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Nina
August 24th, 2008, 04:42 PM
I was at a party at my sister's house and overheard a hair-related conversation that kind of irritated me.

One of the guests, a woman in her 40s, had beautiful waist length black hair. She had put it in a ponytail complaining of the heat. She said because she wears her hair in a ponytail so often, she wants to cut it, and besides, she said, "I'm in my 40s and I don't want people to think I'm holding on to my youth."

Then my sister said that she wants her 5 year old daughter, my niece, to donate her hair so they both were growing their hair together. She knows full well how I feel about LOL. I had mentioned some of the facts to her, how not all the hair gets used, etc. but she seems determined to have my niece do it anyway for the feel-good experience or the sacrifice or whatever.

The thing is, they don't take care of my niece's hair. It tangles easily and my sis usually rips a brush through to get rid of the tangles, so there's lots of breakage. It's not in the best condition and probably wouldn't be used at all.

Because it was my nephew's birthday party, I kept my mouth shut. But the two misconceptions that angered me was "women shouldn't have long hair past 40" and "LOL is such a feel-good organization. Every child should do it."

Should I even bother to tell them otherwise about LOL? I think they will just do it anyway and then I'll look like the killjoy, by badmouthing their beloved charity.

Katahdin
August 24th, 2008, 05:02 PM
I feel the same way about my mother.

She thinks it's silly to grow my hair when it's already waist. She insists I have a terminal length of a bit before hip, because that was as long as I could get it when I was younger. At the time I was taking TERRIBLE care if it though, and this time I'm doing it right.

We'll see who's laughing when I'm at classic length :twisted:

For LOL, I have a feeling a lot of people don't care so much about giving their hair to kids as they do being able to say "Yes, I gave my hair away to a kid with cancer!". I know not ALL people are like that, but many are. My high school did a thing where about 25 kids signed up to have 8" of their hair taken off for LOL, and the organizers of the event were terrible. They cut off their hair w/o pony tails (LOL doesn't accept loose hair), and were spewing out completely false facts, like "With the hair we've just donated, 25 cancerous kids will have a full head of hair and be able to live confidently!" I'm certain they knew this wasn't true too, because they ignored me when I made a complaint about it. :rolleyes:

minkstole
August 24th, 2008, 05:04 PM
Most people hate an unsolicited preaching, so I would keep my mouth shut if at all possible.

tinah
August 24th, 2008, 05:07 PM
sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut. any 40 yr old that cares what people think about her hair is not going to listen to you, and the one with the 5 yr old isn't going to bother to listen.
I think the best way to get through to people like that is to make sure your hair looks fantastic when you are around them, then they have to say something nice and you can (gently) climb on your soap box under the guise of making conversation.

wintersun99
August 24th, 2008, 05:09 PM
.................

CopperHead
August 24th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Last holiday season I was donating to a Salvation Army kettle and the woman with the bell was going crazy about my hair. She loved it. She also told me about her relatives who just recently donated their hair to LOL and she was obviously very proud of them. I didn't say a word and just smiled. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to say anything, especially when they are doing it from their heart.

I learned a long time ago that you can't change anyone's mind once it is made up. If they feel they are too old for long hair, then they probably are. Those of us who don't feel that way aren't. It is all about attitude when you get down to it. ;)

Samikha
August 24th, 2008, 05:14 PM
Should I even bother to tell them otherwise about LOL? I think they will just do it anyway and then I'll look like the killjoy, by badmouthing their beloved charity.

I don't think telling them straight-out will help, to be honest. If they have decided to donate their hair they are already believing and approving the organisation too much. If you feel you should say something - I would! - then you can just say, that in general, one should be a little sceptic of all organisations without proof beyond reputation.

