Making ‘The Cut’

After my sister was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2010, she cut her long blonde hair to an ear-length bob in preparation for the inevitable chemotherapy hair loss.  Just a few weeks later, she was completely bald and we headed out to Brooklyn to buy a wig from a store that serves Jewish women who cover their hair for religious reasons.

The owner of the shop was so kind and accommodating, fitting my sister with wig after wig until she found two she liked.  While not inexpensive, the wigs were an investment in my sister’s self-image and kept her looking beautiful even when she wasn’t feeling well.  One nurse actually lamented about my sister losing her gorgeous ‘hair’; my sister laughed and pulled off her wig.  The wigs were just that realistic.  These days, my sister is sporting her own hair, which grew back curly!

Seeing the positive impact the wig had on my sister (and on those of us around her), I was inspired to start growing my shoulder-length hair so I could donate it.  Today, more than 2 years after my sister was diagnosed with ALL, I had my hair cut in her honor.  I decided to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program because they accept 8″–I thought my hair was only going to be that long–and the hair goes to make wigs for cancer patients.

In 30 months, my hair grew to my waist.  I had it trimmed regularly (micro-trims!) and only used temporary hair color to cover my scattered grays.  All told, 14.5 inches of (layered) hair was lopped off my head, leaving me with a swingy shoulder-length bob.

Tomorrow I’ll mail out this pony of mine with positive thoughts for the eventual recipient who will be on the receiving end of a wig cobbled together with my hair and the hair of others.  My gratitude for my sister’s continued recovery knows no bounds and this is just a small way of giving back.


  • At 2012.09.06 06:55, bermudaonion(Kathy) said:

    What a wonderful thing to do! (By the way, your handwriting is gorgeous!)
    bermudaonion(Kathy)´s last blog post ..Author event and giveaway: Courtney Miller Santo

    • At 2012.09.07 12:34, Natalie said:

      Thanks, Kathy! It was such an easy thing to do and it will really help someone out there. 🙂

    • At 2012.09.06 07:06, Mary said:

      What a great gift from your heart – and head 😉
      Mary´s last blog post ..Ninepins by Rosy Thornton

      • At 2012.09.07 12:41, Natalie said:

        Love that comment–thanks so much!

      • At 2012.09.06 10:15, Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick said:

        Absolutely amazing, what a wonderful thing to do. I’m slowly growing my hair out and would love to make a donation as well.
        Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick´s last blog post ..Banned Book Week is right around the corner…

        • At 2012.09.07 12:36, Natalie said:

          I have to say, it was such a great feeling to have it cut. Other women in the salon were gasping and ‘ohhh’ing at the sight of the scissors chopping through my pony, but I was laughing because the days of 30 minute blowing drying were finally over!

        • At 2012.09.06 12:38, Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said:

          What a great post! I had no idea you could post hair like that – I thought you had to go to the wig making place to donate it. I know a few people who tend to grow their hair and then chop it right back – I’ll ensure I let them know this exists now.
          Jackie (Farm Lane Books)´s last blog post ..Why I no longer trust kindle ebook samples

          • At 2012.09.07 12:38, Natalie said:

            Jackie, the Pantene program is so great–they only require an 8″ pony (Locks of Love needs 10″) and it is such an easy thing to do. It took zero effort on my part, except for the drying and styling for the last 15 months when it was getting really long. 🙂

          • At 2012.09.06 15:34, softdrink said:

            Good for you!

            • At 2012.09.07 12:38, Natalie said:

              Thanks, pal! How are you? Hope things are going well out there in CA.

            • At 2012.09.06 20:17, Jenners said:

              That is amazingly generous and wonderful of you. I think there is nothing like seeing the benefits of a program like this in action to inspire you to grow your hair for 30 months — only to cut it off. You’re awesome … and I’m sure your lovely hair will someday boost another woman’s self-esteem.
              Jenners´s last blog post ..The Giveaway That Almost Never Happened

              • At 2012.09.07 12:39, Natalie said:

                C’mon, Jenners. Channel your inner Lady Godiva and GO FOR IT! Your hair will be long enough in no time. 🙂

              • At 2012.09.06 23:20, Ti said:

                What an awesome post. Made me smile!
                Ti´s last blog post ..2012: DNF #3 (Beautiful Disaster)

                • At 2012.09.07 12:39, Natalie said:

                  Thanks, Ti! I was smiling all the way home. Drying my hair now takes 4 minutes. Now I’ll have lots of time for blogging. Ha. 🙂

                • At 2012.09.07 00:08, Steph said:

                  Beautiful post and a beautiful tribute to your sister! For our big RTW trip, I started growing my hair out because I figured it would be easier to deal with on the road than trying to maintain a pixie cut on the road (and in countries where I don’t speak the language!). I’m not really a longhair person though, so probably at the end of this trip I’ll want to cut it all off. I hope I have enough that I’ll be able to donate it as well!
                  Steph´s last blog post ..Remember when I used to write book reviews?

                  • At 2012.09.07 12:41, Natalie said:

                    I’ve had long hair a bunch of times in my life but really do like the ease of short hair. The last time I chopped off such a significant amount was back in senior year of high school–I hacked 16 inches after a bad breakup. How cliche! 🙂 Can’t wait to read more about your RTW trip!!

                  • At 2012.09.12 08:57, Colleen said:

                    You must feel so much lighter! What a great gift you have given!

                    • At 2012.09.13 07:47, Christy @ The Daily Dish said:

                      WOW. Just WOW, Nat. That is an amazingly difficult thing to most women to do (cut their hair) and to do it for a complete stranger, that takes true heart. Your gift will make someone so very happy, I’m certain. SOOOOO happy to hear Jess is doing so wonderfully!

                      I’ve missssed you!!! Glad to be back online!


                      • At 2012.09.15 10:14, Jess (The Cozy Reader) said:

                        That’s awesome of you! I donated my hair in April to Locks of Love. 🙂
                        Jess (The Cozy Reader)´s last blog post ..Blog Tour | Come August, Come Freedom by Gigi Amateau

                        • At 2012.09.18 23:58, Ali (Worducopia) said:

                          What a wonderful way to give back. 🙂 I’m glad your sister is doing well.
                          Ali (Worducopia)´s last blog post ..Steampunk books for tweens and teens, part 1 (Book reviews)

                          • At 2012.10.15 23:37, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

                            Your hair was to your waist, holy cow! I am growing my hair out to donate and now that I know Pantene only needs 9″ I will use them so thanks for doing my research for me. 🙂 I donated once before and then the last time I cut my hair I didn’t think it would be long enough but more than I expected ended up getting chopped and I was kicking myself for months. Now I just plan it ahead.
                            Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog post ..I’m back with freaky food

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