Tag Archives: beautiful lengths

I Chopped and Donated 12 Inches of Hair

By Maria Wen Adcock

I’ve always had fast growing hair, to the tune of a half inch of growth or more per month. Recently I chopped and donated 12 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program that uses real hair to make wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer. It was the first time that I have donated to this organization, and I liked that fact that with Pantene Beautiful Lengths all donated hair is used for wigs rather than selling some of it for cash.

Those who want to make a donation can get their hair cut at any salon and simply mail in their hair. I found a highly-recommended hair stylist named Stana who cuts hair out of her home. I told her about my plans to donate to the program, and she was game with taking before and after pictures.

My hair had gotten to the length where it was just in my way. Between raising a young child and working, getting my haircut got lost between the busyness of every day life. Plus I knew I wanted to grow out my hair long enough to eventually donate and have someone wear a wig of a longer-than-usual length (minimum donation length is 8 inches required). I asked Stana to give me a bob-style haircut, and with that in mind the length of my hair she cut off was one foot.

IMG_0229 IMG_0243Looking at these before and after pictures really makes me realize how long my hair was. With shorter hair, my head literally feels lighter and washing and combing through my hair takes half the time it use to. My new cut is easy to take care of and more styled versus just hanging down aimlessly.

It’s good to know that my hair that otherwise would have been thrown away can be put to good use. I encourage everyone to donate if they can. Make sure to read the directions on the Pantene Beautiful Lengths site for requirements.

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Dr. Jennifer Guerriero’s 2nd Beautiful Lengths Donation

Dr. Jennifer Guerriero is a fourth year postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and she works in the research laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her research involves harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight breast cancer, and Dr. Guerriero has received the prestigious National Institute of Health Research Service Award for her work in the field.

Recently Jennifer donated her hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths for the second time! She first donated to Beautiful Lengths in 2011 and looks forward to donating again in the near future!

Jennifer Guerriero 2 Jennifer Guerriero 3 Jennifer Guerriero 1

Londonderry High School Hosts 6th Annual Cutting Event

Emily Georgakopoulos held her hair up in her mirror at home, visualizing the new length on herself “a million times.” The sixteen year old was not encouraged by what she saw –  as a girl whose very long hair fell over her shoulder blades, She could not imagine it being cut above her shoulders.

But on January 6, 2012, she sat on the gym floor at Londonderry High School, along with 231 other donors, to cut her hair in a simultaneous donation to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

2012 marked the sixth year holding our annual cutting event on a January morning at the high school. Formerly a part of the winter sports pep rally, the numbers have grown so large, that it is now a separate “Day of Giving” assembly. The assembly is attended by the 1700 students at this New Hampshire high school, and hundreds of family, friends and community members.

The cut is a moment, the end of a journey that is years in the making. With 232 students,  staff and alumni being cut all at once, it seems like a spectacle, and it is a sight to behold, but for every cut there is a story that can be told, some sad, some humorous, a reason that brought that individual to the gym floor.

These are the angels of Londonderry High School. It is an honor, with the support of the administration and faculty, to organize this opportunity for them to give.

Each angel received an “I pledged” t- shirt when they signed up, with the date of the event written on it. Long after that shirt has worn thin, they will still forever be one of our angels. The smile I see on each donor’s face after the cut never completely leaves their face.

This year, Governor John Lynch attended the event as our honored guest. He mingled with the donor/angels, and said a few words during the ceremony. It was a wonderful verification of our event to have him there. A few weeks later, he invited a few of the angels to attend his State of the State Address, and mentioned the event in his address as “the best of New Hampshire”.

This year was also special as we exceeded one thousand total donors. As part of a promise I made to her when we reached one thousand, I invited our very first donor, Ellyse Davis, to attend and see what she helped to begin. It was wonderful to have her there.

Also in attendance were Stephen Davis and his daughter Janet and her young family. Stephen’s wife, Ginger, was a teacher at the school, who lost her long battle with cancer last year. She had called out the “3-2-1 cut!” our very first year, the call that started it all. We presented Stephen with a large photo of Ginger calling out the cut, and making the call has now become an honor. This year, senior Kirsten Malloy, who donated three years in a row to honor her late mother, and has inspired so many to give, made the call.

Several state executives from the American Cancer Society were also in attendance. It is such an honor to have them there, to recognize their efforts with counseling and distribution of the wigs. I like to think of the angels donating as one end of the rainbow, and the ACS folks distributing the wigs as the other end of that rainbow, with the Hair U Wear folks and the support from Pantene all part of the rainbow’s sparkling arc.

Twenty-five local hair stylists also gave up their morning to be here and provide their expertise and TLC. The day would not be possible without them. Our wrestling room, transformed overnight by our custodial staff and Amy Fliger, a senior planning to attend cosmetology school, becomes the most beautiful salon in America for a few brief hours. All the clients are angels.

One humorous story told on the floor involved teachers Bridget and Lindsey. Friends since they were young, Bridget and Lindsey’s cut each other’s hair during a sleepover in tenth grade, and Lindsey’s hair was very short afterward, much shorter than expected. The next day, Lindsey’s boyfriend broke up with her. Lindsey stopped talking to Bridget for weeks. Well, to make a long story short, years later Lindsey ended up marrying that guy who broke up with her. Now, on the gym floor this morning, they were once again cutting each other’s hair. We all wondered, would the marriage survive another Bridget haircut? (It did).

