I have a friend who recently decided to get a hair cut. This may not sound all that unusual, but in this case, it was the first venture under the stylist’s scissors in almost 3 years. Yet there was a very important reason he decided to do it. He decided to trade in his biker meets OpenGL developer style-sense after watching a television news report about the Locks of Love organization, which helps financially disadvantaged children who suffer from long-term medical hair loss. These children generally cannot wear artificial hair pieces due to the chemicals in the manufacturing process; it can create reactions for their sometimes compromised immune systems. The kids CAN wear natural hair pieces on the other hand, but the problem here is one of expense as natural wigs are very expensive.
Locks of Love takes donations of hair of sufficient length from people willing to donate, then works with manufacturers to create the natural hair pieces these kids need and provides them at little or no cost.
Recently, I decided to take the plunge and donate myself. The only problem is that, unlike my friend, my hair has (at least since my late high school days) never attained a length greater than about an inch. So starting last October, I abandoned my monthly trip to the barber and (as David Crosby once sang) “let my freak flag fly”. I expect to accumulate the requisite 16 inches or so over the course of the next two years.
In the meantime, in reply to the curious looks and comments that seem to be accumulating faster than the hair on top of my head, I’ve been jokingly replying “hey, I’m a software developer…I’m SUPPOSED to have a pony tail.”
They seem to understand.