If they are very dismissive and critical of that, then don't work up a sweat. You can't get them all.

insideitall
August 24th, 2008, 05:16 PM
are there any other hair related charities out there? perhaps one that may be a better choice than LoL?

honestly, though, I don't think there's anything wrong with growing hair specifically to donate it. While I think parents should have some control over what their child does with their hair, if her daughter decides she wants long hair that decision should be respected. As she's only five now, I don't see any harm in letting mom get her feel good experience. Assuming hair grows an average of six inches per year, I'm guessing it will only be another year or so.

besides, if you've already talked to her and she's being stubborn about it.. that's her choice. I don't know how long your hair is, but maybe when your niece gets older she'll see your hair is long and be like "mom I want my hair just like hers!" :cool: just make sure you don't sound like you're trying to tell her how to parent.. people get REALLY bent out of shape about that.. maybe suggest some other "sacrifice" related charitable activities her and her daughter can get involved with?

good luck!

I wouldn't worry about the other woman - she's a big girl and can decide on her own what to do with her hair. besides, you don't want to fall into the 'unsolicited opinion' trap, now do you? :D

Silver & Gold
August 24th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Most people hate an unsolicited preaching, so I would keep my mouth shut if at all possible.

Agreed. There are times it is so difficult to hold my tongue but I've learned that it is often best. If speaking will do no good and only cause ill will, it is best to keep it buttoned, even if you know you have an enlightened point of view.

DecafJane
August 24th, 2008, 05:39 PM
I can understand that this is frustrating for you, but I agree with the above posters - saying something would just make it worse. You can't change their perceptions about life, and they will hang onto them, as having them makes them feel like better people.

I know that growing our hair long makes us happy on this forum, but if your friends and family aren't into long hair and are growing it out of concern for others, they are cultivating an attitude of caring. Hopefully this will then extend into areas of their lives where they will actually do something that makes a bigger difference.

Perhaps the 40 year-old lady with the long hair was just expressing momentary frustration or looking for compliments. The thought that people past a certain age shouldn't have long hair is just a convenient way of expressing frustration with the length without having to go into it any further. As nice as her hair is, if she wants to cut it and is then happy about it, that is up to her. :)

DaveDecker
August 24th, 2008, 05:57 PM
I was at a party at my sister's house and overheard a hair-related conversation that kind of irritated me.

One of the guests, a woman in her 40s, had beautiful waist length black hair. She had put it in a ponytail complaining of the heat. She said because she wears her hair in a ponytail so often, she wants to cut it, and besides, she said, "I'm in my 40s and I don't want people to think I'm holding on to my youth."

Then my sister said that she wants her 5 year old daughter, my niece, to donate her hair so they both were growing their hair together. She knows full well how I feel about LOL. I had mentioned some of the facts to her, how not all the hair gets used, etc. but she seems determined to have my niece do it anyway for the feel-good experience or the sacrifice or whatever.

The thing is, they don't take care of my niece's hair. It tangles easily and my sis usually rips a brush through to get rid of the tangles, so there's lots of breakage. It's not in the best condition and probably wouldn't be used at all.

Because it was my nephew's birthday party, I kept my mouth shut. But the two misconceptions that angered me was "women shouldn't have long hair past 40" and "LOL is such a feel-good organization. Every child should do it."

Should I even bother to tell them otherwise about LOL? I think they will just do it anyway and then I'll look like the killjoy, by badmouthing their beloved charity.

Nina, your post induced a tangential musing: I wonder why it is considered bad to hold onto one's youth? Or, more precisely, why society expresses/infuses this attitude into the general public, while at the same time (largely) celebrating aging celebrities who are able to retain youthful appearances?

I assume that the referenced party guest was a mature adult taking care of responsibilities to family, job and home. The ironic aspect of her statement is that in its uttering she displays a concern for misguided myth, which IMO doesn't reflect well on her judgment... in this regard.

Personally, I appreciate that I look more youthful than my chronological age, and have no intention to destroy any aspect of my appearance for the sake of any myth or (potential) criticisms.

