I've had long hair for as long as I've been allowed to choose my own hairstyle. And as much as I love it (long hair hides a multitude of sins), between the shedding and the heat of summer and the getting it caught in the car door, I find myself saying quite often, "I just want to cut it all off!"
But I never thought I actually would.
What made me take the plunge? Charity. I couldn't cut my hair of my own volition, but for women with cancer? What more motivation could I need?
Pantene Beautiful Lengths was launched in 2012 in partnership with Look Good… Feel Better, a charity that aims to improve the wellbeing and self confidence of people undergoing cancer treatment. Pantene receives donations of hair from women and men all over Australia which is turned into wigs (it takes about six to eight ponytails to make a wig) and distributed via independent 'wig libraries' across Australia and New Zealand. Since the programs launch in 2012, hundreds of wigs have been made from donations of approximately 5000 women and men.
And I'm about to be 5001.
Before I picked up a pair of scissors, I checked out the Pantene website to make sure I made the cut (pun definitely intended). There are a few requirements, namely that the hair must be more than 20 centimetres (my ponytail clocks in at an impressive 40 centimetres), it must be free of dye and bleach (coloured hair does not withstand the wig making process), and must be no more than 5% grey. Check, check and check.
This was me before:
Figuring I'd never get a chance like this again, I decided to hack away at my ponytail myself (the Pantene website provides a guideline for this). I knew that I wanted my hair to be about shoulder length, so I secured my ponytail a little lower than instructed (I had a lot of hair to spare).
Pantene Donate Your Hair Week kicks off 11 November, with events taking place around the country. You can register your own event on the Beautiful Lengths website. If you're unable (or unwilling – and that's okay!) to donate your hair, you can also make a monetary donation through the website.