Ever since Kelly died and I also learned that one of my dad’s sisters has lymphoma, I’ve been growing out my hair so that one day it will be long enough to donate to an organization like Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve got fantastic hair: it’s thick, grows well, and can be pretty damn shiny when I remember to leave the conditioner in for at least two minutes. If you don’t believe me, take a gander below:
With spring and the East Coast summer swelter around the corner, I would really like to cut my hair after a friend’s wedding in early April is over. My original plan was to either hit up Supercuts on my way home from work one day or to find a salon in New York City that offers premium prices or free haircuts for people who are donating—Crops for Girls, I’m looking at you—and then just get my hair did. Then, I noticed this e-Newsletter from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society talking about their new program and website: Totally Baldacious.
Looking through the website, it sounded like the perfect program for someone like me who isn’t personally motivated enough to train for a marathon or a triathlon but wants to help raise money for research.
I contacted the organizers who said that while a lot of the focus was for the program’s initial launch in February, anyone can sign up and be a “Baldie in Training” at any time. I’ve already got the hair to cut off, I already know when I want to cut it off, but my biggest question is: How much could I raise from my friends and family?
This is what I’m thinking:
If I set the bar low at $10 a person, it would take 25 people to get me to a $250 goal and that sounds reasonable. I could go in, chop off 8 to 10 inches (I think it’s closer to 8 in a pony tail at the base of my neck), get a cute A-line bob, and be done with it.
At the $500 level, I’d take my hair a bit shorter, probably do something cheekbone length. Maybe even do something faux-hipster-like where it was very short in back and on the sides but longer on top. If I had product, I could just zhujh (sp?) it every morning until it starts to get longer, and be done with it.
And if I reached a goal of $1,000, then I’d (gulp) shave off all of my hair. Maybe not completely down to the skin, but very, very short, as in half of a centimeter long all around.
The problems I see, so far, are thus:
While my boss wouldn’t blink if I came into the office one day with chin-length hair or even cheekbone length hair, I think she might say something if I waltzed in with a bald or nearly bald head. Oddly today, one of the more fashionable girls in the office saw me walking past and asked if I was growing out my hair to donate it. I floated this very idea and my concern past her, and she said that I should just woman up and ask my boss if it would be okay. So there’s at least one vote of confidence… but then again, this other girl also doesn’t pay my salary and/or keep me employed.
The other thing I’m concerned about is that the girlfriend of one of my other friends was a “Team in Training” member and as her girlfriend’s donation goal date was nearing, they realized that if they didn’t reach their goal, they would have to make up the difference themselves. Now, I understand that there’s a “cost” to do the marathon and race training, but there shouldn’t be much of a cost to have people give them money in exchange for you cutting or having your own hair cut, right? Methinks it’s time to read the small print again… and since there’s nothing on the website saying that I’d have to make up the difference (so far) there’s one hurdle down.
Notice that my own vanity is not a concern to me… I think. I’m currently single and likely to stay that way for a while, so any person who expresses a romantic interest in me right now would just have to deal with having a girlfriend with very short hair because the idea of both helping a woman going through chemo or a child whose medical condition prevents them from growing any hair on their head at all with a human hair wig and helping raise money to research cures and more effective treatments for leukemia and lymphoma is just too irresistible to me.
Notice that I’m also assuming that I will even reach the $1,000 donation goal. But then again, I’m almost always attempting to prepare for worst case scenarios; this is the legacy I’ve inherited from an over-protective mother. Judging from the other “Baldie in Training” or “Dyer in Training” (because the less gutsy option is to pledge to dye your hair) site, even my $250 goal is pretty ambitious. However, I am lucky enough to know several people whose generosity knows no bounds and/or are just mischievous enough to nudge the total higher if it meant that I’d have to shave my head.
I guess the only way I can know for certain how my boss would react is to just bloody ask her. I mean, there’s nothing in my work contract that says I can’t be almost bald while answering phones or writing up market reports. I don’t think I’d feel less professional if I had a fuzzy head for a few months (but I’d end up spending a lot of time rubbing my own head after the initial buzz).
I think what I’m looking for in this blog entry is some validation that I am doing a good thing and that even broaching the subject with my employer is worth asking the question.
So I ask again: How much would you pay to see me with a bald head?
UPDATE: First off, a URL linking problem and a comment on my LiveJournal made me realize that this entry may sound like I was demanding that people pay money for me to shave my head when I was really only wanting to know if it was worth it to even attempt to ask my boss. I know that money is tight everywhere and that when one is deciding how to spend their money, it doesn’t help to be pressured or guilted into it. For that, I apologize.
Also, I ended up emailing my boss earlier on Sunday and apparently, there’s a dress code for the office which implies that “business casual” doesn’t include “shaved heads for women who are doing so to raise money for charity.” There’s another option where one can dye their hair to raise money, so I think I’ll do that instead and just aim for the $250 goal with my goal being a bright (but natural-ish looking) red.
Thanks for the feedback, and I’ll be posting the link to my Baldacious donation page soon.