You Ponied Up! (And It Was Awesome)

Thanks to everyone who donated!

So here we are. The final post of our Pantene Beautiful Lengths partnership. Each step of this project, you guys have taken the idea of solidarity and pushed the boundaries of what that word means beyond my imagination. At the very beginning, in my head, this project was about solidarity with women who have lost their hair to cancer. And then as the campaign progressed, it became clear to me that this partnership was also about the solidarity of this virtual community. But then in the past few weeks, something totally unexpected happened. The camaraderie and support of APW readers, staff, and sponsors leaped off the page and into real life. It showed up in the form of a reader who decided to cut her hair on a whim after she saw we were giving away a pass to the National Donate Your Hair Day event (more on that in a minute) and in form of the APW sponsor who agreed to gift her a portrait session after the fact, because she’s been the biggest short-haired cheerleader of this whole campaign, perhaps even beating me out.

It showed up in the staffers who, of their own volition, ran with the campaign, bravely sharing their stories, and even partnering with sponsors to capture the cut (which you may have noticed from Lucy’s post earlier today. We had nothing to do with that! Stay tuned for APW staffer Emily’s story coming soon too).

And then it showed up in the form of a former staff member being so moved by Liz’s story and my story that she worked up the courage to shave her head (which is so gutsy it gets three videos):

So today is all about you guys. You took a wildly ambitious idea and turned it into a movement. And from all of the comments you’ve left talking about your plans to donate after your fall and winter weddings, I have a feeling it’s one that won’t be stopping any time soon. So with that in mind, we wanted to let you know how you can keep the magic going, and inspire those who have yet to donate (and are maybe a little nervous about doing so) with some wicked hot photos of our contest winner and her new haircut.

Keeping The Magic Going

Just because National Donate Your Hair Day is over doesn’t mean you can’t still donate! Pantene Beautiful Lengths accepts ponytails throughout the year. As a thank you to participants, this year Pantene Beautiful Lengths is partnering with WalMart to offer a $30 Visa gift card to anyone who donates, as a way to help cover the cost of your haircut. If you’re making or have recently made the cut, all you have to do is:

  • Request a donation kit from Pantene Beautiful Lengths
  • Visit any salon and cut a minimum of eight inches of hair (see the donation guidelines below)
  • Head to your nearest Walmart to purchase any Pantene product to style your new ’do, then mail in your salon receipt, your Walmart receipt, and most importantly, your ponytail using the prepaid envelope in the donation kit. And that’s it! You get a thank-you present. (For complete terms and conditions, click here.)

As a reminder, the requirements to donate hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths are:

  • Each hair donation must be at least eight inches long.
  • Hair may be colored with vegetable dyes, rinses, and semi-permanent dyes, but it cannot be bleached, permanently colored, or chemically treated.
  • Gray hair is difficult to use in the wig-making process, so hair may not be more than five percent gray at the time of donation.

If you’re planning on cutting your hair later in the year, we still want to know about it! Send your photos, videos, collages, and other what-have-you to team (at) apracticalwedding (dot) com or Tweet at @PracticalWed for virtual fist bumps, high fives, and a permanent place in the APW hall of fame. (Okay so that’s not an actual thing, but it exists in my heart.)

Also if you haven’t sent us your Vine video yet (like the ones above), there’s still time! Pantene Beautiful Lengths is accepting videos until the end of the month, so upload your videos from before, during, or after your cut and tweet them at @PracticalWed and @Pantene using the hashtag #BeautifulLengths. The Vines we’ve received so far have been so inspiring, and the final video is going to live on YouTube as a way to encourage future participants to make the cut themselves. (If you don’t have or have never used Vine, you can download it from the App or Play stores on your smart phone.)

Out Of The Blue

Now for the fun part. Remember when we mentioned that one reader in the Tri-State Area would be getting a ticket to National Donate Your Hair Day? Well, when we contacted Suzy to let her know she’d won, we were surprised (and delighted) to find out that winning meant she’d be cutting her hair out of the blue just for the heck of it. Totally irreverent. Totally badass. And the haircut? Wowza.

Thank You & Looking Forward

I don’t quite know how to put it into words, but we did something magical this year. And if my calculations are correct, APW readers are responsible for at least half a dozen wigs that will now go to women battling cancer (for free!). So thank you. Thank you for being simply the best the internet has to offer. Now let’s keep this thing going. Who’s up for 2014?

Why This Partnership: Maddie’s Hair Donation Story

Liz’s Head Shaving Story, Part I (Words)

Liz’s Head Shaving Story, Part II (Pictures)

How To Donate Your Hair To Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Downloadable Donation Pledge Buttons Featuring Liz

APW Before & After Photos, Plus The Scoop on National Donate Your Hair Day

We’d like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who participated in this partnership and to the sponsors who gave their time to photograph our staff members and contest winners. All photos in this post are by APW sponsor Smitten Chickens Photography. Vines were sent in by their respective owners. If you sent in your photo and don’t see it here, head over to our new Beautiful Lengths Pinterest board, where all of our reader photos now live! 

**This post was sponsored by Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Thank you Pantene helping make the APW mission possible!**

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