Alarna Kench has always had long hair and never even considered going in for the chop.
That is, until she learned about the Beautiful Lengths program, a joint campaign between Pantene and charity Look Good…Feel Better, which is designed to inspire women to grow, cut and donate their hair to be turned into wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment.
Alarna is the first woman to donate to the campaign, which is being launched in Australia today.
Although she says it’s a “massive honour” to be the first Australian woman to take part, she didn’t make her decision lightly.
“I have to be honest, it wasn’t an easy decision,” she admits. “But essentially, it came down to the fact that it will grow back and that my donation had the potential to encourage others to support the Beautiful Lengths cause.”
“I have always had long hair, so the decision to cut off what ended up being 27cm, was a pretty drastic change.”
Alarna was motivated to donate to the campaign after receiving a text from a friend letting her know that his mother was suffering from cancer.
“It really brought home how much bigger this was than just cutting my hair,” she says.
“It’s strange how you get so emotionally attached to your hair, but that was another reason for me to chop it.
“I had a choice to part with my hair, the women that will benefit from this campaign don’t have that luxury.”
Now sporting a new haircut, Alarna says she “feels like a different person” in a very positive way, and encourages other woman to get involved.
“Book in with your hairdresser and let them do the hard work. It’s much harder to back out when someone else is doing the cutting,” she says.
“The great thing is that they will be able to tidy it up immediately, talk you through how to style it and hopefully help make the transition one you will be really proud of.”
A recent study by Pantene found that 90 per cent of Australian women would be prepared to cut and donate their hair to help a friend with cancer.
Actress Naomi Watts, who supports the campaign, is encouraging Australian women to start growing their hair now and participate in National Donate Your Hair Week which starts on November 12.
“I’m really proud to be part of Pantene Beautiful Lengths and bring this fantastic cause home to Australia,” she says.
“If we can support women undergoing cancer treatment by donating our hair, that’s a difference I hope many of us will make.”
Hair donation events will take place across the country throughout National Donate Your Hair Week, with women pledging their hair to the Beautiful Lengths cause.
Pantene will fund the creation of real-hair wigs and they will be distributed by the Look Good…Feel Better charity to cancer patients at no cost, to help restore their appearance during chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
For more information and details on how you can get involved in the Beautiful Lengths program visit: www.beautifullengths.com.au.