-My journey as an apprentice at ECO began in September of 2012. Up until that day I never imagined myself becoming a hairstylist. During the first few weeks I learned I had a natural talent. In the following weeks I would learn so much more than just doing hair. My passion began to grow deeper for the industry and the bonds that had been created amongst my peers and guests.
-I am most passionate about making my guests feel beautiful and connecting with them on a personal level and earning their trust. I have learned a lot about myself and the relationships I formed over the last three years.
-Becoming a hairstylist has shown me that you can in fact love what you do, and just like hair is a work in progress, so am I.
While many hair trends seem to come and go with the seasons, the bob and the lob are here to stay. With so many possible variations of these cuts, everyone can find a shape and length that’s flattering. From a blunt, chin length bob, to a shoulder grazing lob with tons of texture, the possibilities are endless.
So now you’ve decided on your dream cut and you’ve booked your appointment, but what you may not have realized is that your haircut could completely change another woman’s life. By saving the locks you’re parting ways with and donating them to a reputable organization, you could help make a woman battling cancer feel beautiful again.
Hair donating has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the Pantene Beautiful Lengths organization has felt the boom. Since the creation of the program in July 2006, they have collected over 800,000 ponytails from men, women, and children all over the world. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, this has allowed them to create over 42,000 real hair wigs to be given free-of-cost to women going through chemotherapy treatment all across the country. These women have lost most or all of their hair due to the treatments, many have even made the difficult choice to shave their heads before it all fell out, and feeling attractive is the last thing they should have to worry about. They are going through what is probably the toughest time of their life, but any sort of normalcy can make it that much easier. These wigs are so realistic that while friends and family know the truth, strangers would be none the wiser to the fact that the hair on their heads is not their own. Just being able to run to the store without every other shopper knowing their situation by their head scarf or shaved head is a huge weight off their shoulders. It allows these women to feel normal, to feel like themselves again, and most importantly to feel beautiful and confident.
So how do you prepare for donating your hair? Pantene Beautiful Lengths has just a few requirements if you wish to help out with a ponytail donation:
If you meet these three requirements, you’re ready to donate! In the months leading up to your haircut, make sure to take the best possible care of your hair. The healthier the hair, the better it will hold up during processing. On the day of the cut, make sure your hair is freshly washed and fully dry without any styling products. You can also flat iron your hair if it’s wavy or curly. Ponytails can be packed in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag and mailed directly to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths foundation.
It may seem as though one ponytail won’t make much of a difference, but know that it does. Your one ponytail could be just enough to complete a wig for a woman in need. This past January I donated my hair at Londonderry High School’sannual Day of Giving. LHS currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest group hair donation, and the amount of donors seems to grow every year. Then just last week, the Day of Giving coordinator and LHS English teacher Steve Juster contacted me and asked me to cut a wig for someone he knew who received one through the PanteneBeautiful Lengths/American Cancer Society program. I had the opportunity to meet this woman and cut her wig into a style similar to what she had before she had to sadly shave all of her own hair off. It was incredible to see it all come full circle and to finally meet someone who was helped by this program. Giving her just a little bit of confidence back and knowing she felt more like herself again was extremely rewarding.
For more information on the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign, visit www.pantene.com/beautifullengths
Thank you in advance for donating, and happy cutting!
*Start with dry hair (I’d say “clean, dry” hair, but who we kidding?)
*Secure with bobby pins-(the secret to this is making an “x” with your pins, one ridge up the other ridge down)
*Loosen finished braid by pinching sections
*Twist braid In either direction making a circle (a bun) with the braid
*Tuck ends under and pin
Finish with Aveda’s Control Force
Kathy Mangum photography.