A Pony Cuts Her Mane

August 1, 2012
Jenny Zanatta

Cousin Jenny

I have always had long hair. Always. Well, not always. As a child, I hardly had any hair until I was nearly 2 years old! My family thought I would be bald forever. I must have just been stocking up that first year, because when it came in, it grew fast and thick!

Since then, I have always had long, thick hair. Then came middle school and I started entertaining the idea of donating my hair to a charity such as Locks of Love. While the idea sounded like such a great thing to do at least once in a lifetime, I never had the guts to cut off enough at once to donate. Well, 10+ years later, I finally worked up the will.

My hair was the longest it had ever been. Now that I’m out of school and in the real world, sporting such lengthy locks seemed less appropriate. I knew that if I just took off a few inches this haircut, I would never grow it out long enough again to donate. It was now or never!

I had no idea what I was getting myself into, though, so I set up a consultation at Root Salon in Minneapolis. My hairdresser took time to talk me through the process, and how much I would have to cut to donate, and still have the style I wanted in the end (inspired by Rachel’s hair in the series finale of Friends… cliché, I know!). She let me know that there are a lot of different charities out there besides Locks of Love, and they all have their own requirements and rules for who gets the wigs in the end.

No turning back now!

I did some research when I got home on different charities, their minimum requirements, who their wigs go to, and what you need to do to donate.

I ended up choosing the charity Children With Hair Loss. Their minimum length was only 8 inches, and with all the layers in my hair, I wanted to play it safe. I liked that their wigs went exclusively to children, as well as to temporary hair loss from chemo-therapy. Some charities only provide wigs to those with permanent hair loss.

Their website explains exactly what you needed to do to donate your hair, and provides a form to print and fill out to send along with the donation. As an option, you can include $7 along with your hair that will buy a hat for the child, and you can include $20 to receive a shirt with their logo saying you donated.

Donation ready to go

I went back to the salon the next day for my appointment, and let my stylist know the minimum requirements for the charity I chose. Then, I grit my teeth and watch her slowly chop my locks in half.

When all was said and done, my longest layers were 14 inches tip to tip, and shortest were just over 9 inches.

My long hair was a bit of a security blanket, I’ll confess. But my now-or-never attitude (and support from friends and family) finally gave me the push to go threw with it. So far, I don’t regret it. I’m still learning how to deal with (what feels like to me) such short hair, but it has been a long-awaited experience. Even the feeling of having such lighter hair has been an experience in itself.

And of course, I can finally check one thing off my bucket list! Next up: Hug a panda.