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I can’t remember the last time my hair was cut any shorter than where my boobs sit. Having it fall over my chest and beyond always felt safe. My hair has forever been a super long, super thick, and super dark mass. As you can imagine, this has bagged me many a compliment from hairdressers in the past. However, trying to handle the Hagrid day-in day-out hasn’t been as easy or as convenient as it may have looked.
I strayed away from my long length at around age 9, but I soon came to realise I was serving a really awful Tracy-Turnblad-from-Hairspray cut, and vowed to never chop it off again. High school came along and I had the most vivid dream in which my hair had been cut off during the night, and I woke up looking like Jordana Bevan from the movie ‘Submarine’. It was NOT a vibe, and the physiological impact kept my vows intact. For the most part, my hair has been a defining feature in identification for not only me, but for others around me too. When I first started my A-Levels, my art tutor wrote me down as ‘the one with the long hair’ so she could learn to remember me (originality at its peak). Thank god my work began to speak for itself; I no longer had to uphold my Rapunzel status, and could start exercising my Rembrandt instead.
Giving you this very brief and simple timeline leads us up to where me and my locks are now: chopped. My third and final year of undergraduate study is well underway, and whilst it may appear cliché, it has shown true that cutting your hair really is a sign of madness (with a method). Patience is certainly not a virtue of mine, and I definitely don’t have the time to be transforming from Kate Bush to Kate Moss every morning. I have always suffered horrendously with a dry and sore scalp, and I still haven’t gotten any closer to finding suitable products to alleviate it – even after all these years. Brushing and styling my hair has constantly been a massive chore, both mentally and physically, and to be honest, when Diana Vickers and her back-combed bush stepped on the X Factor stage in 2008, I’ve been using her as a stylistic prerogative ever since.
Come 19th January 2019: I’m feeling desperate to say the least and I just want my hair GONE. It had taken me approximately 10 years to get to this point, so knowing I was literally about to remove all that anyone and everyone had ever known me for was equally intimidating, exciting, and almost liberating. I scrambled around on the internet to trace a local hairdresser (quick enough as to not change my mind), and I also reached out to my flat group chat for any recommendations. I mean, I’m making it sound as though I was planning on getting a buzzcut, but making the change from almost sitting on my hair to it just about touching my collar bone felt huge. My aim was to remain slightly impulsive, and also keep the chop to myself. Change can be scary, and I knew if I shared my plans with those nearest and dearest, there is no way they, and therefore I, would be convinced.
After browsing for hours and pumping myself up, I decided to set the date. I booked an appointment for the following Wednesday at Church Street’s, ‘Prestige Salon’ (@prestigesalon1). The website felt modern, accessible, and young; their Instagram aesthetically pleasing, showing a real calibre of talent for hair. It was important for me to do my research and find somewhere that I felt would really see my vision in terms of what I was wanting. This kind of service is what I most certainly received. It was fairly early when I arrived, but the salon was bustling still with whom I only assumed to be proud regulars. Whilst this may have been the case, I was made to feel extremely comfortable and welcome as a newbie, giving them another thumbs up from me as the socially anxious and apprehensive human being I can be at times. The staff, whether experienced or at apprentice level, collectively retained a balance between professionalism and friendliness. A must-have combination for any successful business.
Jessica Hargate was my stylist of choice. I’d seen that she had recently done a few short, blunt cuts that looked close to what I had in mind. Jessica was more than accommodating, and I felt at complete ease with her. She completely understood what I was going for, giving me really useful tips, tricks and ideas along the way for how to style my new do. Not only did I leave with the Kim K-inspired bob I was after, but I also left with the hair I had gone in with – only this time it was tied up in elastic bands in a plastic carrier.
Before the scissors were put into action, Jessica mentioned how she had previously cut a young girl’s hair, whose intentions were to donate what she had cut off to the Little Princess Trust. This is an organisation that predominantly works to provide real hair wigs at no cost to children and young adults up to the age of 24, who have lost their hair due to treatments for cancer and/or other illnesses. Jessica asked me if I would like to save my hair and send it off to the non-profit, and of course I said yes. I’d previously thought about it myself, but I was unsure whether the length I was wanting off would be long enough to fit the standard measurements needed. Looking back, I’m not quite sure where this concern came from as there was more than enough.
So, there I was, taking my bagged-up hair for a walk from the salon back to campus. The donating process was simple: I packaged my washed, dry, and bobbled up strands along with the donation slip accessed from the website. Unfortunately, but for obvious reasons, the foundation is not able to provide photographs of the wigs made or worn after donation, however they did slip a little thank you certificate into my email inbox after receiving my parcel.
Not only have I been left with a bangin’ new mop, but also the satisfaction of knowing that someday soon, another little girl or boy will take pleasure in the locks I once simultaneously loved and loathed. To make your own donation to the Little Princess Trust, please visit their website at http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/ or call them today on 01432 352359.