When we first approached Pantene Beautiful Lengths to partner with APW, I had one clear objective in mind: find a way to encourage APW readers to donate their hair and make APW a huge contributor of wigs for women battling cancer. I’ve already explained my personal connection to hair donation, and I’ve talked about why this cause is so important to me. Then Liz shared her experience shaving and donating her hair with the community. But there’s another layer to this partnership that’s even more important than me, more important than the rest of the staff, and that’s you guys. Because as much as we can try to raise awareness about this cause, or explain its significance in our personal lives, we’re just spreading the word. The real power to make a difference lies with you guys.
Each year I photograph dozens of APW reader weddings. And every year I notice the same trend: women (including me, official spokesperson for a lifetime of short hair) will grow out their hair for the purposes of fancy wedding updos and then shortly after the wedding is over, cut it all off in a symbolic nod to a transition into marriage (or a nod to wanting to get your hair off your neck. Either way). So we figured, if women are already going to be getting rid of their hair, why not do it in a way that benefits others?
Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when at the end of my last post, you guys expressed an overwhelming desire to come together and help the cause. Because you are awesome. So today, we’re going to tell you exactly how you can do that, and when. (Hint: we’re thinking a big collective group effort. Stay tuned for more info.)
Slumber Party Chat Time (On Twitter, That Is)
But first! We figured this would be way more fun if everyone had an opportunity to come together in real time and discuss plans for cutting off our hair, ask questions about making the cut, get details on how to donate, and anything else you want to talk about. So today from 1–2PM PST / 4–5PM EST, we’ll be standing by on Twitter ready to answer all of your burning questions, and ready to give everyone who participates a virtual fistbump for being rad.
I’ll be taking over the @PracticalWed Twitter handle, ready to dole out short-hair advice from, well, having had it forever (maybe I’ll even share a few hair mistakes from days gone by). There I’ll be joined by @PracticalLiz, who is ready to field all of your questions about being bald and hot, and @Pantene, who will be there to answer any official questions about the program itself and to tell you about their big national hair donation push, National Donate Your Hair Day. And of course Meg will be cheering y’all on from the sidelines from her personal handle @MegKeene. Some things we’ll be discussing during the chat:
- How can you participate in National Donate Your Hair Day?
- How do you know if short hair will look good on you?
- How is Liz feeling a few weeks after shaving her head?
- What are the requirements for hair donation?
- Lots of other stuff you guys want to talk about…
So if you had previously expressed an interest in donating, or if you’ve donated in the past and want to offer moral support to your fellow APWers, or if you just want to chat and cheer on other ladies, stop on by this afternoon and say hello. Just make sure to use the hashtag #BeautifulLengths to join in and follow the conversation. And if you have really burning questions you want us to answer, feel free to leave them in the comments below and we’ll address those first!
Making The Cut
Every year Pantene Beautiful Lengths hosts a nationwide hair donation effort called National Donate Your Hair Day. And it just so happens that this year’s National Donate Your Hair Day falls right around the end(ish) of wedding season (depending on where you live). Which means that we have an opportunity to band together and make a really big impact on Pantene’s efforts.
So here’s what we’re going to do.
For those of us who have hair that will be long enough to donate (eight inches and also meets the other requirements), keep growing it out until September 7th. Salons across the country will be participating in the event, so if your salon is one of them you can just walk in on September 7th and tell them that you’re donating your hair and they’ll know what to do (we’ll have an update for you later in the summer on which locations are participating). If your local salon isn’t participating, you can still donate on National Donate Your Hair Day yourself by following these steps (click on the graphic to enlarge):
In my dreams, Pantene Beautiful Lengths receives so many donations from APW readers that they are able to make whole wigs out of hair just from you guys alone. In my dreams, some deserving woman gets to feel beautiful on her own terms thanks to the selfless efforts of this community alone. To me, that is solidarity personified, and the magic of what makes APW readers great. And the best part is, I don’t think these dreams have to exist in the realm of fantasy. I think we have the power to make them very real.
So join us as we gear up for National Donate Your Hair Day (most of the staff members who are eligible to donate will be doing so!), and come chat with us this afternoon as we conspire to pass along The Good, ponytail by ponytail by ponytail.
Photo of Liz donating her ponytail, taken by Maddie, thanks to a generous partnership with Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
**This post was sponsored by Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Thank you Pantene helping make the APW mission possible!**