I’m a pushover for kids. Especially if the child has some type of disease or disorder that puts him or her at a higher risk for being teased and abused by peers. This sympathy probably stems from personal experience, but admittedly, I choke back tears when watching Hallmark commercials.
Twenty months ago when visiting friends at the corporate office, there were some jokes and remarks about the owner, the VP of production and some other guys growing out their hair long. I took up the challenge for vain purposes at first, to fit in as one of the guys.
A few months later an opportunity to help others through this silly endeavor became evident. Children undergoing chemo treatment or suffering Alopecia could use a wig or hair extensions. Ironically, one of the younger stars on Flickr that I’ve come to admire (for her willingness to humble herself and her professional, yet fanciful style) has Alopecia and uses hair extensions.
So it was decided to grow out my hair the required length for donation. It hasn’t been without it’s sacrifices. And as I’ve come to even like having long hair it will be another sacrifice to cut it back. Still, there’s good with each season in life and the satisfaction of knowing how the past 20 months of minimal effort will bring peace to a child or young-adult’s life brings a great satisfaction.
What I’ve learned over these past 20 months:
- Hair doesn’t grow out at the rate of an inch per month. It’s more like 3/8 of an inch permonth.
- As a long haired man, I’ve “frightened” many grown-ups… until I started looking more like a smiling Jesus hippy.
- The younger the child, the less affected they are to seeing long hair on a man.
- Each inch of long hair from the forehead causes another annoyance until it reaches about 7 inches long.
- First it gets in the eyes
- Six weeks later it’s into the nose
- another six weeks and it curls into the mouth
- Yet another six weeks it tickles the chin
This is probably why so many long-haired women have short bangs.
- Nearly all shampoo has lauryl sulfate in it. This chemical weakens the hair and over-strips the protective oils from it. (Great site about shampoo ingredients.)
- When doing any type of physical labor that requires you look down, any hair that isn’t tied back obstructs your view.
- It’s difficult to pull back all your long hair and the one strand that isn’t bound with the rest will find its way into your face when you roll down the car window to let in the outside breeze.
- Long braided pig-tails and a bandanna doesn’t make me look as cool as it does for Willie Nelson.
- Long haired men that walk with confidence are stereotyped as successful photographer/musician/artist.
- Women who brandish well-kept natural long hair have garnered my respect.