To understand my hair we have to first understand the kid behind the hair. Lets go back to 2004, I was a quiet 7th grader getting excited for summer break that was coming soon ahead of me. Like every middle school boy, I had my crush on a fellow classmate. So when the end of the year was coming near and my middle school crush, Nicole Schau, told me I would look good if i grew my hair out, little young and naive Daniel would do exactly that. That summer I let it grow long, covering my ears and draping over the back of my neck. Within a year I had forgotten all about my original reason of growing it out for some crush and kept it long because I enjoyed the style.
For years I kept it long, usually only keeping it as long as just below the bottom of my ears. It wasn’t until around Thanksgiving of 2011 that I realized that longer my hair got the more compliments I was getting on this. It was at that point that I decided I should be sharing my hair with others that are unable to grow such luscious locks. I looked into several hair donation organizations and eventually found that Pantene Beautiful Lengths was the right fit for me: the minimum requirement was only 8 inches and they guaranteed that 100% of the hair would be donated. My new reason for growing it felt good and it kept my dad off my back from constant requests to get it cut.
Around the beginning of the summer of 2013, just beofore my Bike & Build trip, I decided to chop it all off. I went into a beauty salon with my friend, Jesse, to cut it all off. To my surprise it was not long enough, I learned that in order to have enough to donate I would need to shave my head bald, a style I was not welcoming to. I waited a few months, rode my bicycle across America, and when I got back I returned to the same beauty salon. This time it was plenty long and with enough left over to leave about an inch for styling. The hair stylist tied my locks into two pony tails and made the cut. When she made the first chop I couldn’t help but cringe. I thought of all the time it took for my hair to get this long, the countless awkward stages it had to go through to finally flow smoothly. All of this to eventually disappear between two scissors. But it was all worth it because now some cancer patient will have a donated wig with my hair to help style her head.