Several years ago, I donated my hair to Locks of Love and knew that if I grew it out again, I’d try to donate again. The time has come.


This is something that I’ve been talking about for months. I usually wear my hair pulled back anyway. Except for special occasions, my hair is rarely down and even less often “fixed” with irons and hair product. This is why I’m pretty surprised at the amount of “Nooooo!” responses I got when talking about my intentions to lop it off. Below is the best response I have gotten to my decision:

Lyn Cullen @AridanLyn
@elizabethamber Good Lord you have beautiful hair. Some cancer survivor is about to be very, very lucky. Good for you.

People have been “backhand supportive” with things like “.. but your hair is gorgeous now,” “*sniff*,” “No!” or simply, “why?” How about, because it’s my hair and I can do with it whatever I want.

Then of course, I had a Murphy’s Law moment. 99% of my modeling requires my hair to be up so that people can see my neck and back. Sure enough I got a phone call for more bookings in North NJ and the artist requested I wear my hair down since it was up last time. I broke the news that I wouldn’t have any hair to let down by then and he was ok with it.

This week, The Mary Sue ran a story about a boy who was violating school dress code policy while he tried to grow his out hair in order to donate it. The boy was a cancer survivor but he was suspended for refusing to adhere to the rules about boys’ hair length as stipulated in the school code. Someone commented immediately on that article that Locks of Love is overwhelmed with hair donations and that they would rather receive financial donations. Author Jill Pantozzi pointed out that perhaps the boy doesn’t have the finances to send but he does have the ability to grow hair.

The same holds true for me. I would love to have a massive bank account and write checks for all the organizations I want to support. I can’t. I have two to three causes I support each year if I am able. I have the hair. I don’t need it. Someone may as well use it. And if LoL can’t use it, they sell it to get the financial support they need.

That covers the charitable reason to cut my hair and I mentioned ease of maintenance briefly too. There are two more major reasons for making this change.


I’m turning 40 this year if I make it that far. I’m tired of listening to people’s ideas of what other people are supposed to be like at certain ages. By 25 you should have your Bachelor’s Degree and get a great job. By 30 you should have your Master’s and be married. Hell, by 40… I should have six novels written, a comic book series optioned for movies, a condo on each coast or at least travel frequently back and forth, and all-in-all have my shit together. I don’t. I can’t apologize for it any more than I already have.

First of all, there are very few people that I owe any kind of apology to and it most likely isn’t going to be anyone who reads my website posts. Second of all, I still don’t see why something superficial like changing my hair style affects anyone other than myself. If I have a bleach blonde mohawk that’s quite honestly, my goddamn business and no one else’s. There’s also no reason why any job for which I interview couldn’t be done with purple hair. How would that matter? I don’t get it.

I’m also someone who believes in blending the spiritual with the scientific notions of the Universe. In my studies, I have learned (and decided to believe) that our cells hold a certain amount of memory. A doctor might call it muscle memory – the reason we don’t think about doing a task because we just do it so often. Someone else might call it emotional baggage. If our cells are capable o holding toxins for years, it is possible they can hold the feelings or trauma inflicted during that cell’s existence.

So on the edge of 40 I teeter barely able to survive and if the only thing I can control in my life is my hair style, then I’ll take that step and make that decision.

My final note on this subject is this: I’ve had the “Rogue” style for a few years now and I have loved it. It’s been gorgeous. I don’t want to model myself after a character; I would much rather have a character modeled after me.

I’m happy to report that once Ashley )@smash_is_nerdy) began twitpic’ing the progress, people were completely on board and fully supportive. Thank you for all the lovely compliments!


Date: 04-FEB-2012
Salon: Illusions, Flemington, NJ
Stylist: Abby


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14 Comments on Saying goodbye to a part of myself

  1. Absolutely beautiful darling. But you already know this because I’ve said it a bunch of times. And guess what? I’ll keep saying it because it’s true. Lyn got it right…someone is about to be very lucky <3

  2. Great cause, Amber! And that’s a really cute hairstyle you now have because of it! You should be proud of your gift to Locks of Love!

    And as far as reaching goals by certain ages- I’m a few years older than you and I’m still trying to figure it all out! Screw everyone else’s expectations! Do it your way and at your pace!

    • Thanks, Scott! You’re so fortunate to have the opportunity to do that now so that you don’t have regrets your whole life.

      • Well, don’t think I don’t still freak out about it every now and then.

        I’m just trying to put the ‘I should’ve done this 10/15 years ago’ stuff behind me and focus on the now.

  3. Its a wonderful choice you’ve made Amber, its shows a lot of support for a good cause. Not only are you a wonderful person for making this decision, but to be blunt, absolutely gorgeous, hands down.
    Way to take control of your life. Hear, Hear!!

  4. About 10 years ago I, too, donated my hair to a child with cancer… and I’ve never once regretted it. Congratulations to you you, my friend! Here’s to THE FUTURE! 🙂

  5. Amber, first off, my daughter did the same thing you decided to do when she was 13 (and a half, she tells me) and she’s enjoyed her short hair ever since.

    Second, now you’ll look even better as Power Girl! 🙂

    Hey, priorities are priorities, you know?!

  6. Your haircut looks great. God Bless you for truly making a difference in someone’s life. It’s a very unselfish and nice thing to do Locks of Love.


  7. I think you look great either way.And your big heart makes you even more beautiful.Someone will be receiving a wonderful gift.My father was taken by cancer I know it will be appreciated more than you’ll know.

  8. I think its great that you do it! The first time I ever donated my hair was when it was down to my waist. I went with the wife when she had her hair done and the salon was having a drive for locks of love, well the stylest asked one of the litte girs who was abt. 6 what colour wig she wanted and to answer she climbed into my lap and said this colour (I have red hair by the way) well looking into her sweet little eyes I could not say no so I asked the rep for locks of of love who was there if I donate all of it would this little lady get a wig made from my hair? she made a call and talked to a supervisor then took a couple of cell pics to show how long it was and the supervisor said yes so I climbed up into the chair and got a “high and tight” like I used to wear in the So Amber congrats on doing what you did I always did say that you are a sweetie-pie 😉 Hugs

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