This post is a bit different to anything else I’ve chosen to write about or share before. It’s not strictly a parenting post or a family post but it does relate to mum life and making that adjustment post-baby.
I wrote about getting my hair chopped off a few months after having our first, but this time I decided to take a different approach before our second arrived.
It’s commonly known that after having a baby, a woman’s hormones dip and that wreaks havoc on all sorts, inside and out. This unfortunately includes big changes to hair including hair loss or thinning, and an overall change in the quality of hair whilst your body goes through this massive adjustment to post-partum life. First time around, I waited until the symptoms started to show, getting rid of several inches of poor hair I just didn’t know how to manage.
This time around though I decided to be proactive about it and get my hair cut before baby appears. There were numerous reasons for this, one being that it means my mane won’t (or shouldn’t) get in the way of breastfeeding, skin to skin and cuddles. The other being that my hair for the most part is usually quite long and in pretty good condition, especially for dyed hair. I don’t tend to rate a lot about my body but I do grow good hair.
So my next thought was, could I be helping someone by getting rid of this perfectly good, long hair? I’d read about hair donations and friends had previously held big fundraisers to donate theirs – all of theirs! And whilst I’m not prepared to get a buzz cut, it turns out I have more than enough hair to donate some ponytails and still have some left over.
I started doing some research and found that the Little Princess Trust takes donations from 7 inches and that includes dyed hair (as long as its a naturally dyed colour). One of the reasons I’d previously dismissed hair donation is that I was under the impression that charities didn’t take dyed hair at all, so this was a massive motivator for me.
In the time of coronavirus and all the restrictions, I decided not to bother with fundraising as I wouldn’t have been able to host an event where people could watch it happen anyway, not to mention the fact I’m a bit preoccupied with preparing for going from a family of 3 to a family of 4. I’m not typically a person who will do or donate something for the thanks or recognition, so didn’t want to make a fuss of donating something that took me literally no effort to grow!
Plus, I knew that I would have to make the decision and do it, rather than draw it out so I didn’t give myself the opportunity to chicken out. It sounds ridiculous when weighing up against the prospect of helping someone who couldn’t do anything about losing their hair, but with so much uncertainty and anxiety over the past 18 months, I’ve grown more attached to the status quo and less likely to want to invite more change into my life.
I decided just to go for it because, after all, it’s only hair and will grow back. If that’s the biggest worry in my life I’m doing alright and a whole lot better than anyone who could need my hair at this time. So I stopped worrying about it and booked an appointment with my hairdressing best friend. No going back now!
As it turned out, my hair was actually a lot longer than I had realised (I don’t really get to see the back of my head so had no idea) and when measuring a bob length out, I was still able to comfortably donate at least 10 inches to the charity, which I thought was pretty good. Turns out, upon cutting, some of the ponytails measured almost 14 inches which was both a shock and delight to hear – 14 inches is the length Little Princess Trust is in most need of at the moment.
Once cut, I had a flashback to my 90’s school days where I cut off my bum-length hair in rebellion and sported a short bob which made me look like Aaron Carter or at least a sibling of his. Fortunately, hair styles and fashion have moved on since then (not to mention Pinterest provides some amazing hair inspiration) so I was able to opt for a trendy, easy to maintain bob with layers. It still fits back in a pontytail (albeit the worlds shortest pony) and has enough shape and highlights/lowlights to work without looking like overgrown curtains. This will keep it away from baby whether breast or bottle feeding, winding, hugging etc and will hopefully cut my usual getting ready routine in half (because we all know mums don’t get time to wee in peace never mind use the hairdryer for 15 minutes at a time).
With the benefit of hindsight, I’m ready to take my second journey into raising a newborn knowing that I’ll be less stressed over dealing with my own hair and hair-loss, whilst having helped someone else who could make use of that perfectly good hair before it essentially rots or is pulled out by an infant.
Although I chose not to host a fundraiser for my big chop. Little Princess Trust still welcomes monetary donations, whether associated with hair donation or not. If you’re interested in supporting this great cause but don’t have the hair to give, why not check out the donation page on their website?