Don't forget you can donate your long lockdown hair – this is how I did it

Lockdown left us with heads of unruly, lengthy hair.

This was certainly the case for me. 

A few months back I realised just how long my hair was getting. Friends would mention it on Zoom calls, it was getting more and more frustrating to wash and brush and it just felt incredibly heavy. 

I knew that getting a considerable amount off was necessary as soon as I was allowed to step back through the doors of a hair salon. But then I remembered some friends had said they donated their hair to charity a few years back.

With no plans to keep my Rapunzel-esque hair, this seemed like a good alternative – rather than the discarded locks ending up on the shiny salon floor.

After a little research I read up about the Little Princess Trust – a charity that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment or for other medical reasons, such as alopecia. 

To me, lockdown seemed like the perfect time to keep growing my hair to donate. After all, when would my hair be this long again?

Despite my hair increasingly getting on my nerves, I was determined to give as much as I could – which was at least seven inches according to the charity. All I had to do was to sit back and let it continue to grow.

My date for the big chop – May 7 – eventually rolled around and I rocked up to the salon armed with my measuring tape (yes, really).

After explaining to the hairdresser, Natasha, my plan, I was relieved to hear she was familiar with the charity cutting process – which involves popping hair into a ponytail and cutting it off in one go. This neat ponytail of hair then goes into an envelope to be sent off in the post.

With 10 minutes of me arriving, Natasha had plaited my hair, measured it and cut it off.

‘Don’t look in the mirror yet – this is not how the final cut will look, I promise,’ she warned me, as I clutched my two plaits of hair in each hand. 

An hour later – and almost nine inches lighter – and my haircut was over and, thankfully, I love how healthy my hair feels now and how my natural waves are returning.

Now all that’s left to do is to send my envelope of hair to the Little Princess Trust. 

If you’re considering a post-lockdown haircut and you’re looking for a sizeable chop, don’t forget that your unwanted hair can be put to great use.

The Little Princess Trust is now taking donations again so if you’re keen to give it a go, here are some of my key takeaways from the process:

Go for seven inches – at least

The Little Princess Trust ask for at least seven inches of hair – but ideally more. So if you can keep it growing for a little longer, even better. 

This is so they can make longer wigs for children. 

I managed around eight and a half inches – but others have gone up to 20 inches.

Only wash with shampoo beforehand

In preparation for your salon appointment, the charity ask if your hair can be washed with shampoo only – so no conditioner or styling products. 

I did this the morning of my appointment – knowing my hair would be snipped then washed and properly cut. 

Get the hairdresser to cut it off for you

It’s probably worth stressing that you don’t have to do the cutting yourself.

Most hairdressers are familiar with the hair donation process and have even done it before. If they are not, just explain you need it cut off in a dry ponytail before your actual haircut begins. 

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