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Hair and charity

Let's face it, I have too much hair. Seriously, I have no idea what to do with it, there's so much there. It chokes me at night, it takes all day to dry after I wash it, and I've had the same hair style for years and years because I am severly limited by what I can do with it. I've been thinking that after my PhD I'd like to get it cut...

... and then I did some more thinking on what meleah said in her lj about women in NYC who go on about growing their hair to cut for charities like "Locks of Love", a non-profit organization which makes hair pieces for kids with cancer, but then cutting their hair and starting the whole cycle again. Also, I was thinking about the_tao joining in "World's Greatest Shave for a Cure" for the leukemia foundation (getting his hair dyed, not cut), and how darn spiffy he is for it...

So here's what I'm thinking. What I'm thinking of doing is seeing if there was a way I could combine charity efforts; cutting my hair for one charity, giving said cut hair to another. 'Locks of Love' accept donations of hair 10 inches or longer in length. At this stage, I can quite comfortably cut off 15 inches (about 40 cm) and still have enough hair to go about my day with (a bit past shoulder-length). In a few months time (after the thesis is handed in), that will probably be longer.

My questions about this are as follows; first, does any one know of an Australian based charity like Locks of Love? Second, for "The World's Greatest Shave for a Cure", do I actually need to *shave* my head? Having read their guidelines, I think I do, but I'm still not sure. If they do, I may just donate any money from people sponsoring me to cut my hair to them anyway, just not under their charity fund-raising banner.

So... can anyone offer any answers or advice?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
If you find a good one, let me know!
May. 4th, 2006 06:47 am (UTC)
Wow, you'll look so different with short hair! Sorry, I don't know the answers.

But I was thinking of asking you a BPAL question when this entry appeared!

My question is two-fold (really two questions): Can I buy an imp of that Monster Bait (or whatever it was) off of you? And what alcohol should I use to make perfume, and is it just, say, an imp in what amount of alcohol?
May. 4th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
I haven't yet recieved any of the Underpants orders I have put in yet, and as soon as I do I will let you know. But, you know, shipping takes time. As for the other Monsterbait I have, I am sorry, but I have not had a chance to decant you an imp because my work load at uni has been hellish. As I have said before, you can buy the imp you want from me, but you will have to wait until I have the time to do the decanting thing.

As for alcohol for perfuming, most people suggest that you use actual perfumer's alcohol. Failing that, they suggest you use a high-proof, low scented drinking alcohol like vodka (or Everclear, if you can get it - I have a feeling it may not be sold in Australia). You want to use the highest concentration of alcohol you can, because oil is soluble in alcohol and insoluble in water - the weaker the alcohol, the less of the oil will dissolve. Most people recommend that you *don't* use analytical grade 100% ethanol... which is what I used. There are arguments that there may be traces of the chemicals they use to "dry" the ethanol in the end product which are really nasty and toxic. I felt comfortable using this ethanol, however, because I am exposed to it on an almost daily basis - I get it on my skin, I inhale the fumes, and more than a few times I have accidentally sprayed myself in the eyes. I don't think using it in perfume is going to change my level of exposure to the toxins and, quite frankly, I am exposed to far worse stuff in the lab to be particularly bothered by it. I mean, if the radioactive isotopes don't get me, the ethidium bromide will.

As for the dilution to use, there is some debate on this as well. I've heard anything from one in three to one in ten - it really just depends on how strong you want your perfume to be. Too strong, though, and the solution will be too viscous and oily, and may gum up an atomiser. In any case, for my perfumes I used a one in six dilution - that's approximately 16% perfume oil in alcohol, which is equvalent to a pretty strong to average perfume. An imp is 1/32 of a fluid ounce, which is about 1 mL (as 30 mL = 1 oz). Therefore, to do a one in six dilution in alcohol, mix one imps worth of oil with about 5 mL of alcohol.

Look, ma - science is useful in the real world.
May. 4th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
Heh... those radioactive isotopes are so yummy in alcoholic form!

Thanks for the info, I'll think about doing that science thing soon, when I get a second imp of something I love! ^_~

And the decant just needs done before our next swap-n-sniff meeting. It's all good ... maybe you'll have Underpants by then!
May. 4th, 2006 06:49 am (UTC)
Why do you need to do it as part of 'Shave for a Cure'?
A few years back I shaved my head completely (with a razorblade), on the same day as the 'Shave for a Cure' but I donated the money I raised to a much smaller and less well known charity instead. When I was going around collecting donations, I simply told people about the charity I was collecting for, and stipulated 'target' amounts based on length of hair - hence I ended up raising enough for me to agree to the 'number 0'.