Darkhorse1
August 24th, 2008, 06:03 PM
I don't care what other people do with their hair--it's their choice. If they want to cut it, that's fine. If they feel after 40, they can't have long hair, that's fine. If someone's child wishes to donate, that's fine too. But, I don't want people telling me what I should do with my hair, I won't tell others what not to do with theirs.

It's about choice--but I do understand your frustration.

danacc
August 24th, 2008, 06:11 PM
are there any other hair related charities out there? perhaps one that may be a better choice than LoL?

...

There are others. At least 3 are mentioned in this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5090&en=188afa9ebe572df0&ex=1346731200&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1219622604-VnTJjb30Yl42ihjieXSE0Q) that also talks about how Locks of Love receives many more donations than they can possibly handle, and what happens to the "extra" hair. Member heidi w. was interviewed for the article, and had linked it in another thread. Pantene's program looks promising, if only because it is likely to have the resources to staff the program well, but I haven't really looked into it.


I agree with the others, this is definitely not the sort of thing you refute publicly. At best, you could mention other charities that take hair once you've researched and found one you're comfortable recommending. But even that is best done privately, one-on-one, and you mentioned you already spoke with her about LOL. I know it was hard to bite your tongue in the public setting, but I think you handled it in the best way given the circumstances.

Carolyn
August 24th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Why not just walk away from the conversation and shake your head? :p People who are determined to donate are going to do it no matter what you say. Like others have said if they aren't after your hair, don't worry about what they do with theirs. If the child was saying she didn't want her hair cut then that would be a different story, not the you could interfere and change anything. It would just be sad.

As for the 40 year old woman, I would wonder if she wasn't fishing for compliments? Maybe she likes to say she is too old for long hair because people will tell her she doesn't look like she is 40? Or that her hair is too pretty to cut? If she really wanted to cut it chances are she would have by now. Yeah I'm just bitchy enough to think like that :p

Kat
August 24th, 2008, 07:30 PM
I don't even tell people about LOL anymore, most of the time...I did it once on a message board I was relatively new to, and I got flamed so badly that I abandoned that account and made a different one. Now I keep my mouth shut unless I'm sure the person wants to know.

Seems people have two reactions to finding out the truth, both of them involving anger: either they're pissed because they want their hair back (i.e. they spent all that time growing and taking care of it for a cause they found out wasn't what they thought), or they're pissed because they rather would've lived in their rose-colored world where some ridiculously cute little girl with cancer in a foofy skirt is twirling through a field of daisies and butterflies wearing their hair, her life just made perfect again by said hair.

I don't really get the people who insist upon donating hair anyway. Some people just need to feel like they're doing something rather than donating money, I guess, even if they're not ACTUALLY doing anything. I always want to say to these people, "if you want to DO something, why not go visit these kids in the hospital or something, rather than some fake gesture that only makes you feel good about yourself??"

Usually when people tell me I should donate my hair, I say, "if I wanted my hair to end up on Paris Hilton's head, I'd sell it to her myself." Then usually I have to explain the comment, but it makes people stop. The "they're not so good to little cancer-ridden kids as you thought" tactic tends to work better than the "oh HELL no, it's MY hair" tactic. (Plus maybe then it'd save them from telling someone else to donate their hair, or might even get them to discourage others from doing it?) I've never yet been told to donate my hair by someone I could afford to be rude to (in-laws, church members, etc.) so I've never gotten to pull out comments like, "well, y'know, you seem to have [a nice house, nice car, a lot of money, etc.]; why don't YOU donate it?"

I mean, if I decided to cut my hair short, sure I wouldn't just throw it out--I'd donate it or maybe sell it or something. But as long as I want my hair long, it's staying that way, and it's on my head because *I* like it that way, dammit.

