Up until a few weeks ago, my 8 year old daughter and I were having a hair race. This was not a very interesting race for spectators because it simply involved seeing which of us could grow our hair the longest.
It lasted months. Maybe a year.
Look, she was always going to win because she has a longer concentration span than me and I was always going to get bored and frustrated with the process of growing my hair and go down in a blaze of scissors.
And that’s exactly what happened. Last month I did the big chop and got myself a Lob (long bob). And I lost the hair race.
I was gracious in defeat, mostly because I was chuffed with my new haircut and because I have always taken a strange sort of posessive pride over my daughter’s long hair and I didn’t want her to cut it. I have always loved it long.
I’m not sure if it’s a nostalgia thing – I had the same hair at the same age – or whether I’ve just lived my long hair dreams through my daughter but I loved her long hair as though it was my own.
Every time my husband suggested she might need a haircut I jumped in with bogus reasons why she shouldn’t cut it off. Mostly they involved something lame like "But I LOVE IT LONG." She never needed much convincing.
“Mum will win the hair race if you cut it,” pointed out my 5 year old son gravely. My daughter's hair stayed long.
But last month after I cut my hair and she claimed victory, two things happened.
While looking through my Facebook feed one night, I saw a photo of a friend who had cut off her long hair and donated her ponytail to the Beautiful Lengths campaign that uses donated hair to make real-hair wigs for cancer patients who have lost their own hair due to chemotherapy. It takes about 12 ponytails to make each wig. That's a lot of hair.