, due to my desire to cling onto my long hair. My fear was that it would be too short and that I would hate it once again.

I started to ask myself all sorts of questions. Was I really going to cut off 30cm? My fear was that it would be too short, and I was worried if others would like it. And if I would regret it.

Eventually, I decided to go for it. I contacted the charity, booked my haircut, set up a JustGiving page and told friends and family.

I didn't think I would raise very much just sitting in a hairdresser's chair rather than doing a marathon or cycle ride, but it was worth a try. This was it. I could not back out now, especially once donations came in.

The day came and, as I sneaked out of work, I started to worry. But it was too late to change my mind. I had, to my surprise, raised over £300 in just a few hours.

I was nervous but calm, but then those who know me would say I'm always calm. This was it, the moment I was dreading, my lovely long hair was in two plaits ready to be chopped off. The hairdresser cut the first plait and then the second, I was scared but excited to see what it looked like.

With the final styling done and photos taken, I left the salon. My hair felt so different, light and full of body. It felt strange.

I returned to the office apprehensively, wondering what others would think of my new look. To my relief, everyone liked it. The real test though were my husband and mum, but thankfully they both loved my new hairstyle.

The next morning, it hit me how short it was, I brushed my hair and realised I had reached the end. I am still getting used to the new look, but am pleased I did it.

The best thing is knowing a child will benefit from my hair in the future and that I have raised nearly £1,000 for charity, more than I did on a 10K run. And maybe, some time in the future, my hair will be long enough to donate again.

August 25, 2016 11:51

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