“Reema? Have a seat I’ll be right with you.” I made my way to the waiting area and sat nervously fidgeting with my phone and fingers. I felt my stomach tensing up into a million knots and thought I should find the nearest exit, you know, just in case. My nerves were getting the best of me and I thought I might pee myself as a result of the tsunami of anxiety that I was engulfed in. She had said she’d only be a minute but she was running late and it was taking her much longer than expected. This was not a good sign. I was alone in my thoughts and this gave me time to reconsider.
I looked up at my husband, my heart racing, and I knew he saw the fear in my eyes. He returned a sympathetic gaze, offered his hand and asked, “You want to quit?” I felt a huge lump in my throat and a tinge of regret as I shook my head in denial of what my insides were so obviously feeling. “Good,” he replied, “I wasn’t going to let you.” He smiled at me reassuringly, in a way that told me it was all going to be alright.
The next words I remember hearing were, “Reema? Have a seat. So what are we doing today?” After that, I remember explaining that I wanted to donate my hair. I wasn’t sure whether I had enough, but the minimum was 8 inches. My hairstylist assured me that I had plenty and that I could probably donate over a foot, if I wanted to. I bit the bullet and told her to go for it. As the first ponytail was snipped, I felt myself slowly easing into a smile. By the last, and fifth, ponytail, I was smiling from ear to ear, my tension had disappeared and I had never been so sure of anything in my life.
Fighting cancer is hell and I know this because I’ve seen what it’s capable of up close. If I was this afraid of cutting my hair, imagine what it’d be like sitting in a waiting room awaiting a therapy that could potentially save your life? Especially when you’re tired, your body hurts and you really just don’t feel like fighting anymore… There was no way I was going to turn around and I definitely was not going to be afraid. I was going to donate my hair and I was going to do it with a smile on my face.
I’ve donated to various charities throughout the years but this time I wanted to do more than write a check. I had grown out my hair for my wedding and promised myself that at the end of it I was going to donate my most prized possession to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Pantene Beautiful Lengths aims to, “make it possible for women everywhere to share their hair with women who’ve lost theirs.” I know most women don’t feel as strongly as I do about hair so this may all seem a bit dramatic. However, I also believe that most women don’t think that much about their hair because they’ve always had it. Imagine waking up tomorrow and not having any hair! It’d be a huge shock and your confidence would definitely take a hit, whether male or female. I wanted to make a difference in something that a lot of women battling cancer face and I feel like I truly have. I already plan on growing my hair out again for the sake of donation!
I challenge all of you reading this to donate your hair at least once. I mean it, stop what you’re doing and go put it on your bucket list! Especially if you’re a brown girl like me. (Indian hair is highly desirable for wigs because it blends with most other hair seamlessly.) It’s just hair, it’ll grow back and you’ll be doing a great thing! Even if you don’t want to donate your hair for an altruistic cause, there are many benefits to having shorter hair – my head feels POUNDS lighter, I save lots of money on styling products, and with the help of an amazing stylist I’ve learned how to avoid heat products and still roll out of bed looking like a rock star! If nothing else, you’ll gain an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning and I’m all about that! 😉
If you’d like more information about donating your hair check out Pantene Beautiful Lengths