"Ready?" she asked, scissors poised.
I took a deep breath.
"Just do it."
I closed my eyes, and heard the familiar 'snick' of the scissors. The next moment, my hairdresser gently placed a ponytail into my hand, containing eight inches of my hair. Eight inches that I had been growing for months. Those eight inches are now on their way to Pantene's "Beautiful Lengths" program, which makes wigs for cancer patients.
I've had long hair for years. It's been like a shield. I could always hide behind it when things got too rough. But I know that in the end, it's only hair. It'll grow. And there are women and men who are enduring some painful treatments to fight a disease. Some embrace the bald heads that emerge from chemo and radiation. Others need a shield, like I do. So, if my hair can help someone look in the mirror and not feel so strange, then it's worth it. It is SO worth it.
In the meantime, I shall continue to look in the mirror and try not to feel strange at my short bob. It's actually kinda cute. Maybe I'll learn to face my fears head-on, instead of looking for another shield to hide behind.
And in the end, what's eight inches anyway? (keep your minds out of the gutter, please).
More info on Pantene's "Beautiful Lengths" program:http://www.beautifullengths.com/en_US/index_home.jsp