Friday, December 15, 2006

 
hey - what does anyone know about donating one's hair to "cancer"?

does that actually accomplish anything? whadyacallit - "Locks of Love"? that sort of thing?

will it do anything really relevant, besides assuage my guilty conscience and make me feel useful to no legitimate purpose?

cuz money I have not got. but hair - I got extra. seriously. I make Cousin It look like Sinead O'Connor.

is it counterfeminist to donate hair to "cancer"? does it undercut support for shorthaired or nohaired women? does it diminish, or minimize somehow, the important life-or-death struggle, the day-to-day ordeal, all the stuff I'll never understand unless (or until) it happens to me? "Yeah, sorry about your chemo, and that body part you lost - here, have some hair so I don't have to be reminded of how sick you are..."

or is it counterfeminist to say to a woman who has enough to worry about already - "oh, don't worry - hair on women is a construct of patriarchy. hey, sorry about your chemo..."

My mom died of some crazy speed-demon bone cancer. she didn't need hair. she didn't have time for chemo. she needed someone to sit with her, keep her company, keep the crushing ennui from killing her before the cancer could.

Maybe volunteering at a hospice or something would be a better step. or, maybe the cancer world could give a crap about my pathetic attempts at "help" and I should just keep my damn mouth shut and keep my do-goodnik ass at home.

any thoughts?

Comments:
I mean, maybe wigs are itchy and stupid. but maybe the other things I am capable of doing are equally stupid.

so, I'm askin'.
 
Yup. It needs to be 12 inches long. And, from what I've heard, they want undyed hair. My friend Josh grows his out and donates it.

As for counterfeminism, fuck it. The point is that they turn them into "real hair" wigs. Instead of saddling some poor patient with synthetic, obviously fake hair. Last time I checked, compassion for the sick didn't require a ideology test. I mean, you can't request that your hair not got to a registered Republican, so really there's no way to measure it's "ideological correctness" as an act.
 
Veronica, does everyone get a "real hair" wig or just people who can afford it?

I got 24 and a half inches of homemade sin threatening to take over the world from its headquarters on my scalp. (get it? headquarters?) maybe someone else would be happy to have what makes me want to cry each morning.

but do I want to support the idea that hair=happy?

the good news is, it's never ever been colored or permed or much fucked-with at all, really. But I can't seem to just cut it for the sake of cutting it. you know, like a normal person. I'm really attached to it. it's the nicest part of my body, on those rare occasions when it's cooperative.
 
The wigs go to kids under 18 for free.

Apparently, there's some controversy about them.
 
I wanna see a picture of your hair!
 
I have a friend who's hair grows incredibly fast. SHe donates to Locks of Love annually, because she has 2 small children, and volunteering is near impossible, and she's also...shall we say...low on the economic scale. She does it because it's something she can do.
 
I know a gal here who's about to chop hers off and donate it.

I think it's a great idea. Go for it!
 
I think that attempting to dictate the hair preferences of any woman with cancer is kinda like telling women in Zimbabwe that they really should look into Luna pads (or whatever). If you want to donate your hair, you should do so; it's not your obligation to determine what happens to the gift.
 
I assume that the cancer patients who receive hair from Locks of Love specifically want to receive it. So it's all good.
 
I think you should spin yur hair into yarn!
But seriously it may not seem like a lot to you but it will fell like cash to you after 5 mins!
Since Fred shaved the beard you should cut the hair, when was the last time you got a hair cut? I cut mine!
 
Kim - did you ever see that Johnny Depp pirate movie "Dead Man's Chest"? Starring Johnny Depp and Davy Jones' beard? all wriggly and slithery and tenticulating?

it's like that.
 
antip, did you actually find a place where you can do that?
 
not yet - gotta wait 'til post-holiday.
 
pony of all people posted this, over at Liz's:

http://www.headhuggers.org/

might be worth considering.
 
Actually, the hair dye thing is no longer an issue, necessarily. At least, when I went in to Great Clips the other day for my bi-annual "cut it the fuck off already, it's giving me migraines" haircut, they not only said they could take it despite its having been color treated, but they gave me the haircut for free!

I did tip the hairdresser, of course. He was a little rough-handed (maybe it's just that I hardly ever get haircuts, but I have a really sensitive scalp), but then, I felt a little bad for giggling when he, rather swishingly, said that he could only take it if it was at least eight inches. (Note: this was after asking if the man with me was my husband, and his audibly sighing in disappointment when I said in fact, he was.)

Sweet guy, decent, free haircut, no more hair-weight-inducing-migraines, and good karma all around. Win-win-win-win.
 
thanks all for your help.

I'll keep you posted.
 
My mom got synthetic wigs, I think, and technically what she has isn't "cancerous" (malignant), but... no, I don't think it's counter-feminist. And she obviously doesn't, either.

She bought hers, though.

And trust me - after a couple of rounds of chemo, even a wig isn't going to disguise that she's sick; you just might not think "cancer" right away. And I definitely think it's counterfeminist to tell a sick woman what she does is wrong for pretty much any reason. (Similar to, say, a Jehovah's Witness coming into your hospital room and telling you you really don't want that blood transfusion.)

Volunteering at a hospice might be good, but it really depends on your personality. If you're liable to get quiet/withdrawn/burst into tears/other such negative reaction (or don't deal well with angry people, as sometimes happens with sick people) like I do... probably not the best idea.

Aaaand from my admittedly limited experience? They probably appreciate it, and that you're even thinking of doing it. Most of 'em, anyway. (Mom's had a couple of friends volunteer to shave their heads in solidarity, which made her laugh, even if she did tell them to just hold her hand when she went G.I. Jane.)
 
thanks for the perspective, alex.

You know, you want to do the right thing, for the right reasons. It might seem like I'm reading too much into it, but I thought it deserved some examination nonetheless.
 
Yeah, of course it deserves examination. But I also don't think you should beat yourself up for wanting to help and do a good thing. Ya know... no matter what you do, there's always going to be someone out there to tell you you're wrong. Fuck em. You've got a good heart.
 
Thoughts:

Making lives better by increasing acceptance of shorthaired or nohaired women is a morally good thing to spend time doing.

Making lives better by helping cancer-nohaired women and men pass for "acceptable" is a morally good thing to spend time doing.

Doing a little bit of both is probably going to make the most lives the most better.

You've done quite a bit of the former.

Go for the latter.
 
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