For those of you who don't know I'm a mum of three and our youngest, our daughter, has been growing her hair for several years (you may have seen her in a personal blog about our Mother & daughter trip to Paris in the Spring). Well the time came when she asked me if she could have a short haircut. I obviously agreed and asked her if she would be interested in helping someone at the same time. Being English I knew that in England there were charities collecting long hair to help girls and ladies suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatment but didn't know if the same thing happened in France.
Well it only took me a few minutes to find the website of a new association Solidhair and I was thrilled to find that they did it too. They collect the long hair, sell it wig-makers and with the money offer grants for three quarters of the cost of a wig for people who can't afford it themselves. I explained to Emilie and she thought it was a great idea. I also thought it was a great opportunity for her to learn at eight and half years old that it's important to help others, even if we don't know them.
I decided to contact the owner of Mon Petit Salon in Villedieu-les-Poêles as I had spent a wonderful morning with the team and a bride, her two bridesmaids and her mother as part of a wedding photography reportage. I visited Mme Morin and explained about the association and how they ask for hair to be cut for the wig-makers. She quickly agreed to participate and the appointment was booked.
In the mean time I contacted the association via email to congratulate them for their efforts, explaining that I would photograph the haircut to help give them a little more publicity. They replied asking (very politely) whether, as I'd mentioned I am a professional photographer, I'd consider providing them with a few photos of exactly how the hair should be attached and cut. I was very pleased to reply offering my help free of charge. So, Emilie and I have created a set of before, during and after photos for the association which should be featuring on their website very soon.
Here's the photo story of Emilie's haircut for Solidhair at Mon Petit Salon in Villedieu-les-Poêles...
Ok, It's the big day...let's go.
Say goodbye to long hair and lots of hairbrushing and de-tangling... "I want to be the photographer Mummy"
OK, let's start. On clean dry hair, do two or three bunches (to not lose too much length)...
...Attach each bunch with at least two elastic bands (should one break)
Oh my goodness...here goes !
Cut the hair above the first hair band with a clean flat cut (this is very important for the wig-makers).
It must be a minimum of 20cms in length. Emilie was proud that hers were 36cms long.
There you go. It's done.
Now it's time for a professional haircut in the salon. It's actually a first time for her as I'd always cut her hair at home. This time she deserves a 'proper' hair cut .
You may have thought that I haven't been careful allowing myself to appear in the reflection of the mirrors. Normally, it's something that I would avoid doing (most certainly for wedding photography), but for once, I've actually done it on purpose as these photos are also a souvenir for Emilie of her gesture and I wanted her to see that I was by her side.
Yes, It's done.
Thank you to 'Mon Petit Salon' in Villedieu-les-Poêles for helping to make this gesture happen and for the lovely haircut. Right. Pop the bunches in an envelope...
"Wow, it feels a bit bizarre without long hair Mummy" ...and off we walk to the local Post Office.
There you go. It's as simple as that. The hair is on it's way to Solidhair...
So, if you live in France, you've got long hair and you're thinking of having a change. Please don't hesitate to visit the website of Solidhair (in French) to find a 'Partner Salon' (there is a rapidly expanding network across France) or to find out how simple it is to follow their instructions and 'do-it-yourself' (or perhaps with the help of a friend or family member). It's a simple gesture that is easy to do and you can help a girl or lady suffering hair loss due to cancer treatment regain her dignity with a grant towards a new wig.
Congratulations to the new association and keep up the good work.
Sabina & Emilie.