Hair Donation Q&A

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen that I recently underwent a major haircut! I’d been growing out my hair for a while with the express purpose that I wanted to donate it. There are so many people out there who are battling cancer and sometimes it feels like there aren’t too many things outsiders can do to help. But when I thought about donating my hair, I realized that it was something I could do and felt that if my hair can help even one woman who’s struggling, then I am more than happy to do it. I thought that some of you might have questions about hair donation, so I decided to do a Q&A rather than my traditional blog post format.

What company did you donate to and why?

The hair donation company that everyone thinks of is Locks of Love, but I decided to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I chose Pantene because I really liked that they donate their wigs free of cost, which isn’t the case with every organization. I also like that Pantene is geared towards women with all types of cancer and is very inclusive.

How many inches did you donate?

I’ll admit that I went in thinking I was going to donate the minimum, which is 8 inches. However, once I was in the chair, my stylist and I decided to just go for it, and I donated 15 inches of hair!

How long did it take for you to grow your hair out?

My hair grows really fast and grew over a foot in just over a year. To keep it healthy and growing, I tried to really limit heat products and if I used them, always used heat protector. For more info on how I got my hair to grow, check out this post with my top 5 tips.

Pre-chop

Can I donate if I have colored hair?

The last time I colored my hair was more than a year ago, but the length was obviously still included. I think most people think that if you have colored hair, then you can’t donate but that isn’t actually the case. The restrictions are for bleach and permanent hair color, and unless you are covering gray, most hair stylists use semi-permanent color on hair, which is what I had in the past.

How do you donate the hair?

It’s actually really simple! You just have your hairdresser make a ponytail and cut above the hair tie. Then you take your dry ponytail and send it in a padded envelope to the address Pantene provides.

How did you feel when the chop happened?

I was really excited but of course, a little nervous too! Prior to going in, everyone was telling me how much they loved my long hair which made me feel a little conflicted but I remembered why I was donating and stuck to that! When my hair stylist cut the first part of the ponytail it felt kind of odd and much lighter… I also knew at that point that there was no going back!

How short do you have to go?

Your haircut can be any length, as long as the ponytail you are donating is 8 inches of length, not including layers. When my stylist cut my ponytail, my hair naturally fell in an a-line shape and we both loved it immediately so we decided to go for that!

Post-hair donation

How are you adjusting to the short hair?

When I first came home from the salon, I absolutely loved it! I was so happy with the finished product and excited for something new. That lasted until the next morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror and realized just how short my hair really was! There was about 36 hours where I wasn’t sure of my decision, but after that I started loving it! It’s been a really long time since I have had short hair and I love how swingy it is! It’s also super healthy, looks thicker and makes me feel sassy! Also, because it’s not long enough to pull into a bun or braid (it can fit in a small ponytail) I’ve started finding new ways to style it which has been really fun!

I hope that I answered any questions that you might have about hair donation! If you have any others you can email me or comment below and I will update this post with them! If your hair is long enough, I highly recommend donating it to such a worthy cause. It takes at least 6 donations to make a wig, so every donation counts!

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Long Hair Care Tips

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my hair has gotten long- like real long. My hair has always grown fast, but after my hair cut last year, I decided that I wanted to grow it out. Well fast forward to now and my hair falls all the way down my back. I’ve had it long for the summer which has been both fun and incredibly convenient as for me as I think long hair is the easiest to style, but a cut is in my future. I’m going to donate it to Pantene and a whole post about that will be on the blog after the big chop happens. But for those of you who are wanting to help your hair grow long, or just keep it extra healthy at the length it’s at, I’ve put together some essentials for keeping my hair healthy and looking good!

Long hair care GGGF

1. Deep Condition Weekly

I’ve always been a faithful user of a good conditioner, but it wasn’t until recently that I started deep conditioning my hair. This is great for any length of hair as it helps make it stronger and healthier but is especially essential for long hair, color-treated, or damaged hair which tends to get dry. I’ve tried a few on the market and my favorite is the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This treatment does it all as it repairs split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness and dehydration. It claims to reverse a year’s worth in damage in one wash, which I think is a slightly lofty claim, but it really does work.

2. Embrace the Tangle Teezer

Since I was a little girl I’ve had hair that was pretty tangled when I got out of the shower, no matter what types of conditioner I used. I remember my mom would spray detangler in my hair and take a long comb to get it under control. So as my hair got longer, I realized that I needed to do something about these tangles! I went to Walgreens and CVS and in the aisles of beauty hair care products, there wasn’t a single detangler on the market! (However, there are now BB Creams for your hair…) I finally checked the baby aisle and found a detangler there, but was convinced that I couldn’t be the only adult dealing with tangles. Enter the Tangle Teezer. Oh my goodness. Essentially it’s a hard brush with firm rubber bristles that somehow slides through your hair when it’s wet, no detangler needed. AKA it’s a game changer! If you have curly hair, this is an absolute must too as it glides through just as easily when hair is dry and somehow doesn’t get caught, meaning no more falling out, breaking hair!

3. Dry hair with a microfiber hair turban

I remember seeing a commercial for the hair turban years ago and my mom and I laughing at it. We thought who would need such a product and the commercial specifically cited that you could “answer the phone” while you had it on as a plus. Well years later, I’m a convert. Basically, long hair takes a while to dry when you aren’t using heat products and leaving it wet down your back is rather uncomfortable. So after I’ve detangled my hair with my Tangle Teezer, I put my hair up in the Turbie Twist. Now, essentially, this is just like a small towel, except it really is great that your hair stays put while you are moving around and yes, maybe even answering the phone. As my hair turns curly, I leave it in there for about 20 minutes to get most of the water out, brush with the Tangle Teezer again, and then put it in a braid to dry the rest of the way.

turban

Make-up free selfie (though I did add a filter- guilty) rocking my turban!

4. Apply a Treatment

After you’ve taken your hair out of your glamorous hair tuban, I like to apply a treatment. From the drugstore, I like Garnier’s Damage Eraser Split End Bandage which strengthens hair and increases your damage resistance. Just use one pump and apply it to the ends of hair, combing through after with your Tangle Teezer. If split ends aren’t an issue (lucky you!) but you still want to give your hair a little love, go for Aveda’s Smooth Infusion which makes your hair smoother and silkier! Both of these products are great and won’t weigh down your hair, while making it softer and stronger.

5. Limit heat products and when you do use them, always use heat protector spray

This one is huge as I’ve always abused my hair when it comes to heat products. Having naturally curly hair, I have been drying it straight and straightening it since 7th grade. While I may like the look, my hair doesn’t like the heat, causing split ends so over the past year, I’ve kept my hair dryer in the drawer. I always thought that my hair would never get that sleek look unless it was blow dried first, but I’ve found that with some special steps, the same look can be achieved. Which means that not only is my hair not getting that 20+ minute blast of heat, but my arm is a lot less sore too! Although I do occasionally wear my hair wavy, I straighten it pretty frequently these days and have found that using a good heat protector spray is essential. I used to stay away from heat protectors as so many of them would make my hair wet (not what you want after spending so much time drying it) or make it crispy which no one wants. But I’ve found the solution to all that- the dry heat protect spray! Oscar Blandi is one of my favorite brands for dry shampoo and their Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray is amazing and protects hair from up to 450degree heat!

Question:

-What’s your secret to keeping your hair looking good?