Saoirse
August 24th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I work at an upscale fashion house where extreme amounts of attention are placed on one's outward appearance. As I often wear my tailbone-length hair down to work, the subject of hair donation is often raised. There was a time where I would have gladly lobbed facts about Lawks of Luv's malfeasance at my fellow conversationalists, but I now choose not to go for the bait.

I would say: consider your audience. There is nothing my coworkers could say that would make me cut my hair off and donate it. And there is nothing I could say that would change their closed-minded ideas about Long Hair and Who Can Have It.

Life is too short for me to go around "enlightening" people.

Nina
August 25th, 2008, 09:25 PM
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. I was mostly venting because I found the conversation somewhat irritating but I knew you all would understand. It's true not everyone values long hair as much as we do, and by speaking up, I certainly don't want to get branded some "crazy hair fanatic."

The situation with my sister and niece does bother me because I think my sis is pushing LOL because she doesn't want to take the time to care for my niece's hair properly. Though when I've visited after bath time, I've shown my niece how to gently comb her hair starting at the ends. I am sure my sis is telling her the hair will be used to help kids with cancer, etc.

About two years ago, I was at a gathering with my sis and her friends and their kids. One friend said that she wanted her 8-year-old daughter to donate to LOL so she was periodically measuring her hair, but the girl cried because she didn't want to do it, but the mom thought the daughter should do it to show compassion, or something. I thought that was particularly insensitive of the mom. It's one thing if the kid wants to do it, but I think to force them to do it and tell them it's for their own good, is wrong.

Anyway, thanks all for listening to my rant...

morningstar
August 25th, 2008, 10:11 PM
Nina, I understand what you mean about parents not wanting to care for their daughters' hair so LOL seems like a charitable thing to do and the hair problem solved.
I get tired of people asking me when my daughters with tail bone length hair will donate. They are turning 6 soon and some ask if I will cut it when they are in school full time. ?????
I am 44 and also hear the over 40 age for long hair rule that is out there.
Only since starting to grow my hair long two years ago in Oct. have I pondered what society feels about hair and who should have it and how long it should be. When a person has long hair it seems especially over 40 it seems to bug people. There is a reaction and always judging. "Oh she looks great" "Who does she thing she is?" " Get a hair cut and a modern style" "He looks like a biker, Hippy etc..."
Those who get me get my hair and seem to make positive comments. I am sure though that there are many that don't and think I should cut and get some soccer mom style.

I think keeping your views to yourself are the best way to handle these situations.

ChatoyantLocks
August 25th, 2008, 11:22 PM
About two years ago, I was at a gathering with my sis and her friends and their kids. One friend said that she wanted her 8-year-old daughter to donate to LOL so she was periodically measuring her hair, but the girl cried because she didn't want to do it, but the mom thought the daughter should do it to show compassion, or something. I thought that was particularly insensitive of the mom. It's one thing if the kid wants to do it, but I think to force them to do it and tell them it's for their own good, is wrong.


*cringe*

I'm completely in agreement with you. Forcing her daughter to donate her hair when she doesn't want to is far more likely to result in insecurity than compassion. It also shows a lack of compassion on the mom's part towards her daughter.

Kat
August 26th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Nina, that's sad. I mean, it's pretty much the equivalent of saying "okay, we're going to give *all* of your toys to kids in need and you WILL like doing it."

VanillaTresses
August 26th, 2008, 06:11 PM
This same type of thing used to get me riled; age must have mellowed me out because now I would just let them go for it. Sometimes people must learn through experience despite how many times they have been advised against a thing! :) :twocents:

No offense meant, but the title really says it all-- enlightenment is often achieved on one's own first-hand self-awareness rather than through the knowledge spread by others! In my opinion, "trying to enlighten" others is a waste of time. (And unfortunately, it is often interpreted by the prospective "enligten-ee" as being condescending; so it can be a put-off and a relationship breaker.) Lead by example. :blossom:

eadwine
August 27th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Leave them to their business. Not everyone is interested about hair :) Most don't even care because.. well.. it is HAIR, no big deal.

