Chopped — Being 13 inches lighter

I had what my friend Emily called, “long hair problems.”

I couldn’t braid my hair because the braid would become so heavy and wide.

I couldn’t put my ponytail high up (or even in the middle) on my head. It had to be a low pony because my hair had gotten that long. (I have thick hair so it can get pretty heavy).

When I went on runs, my hair would sway and hit my elbows! I know, ew, gross.

The back of my neck would get very sweaty.

These are not complaints, but more what one has to “deal with” when having long hair. To look at the positive, I guess with long hair, you have more styling options? (Not that I ever took advantage of that). Oh! I was able to whip my hair back and forth, Willow Smith style, with long flowing hair!

I didn’t want to make any major changes until after “the” marathon because I didn’t want to “mess anything up” in my training. (I know, crazy runner talk here!)

But, exactly one month before race day, I got a hair cut. It just got to be “too much.”

I intended to chop at least eight inches with a maximum of 10, but apparently 13 inches came off. I’ve done a “major chop” before but it’s always a little weird to get used to short hair.

Before / After

Before / After

I grew up always being a “long hair girl.” I hated haircuts. In middle school, I would trim my own hair after taking showers. I think my long hair felt sort of like a security blanket of sorts. It kept me warm in the winters (seriously, who needs scarves when you have long hair?) and I could also easily tie it back whenever it got in the way. Every few summers, one of my aunts would give me a proper, very minimal, cut.

This is the third time since freshman year of college where I’ve chopped off “all my hair.” If it weren’t for donating it, I wouldn’t be doing it. I would keep my hair at shoulder length because having your hair too short to put in a ponytail is the most frustrating girl-runner problem!

It wasn’t a difficult decision the first time I did it. I hadn’t grown my hair out with the intention of cutting and giving it away. But, that summer of 2006, I knew I “had” to. I knew it wouldn’t bring her back or make anything better. But, it could help someone like her. Sometimes when you lose someone close to you, little things like this stick with you.

I’m not so good at the blood donating thing, so this is also the next best. (I am an organ donor but I don’t plan on giving those away for, erm, a long time).

And, with my short hair, I’m really hoping that this will make me a faster runner. This is logical reasoning, right?

When I took my hair to mail out at the post office, I asked the mail clerk what the weight of the package was. He told me that it was 6.5 ounces! Granted, this was hair from one big pony tail I just chopped off plus two smaller ones from hair I cut two years ago that I never got around to donating. I know, I know, gross, right? I kept my own hair in a Ziploc bag for two years?? Yes.

Sept. 2014 / May 2012

Many people females tend to chop off all their hair when they have/want a major life change.

That first time I chopped off my hair, it was.

Now it’s to get that marathon PR.

And, to remember that great friend.




[Back in 2006, I donated 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love. Since then, I heard that the nonprofit isn’t “that great” and did some research. Sure enough, many sources claim Locks of Love has several faults. I won’t rehash it here but do a simple Google search and you’ll find different articles. This time I decided to therefore donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. Let me know if you have donated elsewhere and your experience!]


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