Essay–Donating The Hair

It’s 2015. I hadn’t had my hair cut since 2012. It was time.

See, one of the few things I do well is grow hair. Lots and lots of hair. As a kid, I always wanted long hair. I’m sure it has something to do with all those 70s rock icons I worshipped. Or maybe it has to do with standing out from the rest of the men around me. Or maybe, it’s just because I like long hair. Period.

Psychological reasons aside, I wasn’t allowed to grow my hair very long in high school. When I got to college, I fixed that post-haste. I grew it long. Well, long for me anyway. It was way past my shoulders when I got a part in a play I really really wanted to be in. But there was no way I could play the part with long hair. So what did I do? Cut it. Damned short.

What happened to the pony tail? I donated it. I created “The Cooley Hair Replacement Foundation,” an official letterhead, and mailed a box with my ponytail to my father. I think he still has it, actually. My father is somewhat bereft of hair, so I thought it was a good gag to play. I’m surprised I’m still alive.

Anyway, fast forward some years. I have realized that hair grows back. Albeit with more grey than it used to have, but it does grow back. So for the past 12 years or so, I’ve been growing it out, cutting it, and then donating it to one of the groups that makes wigs for children with cancer. As you might know, chemotherapy, a common treatment for cancer, is extremely toxic and results in hair loss. I felt like giving away my hair was a simple, easy way to give back. It doesn’t cost me anything besides the cost of a haircut and my pride. Well, that and dealing with a very cold neck for many weeks…

Regardless, it’s one of those things I like to do when I get sick of my hair. Sick of caring for it. Sick of looking at it. And every time I cut it off, I say to myself “I’m never growing it out again.” Three months later? “Garaaga, I miss my hair…” It’s a cycle. I need meds. Wait, I’m already on those. Never mind.

Bottom line is that Paul E Cooley is once again shorn and looks “professional.” Although we all know that’s a big joke. So I’m still a long-haired hippy trapped (temporarily) in a fat, corporate looking shell. Until the hair grows back, that is.

So here’s a few photos for you to laugh at. Peace.





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