I got the Karlie!

For the past few months, I’ve been growing my hair long, long, long.  The idea was to grow it long enough to chop it off for charity.  This process requires many decisions:  Which charity? What haircut do I want? And what hypo-allergenic conditioner will I use to help my hair stay strong?  My quest for a good, rich, moisturizing, itch-free conditioner came up empty, which made the chopping all-the-more vital.

I put together a board on Pinterest where I collected some ideas.  A theme emerged.  I wanted above the shoulders.  I wanted something resembling a bob.  And I wanted bangs.

Enter…the Karlie.

Let's face it.  I'm not a super-famous-model like Karlie Kloss.  This haircut should be called "the Karen."

Let’s face it. I’m not a super-famous-model like Karlie Kloss. This haircut should be called “the Karen.”

The New York Times style section declared the Karlie the “it” haircut of the year…a mere 16 days into 2013.  I’ve never been a person to wear the “it” outfit.  I’ve never managed to read the “it” book…at least not until after everyone else has.  But, the “it” haircut?  Seemed like a good idea to me!

For a person who often goes six months without a haircut, I’m a little bit haircut obsessed.  That profile pic in the top right corner?  I took that on one of my haircut “outings.”  See…when I get my hair cut, I generally tend to plan a night out on the town to show it off.  That’s how much I enjoy getting my hair cut.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a LOT of haircuts…

HairCollage

I’ve had super-long hair with bangs, a crazy short bob, and even an ill-fated attempt to get Julie Bowen’s hair from the early 2000’s TV show, Ed.  (Here’s a hint, when chopping many inches of your hair with nothing but a blurry printed out screen shot to show the hairdresser, be sure to go to a hairdresser who speaks English.)

But, the last time I had a bob and bangs at the same time?

I was five.

I was five.

I guess I figured 35 years was long enough, because last week I gathered my inspiration and my courage, and met my friend, Erin, at the hairdresser’s.

Erin agreed to come along to “document” the occasion. Didn’t she do a great job?

I love the look on my face in the middle pic. There's nothing like having a moment of panic when half the hair is already gone!

I love the look on my face in the middle pic. There’s nothing like having a moment of panic when half the hair is already gone!

Did my hair turn out like Karlie’s? Well…not really. For one, I have way too much hair. For another, I didn’t get enough “texture” — a.k.a. layers. For three, I don’t have a personal stylist following me around making sure my hair is perfectly messy.

But, I’m really happy with the finished result.  My hair is bouncy and fun.  Best of all?  Those bangs camouflage my 40-year-old forehead wrinkle.  Yay!

Now, for the big question.  What happened to all that hair?

No, I didn't color my hair.  The ends are just lightened from all that running I did a couple of summers ago!

No, I didn’t color my hair. The ends are just lightened from all that running I did a couple of summers ago!

When I announced my intention to donate my hair, a friend clued me into controversy surrounding Locks of Love, the charity most known for accepting hair donations. Yet another New York Times article filled in the details.

Turns out that everyone thinks Locks of Love makes wigs for kids with cancer.  They don’t (and they don’t claim to.)  Most of their wigs go to kids with alopecia, which causes complete hair loss with no cause or cure.

Now, I don’t want to knock kids with alopecia.  It sounds awful.  But, alopecia has never claimed a member of my family.  Cancer has.

For hair donations for chemotherapy patients, there seem to be two options.  Wigs for Kids collects hair to make, as you might expect, wigs…for kids.  Pantene also has a hair donation program.  They collect donations to make wigs for adults in cancer treatment.

Because Wigs for Kids wants to provide a long hair wig to any kid who prefers long hair, they require 12 inches for a minimum donation.  Pantene will accept anything over 8.

I had 10 inches…at best.

I sent an email to Erin.  I explained my dilemma.  Growing enough hair to donate to Wigs for Kids would require a few more months at least.  I had that aforementioned conditioner problem…and a serious case of hair boredom.  Plus, having just turned 40 I was ready–really, really ready– for a change.

Here’s the actual question I asked…

Want to help me justify giving to Pantene?  I really want to get the “it” haircut of 2013 before it’s “out!”

Wow. What a vain question. Luckily, Erin had a well-reasoned and not-at-all vain response.

EVERYONE wants to donate to kids. If you think of any charity that people really love it has kids involved. Can you imagine just turning 40 with not a lick of hair on your head and no money to buy a wig? I think women’s self esteem is deeply attached to the way they look and their hair is one of the biggest components of that. I would do Pantene in a minute.

I have smart friends. Pantene gets my hair, and I get a beautiful new haircut.  Win-win!

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3 Comments to “I got the Karlie!”

  1. Hi Karen, What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing. Franca

    >________________________________ > From: onceuponakaren >To: franca_orange@yahoo.ca >Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:07:47 AM >Subject: [New post] I got the Karlie! > > WordPress.com >Karen posted: “For the past few months, I’ve been growing my hair long, long, long. The idea was to grow it long enough to chop it off for charity. This process requires many decisions: Which charity? What haircut do I want? And what hypo-allergenic conditioner will ” >

  2. It looks wonderful! At all stages of length. 🙂

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