In Which My Daughter Becomes My Hero

My daughter was born with a full head of hair despite being born 8 weeks early.  People told us it would all fall out and her real hair would grow in later, but people being people, they were wrong.

I always assumed I would have a boy first so was surprised when I found myself embracing all things girl, including that hair.

We went through the sweet little barrettes phase around age one and a half.


Then we discovered pigtails. We both enjoyed the pigtails.

And oh my goodness, the sweet little ballet bun.

With only the occasional trim, that hair began to become long and unruly, and the fun we used to have with accessories turned into fights during hair washing and tears during brushing.

And that is when I began to talk to her about donating her hair to children with cancer who have lost their hair to chemotherapy.  We talked about  my friend Krista who died when I was thirteen, but not before suffering the trauma of losing her hair.  We talked about what a gift this would be to another little girl.

And then we both waited.

Something clicked this weekend and when I said, “Are you ready?” she shocked me with a confident yes.  And it was done.

I made the appointment at my salon and let them know that she wanted a shampoo and a blow out after the cut.  We were going to pamper her in those initial  moments because I expected a flood of tears.  Emma’s long hair has become so much a part of who she is, how people recognize her.  I was scared…

And yet there were no tears to be found.  She smiled for the before picture:

She smiled in the during:

She absolutely glowed in the after:

We took our ponytail in a bag and headed from the salon to the drugstore to play in the hair accessories aisle, picking out a new brush and an assortment of super cool I’m-a-third-grader-now-Mom clips and headbands.  She was giddy while she shopped, occasionally asking me more about the process of the wig making, but mostly focused on just feeling good, good about her decision, good about her new hair, good about helping another child.

That hair…it has been the source of so much joy, and the battleground that has caused so many fights, but last weekend, it turned my daughter into my hero.

We chose as a family to donate 15 inches of Emma’s hair to Wigs for Kids, recommended by the American Cancer Society.  Visit to learn more.

Leave a Reply


  • Tell Miss Emma that this comment is just for her:

    I am so, so proud of you! You look even more beautiful and grown up than you did before! I love your new haircut and you have made a little girl somewhere very, very happy!!

  • Way to go, Emma! What a wonderful gesture.

  • nannypanpan

    she did a great thing…congrats

  • I want to HUG Emma … and you! You both are remarkable ladies! Great job, Emma!!! Her new haircut looks ADORABLE!

  • Way to go Emma on helping another young child. You are a beautiful girl inside and out. I hope you have a great time experimenting with your new hair accessories 🙂

  • HOw wonderful! We did the same thing right before Christmas last year…..10 inches off my then 4 yr old. She too, like your daughter, was born needing a haircut. 🙂 I explained to her how we were doing it in memory of her Grandma, who she never met (my mom). I have a feeling it won’t be the only time we donate hair. Hugs to Emma!

  • ellen

    WTG Emma! You know, this is something you can do all your life- you know why? Because hair is a renewable resource!!!! Pretty cool huh? You get to help someone else AND you get a pretty haircut!

    You look fantastic- love the new look!

    (I have been doing that for 30+ years- and it’s a nice feeling to know someone out there will get new hair)

  • While I’m very proud of Emma, I also think it’s a testament to your parenting that has helped shape who she is now and the awesome woman she’s growing up to be.

  • Janet

    Way to go, Emma! My daughter Linnea and I have donated our hair several times through the years. It’s something that we enjoy doing. My guess is this won’t be your last haircut for Wigs for Kids. Just call it a hunch. 😉

  • This is so awesome. What an inspiring girl. 🙂

  • […] A couple of months ago, she told us that she wanted her hair cut short. As short as her friend Millie’s. Oh my. It almost gave Mommy a heart attack to hear her say the words short hair. It seemed really important to her, so we were willing to talk about it. (Well, Daddy took a little more convincing than Mommy did.) Then my friend Amy’s sweet daughter inspired us. […]