Today being the Ides of March, I come bearing news of a hair-raising experience. Well, a lot of hair was involved and there was some gladness raised somewhere. That’s not what ‘hair raising’ means? Oh. *shrug* Could you please read my story anyway? You might just about change your mind.
Ta da! I loved my new hair style!
When I chop ‘em tresses all off, I get a lot of “I didn’t recognise you!” and “You look wild!”. My favourite is a visiting cousin’s declaration once, “You look like a punk!” Truth is – I felt wild and I felt like, um, a punk? Alright, enough narcissism.
Three years is the usual time frame for me to lop it all off and donate it. I first heard about donating hair in Canada and I decided to do it the very first time I read about it.
In my mid 20s, I had pledged my body for donation after I flat line, but it’s kind of a drag that I have to wait patiently to do something that I strongly believe in. Donating my hair every 3 years has helped assuage that restlessness. (I’ve looked into live skin donation, too, but sadly, the success rate for this isn’t encouraging.)
I followed in the footsteps of Daddy, Mummy and my older siblings, and became a regular blood donor from the age of 18. It helped that I am B-ve because it is not a terribly common blood group. That is not good enough today because I am not allowed to donate blood anymore. Over the past decade or so, organisations have became stringent about body weight, among other things. We have to weigh 52 kgs, at least. I’ve never ever touched 50 kgs in my life. So my blue blood now courses solely through my veins. 😦
A little side story. I have instructed my family (and my closest friends around me when I am away from home) that upon my death, I want whatever parts of me – all organs, of course, but also skin, bones, hair, nails, whatever – that can be used for others in need to be taken from me, and the, um, scraps to be handed over to the students at the local med school. But Big Bro vows to follow through with his plan. Um, what plan?
This one – he says he’ll douse my, um, “carcass” with ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel AKA jet fuel) and toss a lit matchstick to ensure I turn to absolute cinders. No, no, Big Bro is not heartless. He says it’s bad enough there’s one of me on the loose now. If anyone gets bits and pieces of me, he’s afraid they’ll morph into clones of me. Forget December 21, 2012, he frets, the day I die and re-incarnate via others through my donated organs; that day will be the true end of the world, he claims. Aren’t big brothers the best?
Back to me and my tail tale.
I donated my hair twice in Canada. The first time I was told that it would wind up at Sick Kids (the children’s hospital in Toronto). The second time my hair went to some theatre group in TO (Toronto in local speak).
The last two times I donated my hair were during visits to Kathmandu, Nepal and Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. In both cities, I did not find hospitals or organisations that accepted hair donations, so the salon folks kept it each time. I told the people I knew who asked about “all that hair” that I had donated it to the salon. I got mostly positive responses, but two people I know argued that I should not have given it to the salon because they would make money off it. Hair stylists are rich enough already, they thundered, and clients have to pay a pretty packet for a hair piece. Well, I countered, that’s even better than I expected because now two people would be happy – the client, of course, who would have flaunted my, ahem, luscious locks AND the stylist who would earn from it. I had not factored the latter.
I also added that it is not for me to judge who is rich and who is not; and only those who can afford to splurge on a wig or extensions would do it. (Not quite true, I know, but that’s a whole different story.) If I could make yet another person happy in the bargain, “Go, Me!” I say!
So please feel free to voice your different points of view at any time, all ye detractors. I welcome those because one way or the other, I can learn something else via the argy-bargy.
For any of you considering donating your hair, here are some tips give the best you can. Before that, I want to brag about this – I had no split ends. w00t w00t!
i. Minimise styling: This includes colouring, changing the texture (straightening/perming) and blow drying. Ideally, doing none of all that is best. Yes, it is possible. Mine was virgin hair. No, I did not make that up. It is a technical term for hair that has not been chemically treated at all.
ii. Minimise use of chemicals: Those used on a daily basis e.g. styling products, perfumes.
iii. Tie it up: (When possible.) It reduces the impact of pollution on the strands.
iv. Cover up: The same reasons as above. When in the sun, of course, but also from wind.
v. Lifestyle: Hair is yet another part of us that mirrors our lifestyle. Our diet, exercise regime, sleep patterns and stress levels all play a role in the quality of our hair.
Oh, look at all of you! In awe of me for bragging telling you about being a serial donor. I did not donate blood every six months (a long time ago) and I do not donate my hair every three years now because I care about some poor person in need.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Dr. Howard Thurman (American philosopher and educator. 1899-1981)
So you see, this is why I am generous with bits and pieces of my being. I do not just want to ensure I live on after my mortal demise, I’m so .. so… full of myself, I want to share while I’m alive!
You still don’t buy that I’m egotistic, do you? Oh, I know. I’ll tell you what I do when I miss my hair after I donate it. I go for one of these options that always work – beg, borrow or steal.
::: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: READER REQUEST :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :::
One of my blog buddies is MJ. MJ is fun and a good sport. Most of all, I like that he is generous with his time and encouragement with all those who visit his blog and leave a message. That, and he is just plain nice.
MJ made this request via a comment in my earlier post titled ‘Giving Up. And Taking On.‘
>Do give an update on how the lenten activities are going when you get some time.
– I promised to update you in my next post only (meaning, this one), MJ, because I would have had some more time with my challenges and I would have a better picture of how I am faring now. (And more time to get my, um, act together for the “report”.)
About the things I’ve given up. Giving up all the food was easy. I’ve got a few years of practice under my belt, so it’s no biggie today. As a matter of fact, I am pleased that I do not crave my meat, fish and all things sweet. I don’t fantasise about them either. I don’t even feel sorry for myself for abstaining! A far cry from not too many years ago.
Refraining from checking out new articles online is much harder. I try to stick to health related articles, but have caved in and read non-health related articles like:
Sara Blakely: How one woman made a billion from big pants http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/sara-blakely–how-one-woman-made-a-billion-from-big-pants.html
5-Week-Old App Draw Something Hits 20 Million Downloads And Generates 6-Figures Per Day http://www.businessinsider.com/omg-5-week-old-app-draw-something-hits-20-million-downloads-and-generates-6-figures-per-day-2012-3
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
Headlines like these grab me. I remember my vow, hesitate, then cave in. I do not feel too bad about breaking my Lenten decision to refrain from mainstream news online because these kinds of stories (which to me, are more about the human spirit than the dosh) feed my soul. I learn about their doggedness and I learn from their doggedness. Now, using that same doggedness with my struggle to pray and reflect is a whole different story. 😉
I still read three (hardcopy) newspapers a day, so it’s not like I’ve given up on news entirely. That would be very hard. So I won’t even go there, except when I’m on holiday. Then, I truly do not care about what happens in the big, wide world. 😉
About the things I’ve taken on.
Not going to mince words – I did a lousy job the first week in. Just could not focus on prayer or the Scripture readings. Today, I am more settled in that groove, but I’m still not groovin’. Know what I’m sayin’? I wish I would look forward to that hour of prayer and reflection, but I don’t. I even feel a little relieved when I finish. Relieved, as in, ‘Done! Let me check this off my list’. I am disappointed with myself about this because I know how good I feel when I pray, I know how good it is for me, but I just do not seem to put in the effort required for me to reap bigger rewards that I (also) know are so easily within my reach.
I don’t beat myself up though. I also enjoy being human. 🙂
Thank you for asking, MJ. Knowing that someone (in this case, you) asked that, made me a little more, uh, accountable. I am quite confident I would have been lackadaisical a little longer had you not asked for feedback. So ‘Ouch!’ (initially) and ‘Thanks’, too, MJ!
P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.
I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!