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Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Cut Above the Rest

Yup. The big chop. Cutting one's hair post-wedding has almost become synonomous with newly married status. Somehow in the past few years, the trend has become long-haired bride, short-haired wife. What causes this phenomenon? Are newly women married women casting off their oppressive locks in favor of a more manageable style or is it a trend – the same as nude heels or God forbid – gaucho pants?

Well, after much deliberation I decided against chopping off my signature locks- at least for the time being. Part of this is because I hate following the herd and the other part is that shearing off my locks right now is not practical. Heading abroad to Japan and not knowing what styling tools I’ll have access to is a bit daunting. What if my straightener blows a fuse on day one. The honeymoon pics with my un-styled short quaff will not be pretty!

If you are wanting to chop your locks post wedding, they are more than a few fictional characters that have made the cut ...

Cartoon characters included. I haven't seen Tangled, but I know in some versions of Rapunzel secret wedding = big haircut...

And of course real live brides too...
My beautiful friend Rach & her handsome groom, Johnny.
Mr. & Mrs. Fournet right after the return from their honeymoon.
So how can you give back when making a big cut like these ladies? Locks for Love is definitely your best option.

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who are under age 21 and suffer from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. They meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

I donated to Locks for Love before back in college. My little sister had done it years before, when she was just 10 years old, which really inspired me. So, I chopped of 13 inches and didn’t look back. It was refreshing. Even better was the fact that my overnight transformation was free! Yup, when you donate to Locks for Love you get a free haircut. If that doesn’t make you feel good about helping others, I don’t know what will!

Here’s the scoop on L4L- you will need at least 10 inches of hair to make the cut. They do a dry cut, meaning, they put your hair in a pony tail and snip! Then the hair is bagged and mailed by either you – or the stylist, to Locks for Love. Make sure you have enough postage!

It helps if your hair is free of chemical, product, or excessive dye. Basically, the healthier the hair, the better, but hair that is colored or permed is acceptable. You can even donate hair that was cut years before if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.

One exception is hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair). If unsure, ask your stylist. They are not able to accept bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process, but if the hair was bleached years before and has completely grown out it is fine to donate.Hair that is swept off of the floor is also not usable because it is not bundled in a ponytail or braid.  

Have Curly hair? It can be donated if when pulled straight it measures at the minimum 10 inches. Already have shorter hair? Well you can still give back! Although the shorter hair cannot be used in the hairpieces, your donation can be sold to offset the manufacturing costs, which greatly helps to reduce costs The same is true for  gray hair, which is accepted and sold to offset the manufacturing costs.  All this info and more is available online at

To find a participating salon near you, visit the Locks For Love
website for a donation form or call your local salon to see if they participate. You can also look for the Locks of Love decal in the salon window or do a google search.

All hair donations must be mailed to Locks of Love at:

234 Southern Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701