As always, there are stories of loss, and strength beyond understanding. I sometimes read through the stories the donors write for me, and I recall the Dickens’ line, when Scrooge sees in his dream that the Cratchit family has lost Tiny Tim – “How does one endure it?”

Senior Valerie Lacasse donated this year as a senior for the second time in her high school career. She and her older sister Katie have donated multiple times. Katie first donated as a support for her mom, who had brain cancer. Her mother passed away, but only a week later, at the 2010 event, Valerie donated to honor her mother. They were on the floor again this morning, Katie wielding the scissors, Valerie donating her beautiful lengths, that in a few months would have been a prom updo, to put a smile on the face of someone else’s mother, who receives a perfectly color-matched real-hair wig, and doesn’t have to see the illness in the mirror, and as one woman told me, people no longer look at you with a “so sorry” pout and hold  doors for you, no matter how far away you are.

Emily. Valerie. Lindsey. Ellyse. Bridget.  Two hundred thirty two individuals, with so many students and family and community members ( what we refer to as “Lancer Nation”) supporting their efforts in so many ways. Photos capture the smiles, the sadness, the emotion as Lancer Nation gives of itself.

I saw Emily yesterday and asked if she liked her length. She smiled an “I don’t know if I should say this” smile, and said no. Now seven weeks out, it had grown enough that she was going for a trim, to shorten her bangs and style it differently. Did she regret making the cut?

Not at all. Not a bit.

No wonder we call them angels.

Year seven. 1/11/13.

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This moving story was written by Steve Juster, an English teacher at Londonderry High School

All photos were provided by The Lancer Spirit newspaper staff

Do you have a story you want to share? Please e-mail us at beautifullengthswigs@devries-pr.com

Marissa Rodriguez | December’s Hero of the Month!

Marissa loved her long, gorgeous locks — but she realized that stunning hair like hers could benefit people who could no longer grow long, strong hair due to cancer treatment. Check out Marrissa’s touching donation story below.

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      I am still embarrassed to show my friends and family my 5th grade school picture because my hair was so full and thick!. At that time, I never heard of a straightner so I let my hair air dry to which I thought looked lovely but now looking back I could have really used some mousse or even some Pantene hair spray! Anyway, throughout my life people have always told me that I have beautiful long, thick hair. After graduating from Rutgers University in the spring, I wanted to get a new hair cut for when I started my big girl job at Accenture in the fall. At first, I was just simply going to cut 3-4inches and still be able to enjoy my long hair. I have had short hair in the past and just simply thought that short hair did not complement my face. BUT after giving it much thought and recalling a conversation I had with an older woman, who complemented my hair at the nail salon and then went on to tell me a story about one of her friends who was battling cancer and who recently received a wig from donated hair, I began to consider donating my hair. I thought I would never get the courage to do it but I finally said “Marissa, put your feelings aside and think about those who really need it. Your hair will grow back, others won’t.”

I loved having long hair and the thought of cutting 8 inches off was simply unimaginable. After much contemplation, I finally called the hair salon to schedule an appointment to donate my hair. Watching my stylist cut my hair was such an amazing feeling because I knew someone else would get the same feeling, not from giving but from receiving. Well now, I love my new short, thick hair which is just above my shoulders. I am so happy I was able to be a part of Pantene Beautiful Lengths because the thought that my hair will help to bring confidence to a woman fighting cancer is absolutely an incredible feeling. I know that I have given a gift that someone will be so thankful for. My friends keep asking me, “Why did you cut your beautiful hair?” I just reply with a smile, “It’s ok, it will grow back!” I hope my story and others will inspire more people to perform such a selfless act in order to help others!

Thank you for sharing your story, Marissa!

Do YOU want to nominate someone to be our Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hero of the Month? It can be a friend, family member, stylist or you can even nominate an entire salon! Send all nominations to: BeautifulLengthsWigs@devries-pr.com.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hero of the Month, Megan Carlotta

I am so honored to have been chosen to be Pantene’s Hero of the Month!

As we approach this year’s holiday season, it’s easy to remember to buy a gift for someone on your Christmas list — but sometimes it is harder to step outside of the box and volunteer your time for a local charity or a cause that inspires you.  I recently worked for a radio station in Western Massachusetts, Live 95.9, WBEC-FM, as a morning show radio personality. We were asked to be the media sponsors of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Berkshire County this past October. I felt inspired and that, as a radio station, we could do more. I decided to put together a “Hair Raiser” where a handful of local salons would accept donations for Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

While considering organizations to partner with, the Beautiful Lengths program was an easy choice. I felt inspired by their desire to help women by creating these wigs. I am proud to say our “Hair Raiser” was a success! We have had over 40 donations of hair from about 15 salons! My hope is this becomes an annual event that will get bigger every year!

Cancer has touched every one of us on some level, and with that in mind, I decided to cut my own hair during the “Hair Raiser”. As the time for the appointment approached, I began to feel nervous, like I was going to be losing something. That got me thinking… If I was willingly donating my hair and felt nervous about it, how would I feel if I had cancer and had no control over my hair loss? Giving my hair to Beautiful Lengths at that moment became even more important. In life, we do not give to get something out of it ourselves, but to give to someone else who needs it more. I hope my hair will help someone at time that they need it the most. And that is the true spirit of giving.

Thank you Pantene for inspiring me!

~ Megan Carlotta, Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hero of the Month

Do YOU want to nominate someone to be our Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hero of the Month? It can be a friend, family member, stylist or you can even nominate an entire salon! Send all nominations to: BeautifulLengthsWigs@devries-pr.com.