About a year ago Lainy Ann started talking about how she had long, pretty, princess hair. She wanted to grow her hair long like a princess and never cut it. I started talking to her about one day cutting her hair and donating it to Locks of Love. I didn't have a preference of long or short hair on my daughter really, but I feel its important to teach children philanthrophy at a young age so it is always a part of who they are. We donate to goodwill, women's shelters, canned food drives and friends who are in a pinch. They are actively involved in that donation so they see it as part of our life and who we are.
I started finding stories and pictures on the internet of other little girls who had donated their hair. I would share them with her from time to time, just to keep it in the back of her mind. Each time she would respond with, "I'm never cutting my pretty princess hair." As she has grown older she is starting to take on more grooming responsibilities of her own. She has been showering herself for months and recently she has started brushing her hair the the morning. I always finish it up and then style it. We have reminded her that her hair and her body are her responsibility.
Last week during a particularly bad tantrum of not wanting to brush her hair Daddy said that she could get her hair cut if she wanted. She said yes. I was shocked. It was just a month ago when Melanie had donated her hair to Locks of Love that Lainy Ann replied, "I'm not cutting my hair." And now she was ready to make the cut. For the next few days we talked about it more making sure it was something she wanted to do. Then came the decision of how much to cut. Locks of Love will accept any hair donation. However, only locks that are 10 inches in length can be used to make a wig, the other hair is sold off to help offset the costs of manufacturing the wigs.
Lainy Ann wanted her hair cut shoulder-length, but that would only allow about 8 inches for the donation. I ended up talking her into doing the full 10 inches, its a little shorter than we were hoping but it will grow.
When the hairdresser, a dear friend of ours, made that first cut my stomach plummeted. It was her second haircut EVER. She had been growing that hair for 5 years and with a few snips it was gone. It no longer mattered if we were doing the right thing, if too much was cut off. It was done. I panicked. I teared up. But I kept a smile on my face the whole time.
The first few days with her haircut I would lose her. I would glance around for the girl in pink with long hair and not be able to find her. But its been 10 days now and we are all used to it. She loves how quickly she can get it done in the morning. She certainly does look more grown up. I think of the box of ponytail holders we have that match Easter dresses. Oh well, it will grow, and one day she can use them again. For now, I am getting used to what the back of her neck looks like.