Once upon a time, I kinda looked down on men with long hair. Sure, when I was in college, I had friends with long hair; but when I entered the business world, my feelings changed. I’m not too sure if any of them were hair donors, but now that I am one my view of long haired men has changed.
Along the way to inspire men to be hair donors, I have heard a lot of excuses from men who have told me that they are inspired by my story, but couldn't be hair donors themselves. I’ll be the first to admit that being a hair donor hasn’t always been roses. There are a lot of inconveniences and annoyances that have tested me on my hair donor journey.
Here are some of the bad excuses I’ve heard from men who’ve told me they can’t be hair donors:
1. “Hair donation isn't for me, my boss wouldn’t support me”
This is the most common excuse I hear. All too often, there is a fear that being a hair donor won’t be supported by their employer. A recent study by Stanford University confirms their concerns aren’t unqualified.
In order to address this, it is important to have a dialogue with your employer. Many companies support their employee’s volunteering efforts. Some companies even pay their employees to volunteer.
Don't be so sure that your company wouldn’t support you: ASK THEM :)
2. “I’m bald!”
Granted you can’t be a hair donor, if you can’t grow hair; but, that shouldn’t stop you from supporting other men from starting their hair donation journey. While it may be too late for you to donate, it is never too late to get involved.
3. “I grew up with short hair, and I don’t think my family would like me with long hair.”
It’s true that most boys grew up with short hair, but that shouldn’t stop you from being a hair donor. Many men have watched as the women they love suffered from an illness that caused them to lose your hair. I hope that you never have to go through that kind of pain. Growing your hair is an action that requires little effort by you. Aside from the added hair maintenance, you just have to not cut it!
By discussing your hair donation journey with your family, and why it is important for you; you’ll be on your way to their support.
4. “Growing my hair would take too long. I don’t think I could do it.”
As Americans we love to give! Last year, we donated around $270 billion to the charities we love. Growing your hair for donation provides a gift that someone in need of a real hair wig can’t get on their own. While it is easy to give money to charities, and you should continue to do so, growing your hair is the perfect example of “walking the talk’ to prove your commitment to giving to a charity.
Yes, growing your hair for donation takes years, but the lessons you will learn about yourself, your ability to give, the pain and struggle of others, and how strong you can be are all byproducts of your hair donation journey.
5. “Dating will be harder for me, if I have long hair.”
WRONG. Once you explain the reasons behind your long hair, you are sure to attract the right person into your life. If not the right person, then you will get to meet people who share your passion and dedication to help people in need. I met someone who liked my long hair. She accepted me for who I am and is supportive of my journey.
Christopher Bell is an accidental hair donor, advocating for men to embrace the journey of hair donation while also working to remove the social stigma preventing men from growing their hair in the workplace.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.