by ZOE FOSTER
If you had the opportunity to support women with cancer, I’m guessing you probably would. In fact, being the brilliant, good-looking, kindhearted Mamamia reader that you are, I’m guessing you already do.
So… What if you could support women with cancer AND get that dazzling short haircut you’ve always thought about but haven’t had the coconuts to follow through on? Guess what? You can. You really, really can.
Pantene, of which I am an ambassador, has launched a program called Beautiful Lengths, which encourages women with long hair to cut it, and then donate it to be made into a real-hair wig for women undergoing cancer treatment. For those who have undergone cancer treatment, or know a dame who has, you will know that despite impressive advances in synthetic hair wigs, nothing can come close to a hair that moves, looks and behaves like (“is”) real hair.
It’s a marked visual difference, but it’s also psychological –for a lot of us, our hair shapes how we feel about ourselves. And having a wig that feels and looks like your old hair when you have lost it can be a huge boost to confidence during a pretty shitty time.
Sadly, these real hair wigs are pretty prohibitive. (Between $800 – $3000.) Beautiful Lengths was created to give them to women with cancer for free.
For those who have heard of Look Good… Feel Better, a national community service program that hosts workshops for women with cancer to help them (using makeup and skincare products donated by cosmetic companies) restore their appearance during treatment, you will know how wonderful it is. And if you know of any women undergoing treatment who has not already been to a workshop, please encourage her to go along. (She will also learn excellent wig, turban, scarf and hat techniques.)
The goal is simple – so simple it’s in the name – if these women look good, then they feel better. And they do. The change in mood and self-confidence from the start to the end of a workshop is remarkable. I know this because I have attended many of them, believe in the philosophy very much, and am an ambassador for Look Good… Feel Better.
For those counting, that’s two things I am ambassador for. This is relevant for transparency, but also because in a glorious moment of serendipity, Pantene chose to partner with Look Good… Feel Better for Beautiful Lengths, and the real hair wigs created in the campaign will be distributed via the LGFB to cancer patients around Australia. Which is all kinds of excellent, and part of the reason I have taken to my workbench to tell you dames about all this.
Beautiful Lengths has been going for a few years overseas with great success, but 2012 is the first year it’s in Australia. Obviously we need to show the rest of the world we are not opposed to cutting our hair off, especially if it’s for a good cause, and according to my Book of Good Causes, this one definitely is. Maybe you’re up for something raw and renegade like Miley Cyrus’ new hair? Or chic and coquettish like Anne Hathaway’s current look? Or a sweet pixie cut in the vein of Michelle Williams? Or even a sleek, all one length, jawline-scraping bob, ALA Alicia Keys or that babe from Hot Shots 2?