Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Foster Hair, the Sequel

Five years ago, I cut my hair off and donated it. I wrote a post called My Foster Hair, that described my feelings of attachment and nurturing before, during and after the process.

This week, I did the same thing. It took me a while to decide to do this again. Originally, I wanted my hair to be longer than it was before I cut it, but the opportunity to do this came up in such an obvious way that I couldn't ignore it.

Our attachment to hair is a funny thing. I spent years receiving compliments for my long, healthy straight hair, only to mumble how much I wished it was longer, or shorter, or curlier, or thicker, or lighter or something-er. The grass is always greener, and someone else's hair always better, in some way. About a year ago, I came to the conclusion that I really didn't appreciate the hair on my head, and perhaps it was time to grow it out and give it to someone who would.

I remember fielding a call from a potential student when beginning my Tuesday yoga class for cancer survivorship; she wanted to know if the class was all women, and if they had hair. At the time, I thought it was an unusual question, and that she would be better off asking me more about the class itself, but it turns out that this is not an unusual question.

Hair makes a strong statement. We even have the expression, "having a bad hair day," which acknowledges how much we are influenced by our follicles.

Some women I know chose to shave their heads as an empowering act as soon as chemo began to take its toll. They tell me it helps when it's on their own terms. It's bold and emotional to let go of all the hair on our heads, even though, technically, the visible hair shaft is considered "dead".

This time around, I donated my hair to an organization called Wigs for Kids. They operate via donations and are committed to offering hairpieces to children free of charge. If you are interested, you need to follow their guidelines and can mail in your hair at any time.

Letting go of your hair certainly leads to a lightening of your load, especially if you consider how much it may help others!



  • Next yoga teacher training event is Saturday, August 3: Effective Yoga Teaching Strategies After Cancer Treatment; see events page for more details.
  • Beginning September 4, Lorien will be teaching 2 classes for the Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program! Wednesday's classes will be gentle movement and relaxation, and Thursday's classes will be empowering alignment, balance and strength building; both classes will meet 1:30-2:45pm at Samyama Yoga Center in Palo Alto. The Stanford CSCP are generously offered to patients, survivors and caregivers free of charge, thanks to generous donations.