CUT FOR CANCER  

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BEFORE

My remarkable daughter has just chopped off her long, luscious locks in order to send her hair to a charity that makes wigs for people with cancer.

amy ponytail

AFTER

Last year my sister suggested to my daughter that the next time she cut her beautiful long hair she shouldn’t waste it – she should donate it to a charity. My daughter took the initiative to research charities that accept hair then took note of how long the minimum length the hair had to be. For months she has been measuring how long her hair was so that she could conform to the donation rules. Finally yesterday she was ready, so with zip lock bag in hand and hair elastics to keep the hair tied neatly together in a ponytail, we visited the hairdresser with strict instructions that the hair must be clean, not have any product in it, not touch the ground, nor even be slightly wet before we sealed the 30 centimetre ponytail in an air tight bag for delivery to her charity of choice (Pantene Beautiful Lengths).

At an age when most tweens would be wanting the longest hair possible or even to start colouring their hair, my daughter made the choice to put someone else’s needs above her own which in my eyes makes her far more beautiful than someone with long, dyed hair. She doesn’t get any reward for making this choice, other than the knowledge that she has helped someone in their time of need. Her choice doesn’t stem from a personal connection to someone suffering cancer, she is just empathetic to the strains put on women who have to lose their hair in order to treat their cancer and she is grateful for her own good health, so to make this small sacrifice is just an altruistic choice.

I couldn’t be prouder of her and to top it off, I think her shorter hair really suits her proving that (although I may be a bit biased) she is truly beautiful inside and out.

QUIT NITS

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This is the time of year that the school sends home notes asking us to ‘Quit nits’. Quit nits, what – like quit smoking? Do they think that our kids are addicted to having little critters running around in their heads, laying eggs then using a material similar to super glue to stick them on the hair so they won’t budge?

As much as we try to ensure our kid’s don’t rub their heads against other children’s heads, they are too absorbed with sharing secret giggles and hugging each other to give it a second thought. Plus they never believe that their friends could possibly be a source of infestation!

Ever since my daughters were in pre-school I’ve had to deal with outbreaks of head lice. Sometimes the little blighters have taken up residency for an unusually long time, regardless of the fact that I tried every form of eradication known to man. Sometimes the little louse just seem to love to bathe in the chemicals and despite the promises of the manufacturers, they don’t curl up and die, instead they go forth and multiply. 

In the past I have spent up to two hours at a time combing strand by strand, through my daughter’s long, thick, blonde hair (which incidentally is almost the same colour as nit eggs, which means they camouflage beautifully!) If by chance I have missed a single little egg, within a week the scratching starts afresh and I have to start the treatment program all over again.

Like a mother gorilla I pick out any eggs and bugs (however I do refrain from eating them, unlike a mother gorilla!) There is a perverse kind of satisfaction when you find a critter, as you know that means one less louse to bite your kid’s scalp!

The smelly, greasy chemicals seems to infuse into the hair so there is no hiding that you’ve been trying to ‘quit nits’. Then if you advise the teacher that you have treated your child for lice, a note goes home to the whole class that starts the witch-hunt of who is the child that is responsible for the infestation!

This year I am vigilant about ensuring my daughters’ hair is tied back and hope that they keep their friends at an arms distance, because I really don’t want to have to start the long and annoying task of treating my kid’s hair ever again. I guess you could say that I’ve ‘Quit Nits’ and I hope in return that the ‘lousy’ intruders have quit aspiring to live in my daughter’s hair!

Just writing about head lice is enough to make my head itch! (Are you scratching yet?)

 

(Picture courtesy of Aleks Melnik, freedigitalphotos.net)