The Chop: Goodbye, 43 centimetres of hair...

Image: Look at that ponytail! (supplied)

For many of us, even having just a couple of centimetres snipped off by a hairdresser can be a big deal. So imagine what it’s like to bid farewell to over 40 centimetres – that’s 16 inches – of hair in one go.

That’s what Sinead O’Connor did late last year. (No, not that Sinead O’Connor.)

The uni student and part-time hospitality worker was a long-time devotee of “long-ish” hair, never having it cut higher than her shoulders. However, after hearing about Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program – where women can donate their snipped-off ponytails to be made into wigs for cancer patients – Sinead decided it was time for a visit to the salon.

Here’s what happened next:

Q+A with Sinead

What made you decide to make a big change?

Last year I went traveling around Europe for a few months, during that time I didn’t get my hair cut and it grew quite long. I heard about Pantene’s ‘Beautiful Lengths’ program through Zoe Foster-Blake, it’s a great initiative so I thought I might as well donate it because my hair fit the criteria! If my hair can help someone else that’s great.

What inspired your hair transformation?

Once I decided I was going to chop my long hair off, I looked at all kinds of shorter hair styles, mostly on Pinterest. I wanted something that looked chic and wasn’t too difficult to style. I also thought I’d get a fresh colour while I was at it!

This photo of Megan Fox was one of the images that inspired Sinead's cut.

Who is your hair muse?

I think fashion bloggers Nicole Warne (Gary Pepper Girl) and Sara Donaldson (Harper & Harley) always have flawless hair.

Check out the rest of our The Chop series here.

How did you describe what you wanted to the hair dresser?

My hairdresser is actually also my very close friend Lisa, who owns the salon I go to in Warrnambool. I would trust her with my life! So I basically sent her some photos and said that she could style it whatever way she though would suit my face shape best. As usual, Lisa knows best - I’ve received so many lovely compliments since having the chop.

What did this transformation involve?

After we cut the ponytail for donation, Lisa coloured my hair - she opted for a richer dark brown colour, with a bit of warmth, and then she did the actual shaping and styling of my hair cut. The whole process from start to finish took about 3 hours. The ponytail was about 16 inches or 43cms - the minimum donation is 20cm for Beautiful Lengths - but it would have been a bit more after the styling.

Are you considering a major hair change? We'd love to know about it - email