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.
Looking 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.
It took a while for Julie’s gorgeous red hair to start growing – in fact, when she was four years old her family worried she might never grow any at all! Of course, it did grow and she’s had long red locks as long as she can remember.
As a busy full time working mom, in 2006 she decided to shave her “stubborn” hair into a pixie cut and kept it that way until after her youngest arrived in 2007 when she decided to grow it out again.
In 2009, she learned a close friend’s mom was battling breast cancer for the 4th time in 13 years and may not make it. She joined him in walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-day that year. Now, every year they lace up the shoes in the fall and hoof another 60 miles. After her first walk, Julie committed to growing her hair to donate.
About 5 1/2 years after deciding to start growing it back, she cut her hair for Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
“As a grand-daughter of a cancer victim and the daughter of a survivor, I am hopeful that my hair will help to make someone else’s struggle a little more bearable – that they can see their beauty amongst the pain. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference.” – Julie Spurlin
On May 6th St. Dominic ‘s School in Brookfield, Wisconsin hosted a Ponytail Assembly!
The St. Dominic’s community watched the Pantene Beautiful Lengths video and heard from a variety of speakers, including Mary Pat Russell, a kindergarten teacher at St. Dominic’s, who spoke about the power of donating hair, as she donated her hair as a good friend was fighting cancer, Ann Hilbert, a parent of students at the school and a cancer survivor, who spoke eloquently about how those donating were giving selflessly and granted those fighting the permission to feel beautiful and more confident through their fight with cancer, and Kathy Nothnagel, Youth Initiatives coordinator with the American Cancer Society, who explained why people lose their hair while undergoing cancer treatments.
They had 18 students and 5 adults donate. The entire assembly cheered as ponytails were being cut, counting down for each wave of ladies 3…2…1…DONATE!!!
We’re so proud of these brave young women! Thank you to everyone in the St. Dominic community for hosting such an amazing event, we can’t wait for next year!
Since Pantene began its Beautiful Lengths program back in July 2006, the campaign has collected over 262,828 ponytails. The average person has about 100,000 hairs on their head, and one 8 inch haircut can really make a difference.
Little Anna Rose Ferrara, from White Plains, NY, made the kindest cut of all at the Eclipse Salon in Scarsdale, NY and chose to donate her beautiful brunette ponytail to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. Her smile is sweeter than ever!
Thank you for your support Anna Rose!!
Click here to see more wonderful photos of Cincinnati Rollergirls Silent Lambs Challenge Bout Cutting Event – July 17th 2008.
photos by: Jason Bechtel
Did you know that you can add all of your Pantene Beautiful Lengths photos to our Flickr photo group? Also, if you GeoTag the photos, they will appear on our map! Good luck and here are instructions on how to do this.