C_Bookworm
September 1st, 2008, 12:07 AM
yeah a friend of mine who cut her hair a month ago told me how she sent it in to LOL. i had to bite my tongue so hard. but what is done is done. and people don't usually appreciate unsolicited advice

catekat
September 1st, 2008, 09:36 AM
Eh... When I tell some people of my goal length (tailbone) they just don't get it..

What I've learned is, some people just won't understand who you are and what you believe in, and there's no use trying to explain or validate yourself to ignorant people.

prosperina
September 1st, 2008, 11:10 AM
I think a very close friend of mine donates to LOL. I'm not sure, but she said she donated and she has a LOL fan section on her facebook page. She prefers her hair short and it really is great quality hair: completely straight, thick and shiny, so honestly since she doesn't want her hair, she should donate. It's just the kind of hair that could be perfect (if it's not sold). I do wish, however, that I could gently steer her toward a better charity (suggestions?), but perhaps it's better not to say anything. She's pretty saavy with her research, so she might know a lot of stuff already.

truepeacenik
September 1st, 2008, 12:50 PM
could you suggest a different donation charity: Pantene Long Lengths or such?

Little_Bird
September 1st, 2008, 03:18 PM
Yes, it's very hard to open people's eyes when they are so used to an idea...

Just very recently I managed to explain my mother why hair is not alive and why cutting it won't make it grow faster and so on...

People don't like to be taken out of their comfort zone... I'm very used to those kinds of things because I have such a big comfort zone that most people wouldn't step in it...

Oh well... Maybe you could try and teach some hair care to your niece's mother??

I wish you good luck :flower:

EmpressRi
September 1st, 2008, 05:47 PM
The thing that makes me crazy is people think if you have long hair or you're growing it super long, you want to donate it. Or they ask you if you plan on it. To which I always respond that I don't take the utmost pride in my hair with the best of shampoos, conditioners and leave-ins to hack my hair off that will probably be manufactured into hair for Barbie dolls (or whatever they do with it).

rubyredslippers
September 1st, 2008, 06:28 PM
I think that in some situations people should be enlightened. That is, if they haven't donated their own hair yet or are receptive to another point of view. It really depends on the circumstances. I haven't got many LoL comments lately, because my hair is just BSL.

Iphinoe
September 6th, 2008, 11:54 AM
Hi, I'm trying to hunt down the information on the shady side of LoL that I can give to people who don't know.

I thought there was something about them being investigated by the BBB and selling the hair to hair fetishists?

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Hue
September 6th, 2008, 12:13 PM
There are others. At least 3 are mentioned in this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5090&en=188afa9ebe572df0&ex=1346731200&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1219622604-VnTJjb30Yl42ihjieXSE0Q) that also talks about how Locks of Love receives many more donations than they can possibly handle, and what happens to the "extra" hair. Member heidi w. was interviewed for the article, and had linked it in another thread.

Thanks for the link. That's a great reference.


... or they're pissed because they rather would've lived in their rose-colored world where some ridiculously cute little girl with cancer in a foofy skirt is twirling through a field of daisies and butterflies wearing their hair, her life just made perfect again by said hair.

:lol:

Iphinoe, it sounds like you might have heard some incorrect or misleading information. There are certainly problems, though, but it's worth getting it clear before spreading it on. I'm glad you are looking for more details. The Locks of love question (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=10366&highlight=locks+love) thread from a few weeks ago is a good one. Ursula is quite on point:

It's important, when discussing a group like this, to be very precise about what is known. If somone says "they sell the hair" and it turns out that they throw the hair away, then the focus of the story will be that the whistleblower was wrong about the hair being sold, not that the hair is not being used for wigs.

The older I get, the more likely I am to just murmur "mmm" with a half-smile when confronted with the oddities of the world, including blissful and willful ignorance. But if I think it would make any difference, having the facts at my fingertips sure helps.