Just make it up yourself. Find a charity you think is worthwhile. Come up with different amounts that you think are achievable. Write out your plan: Maybe something like $50 = 10inches, $100 = 15inches, $1000 = bald (all just suggestions, whatever you want to do is fine).

It might be a good idea to contact the charity in question, and see if you can get some kind of receipt book in order to give out Tax-deductable receipts for people who want them (although this is not a necessity, as few people usually ask), as well as some pamphlets or similar to show people the good cause you are raising money for.

The next step is to go around and tell everyone what you are doing, and collecting the money (usually a good idea to get $$ and not just pledges). With the guidelines in hand, you often find people are willing to donate more, to try and push you over the edge of the next level - people have deep pockets if they are going to see you 'humuliate' yourself aomewhat - they feel they have achieved something when they convince you to do more than what is comfortable. Donating to someone who is just having a haircut is nowhere near as fun as doing it for someone who is going to radically alter the way they look.

Finally, make a spectacle of it. People have given their hard-earned dollars to your chosen charity, so let them know when and where you are going to do the deed, and invite them to come and watch. Getting to see it happen means they are more likely to want to pay, PLUS, on the day you can usually sucker a few more coins from each person, especially if you are *just* off that next milestone.

Lastly, be sure you are willing to do it, but more importantly HAVE FUN doing it. :)

May. 4th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
that's very good advice! did many people do MOvember around melbourne last year? that started as a few friends growing moustaches for charity, and it was publicised n picked up from there.

i'd back ya!
May. 4th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
When I had mine cut for "Shave for a Cure" many years back, I didn't have to get it completely shaved. Rules may have changed since then though...
May. 4th, 2006 06:56 am (UTC)
While I fully approve of raising money for cancer and think that it is an excellent way of raising money.

I tend to also think that people either dying their hair or not removing all of it is a bit of a cope out really. I've joked in the past that no one would pay me to dye or shave my head because they have all seen me do it for fun not profit. When asking people for donations it needs to be a real thing to get them to give money to you, plus the whole solidarity shaved head cancer patient look. At least thats the way i percieve the Worlds Greatest Shave thing anyway.

That's why I'm unlikely to give any money to anyone who wasn't doing the whole shave thing. Mind you I've also given money to a 'Wax a Wog' thing - you know he earned that.

That said the idea of donating hair to a place making hair pieces is incredibly cool and if you have long nice hair (which you do) I think its a great plan. The other option instead of relying on donations is go visit a wig maker - they will pay lots of money for good hair and you can simply donate the profits to a good cause.

Or as you have suggested - jsut do what you want and not through an organisation and donate the proceeds
May. 4th, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)
I was only thinking about the "Shave for a Cure" thing because it is the most publicised 'cutting hair for charity' fund-raising wozit I knew of in Australia. I fully see your point, though, along with other people's points both above and below - if I want to raise money for a charity with the incentive of cutting my hair off (though not shaving it), then I may well just go ahead and do it, and not necessarily get involved in any actual fund-raising ventures *like* the "Shave for a Cure" thing.
May. 4th, 2006 06:59 am (UTC)
OK - answer to the length question. From their website (albeit somewhat buried...)

Clipper not Blade Shaves

* For health and liability reasons, blade shaves cannot be undertaken at public shave events. Hairdressers will generally not shave heads with a razor for the same reasons.
* If you wish to shave down to the skin, we recommend you do this at home with a friend.
* We recommend using electric clippers set at number one or two clipper length.

So... not necessarily a shave, but certainly severely short. Just cutting a lot off doesn't seem to (ahem) cut it :-)
May. 4th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to tell you how great an idea the charity thing is, as it has been covered quite well already.

If you keep your hair, you could do some things with it -

Wear a shower cap to bed so that it doesn't strangle you in your sleep.
Wear a shower cap in the shower so that it doesn't take three days to dry.
Get a ton of hair gel and spike it up into the worlds largest mohawk for Golgotha.
Wear it in scrolls, "Princess Leia" style.
Wear a slave girl outfit, "Princess Leia" style.
Braid it into a rope and use it for climbing, Rapunzel style.
Braid it into a rope with a "monkey-fist" at the end for Bunyip to play with.
Braid it into a rope with a "monkey-fist" at the end for self-defense.
Find a vandergraf generator and get a really cool photograph of you with your hair standing on end.

That'll do for now :)
May. 4th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
Something to think about - most places that accept hair for reuse (wig makers etc...) require that the hair be in natural state, i.e. not treated (permed, bleached, dyed) as it weakens the hair too much to be useful.
May. 4th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
My hair is bootiful and all natural, baby. :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )