Hair has been referred to as a person’s crowning glory, so it can be traumatic to lose that crown.
But how much is asking too much when it comes to helping someone who has lost their tresses?
A 19-year-old woman asked herself that question after a falling out with a friend over her hair. She turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor m_c_re asked:
“AITA for not donating any of my hair?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I have a little over three feet of hair. It’s naturally on the thin side, but I’ve been taking good care of it so there’s no breakage or heat damage.”
“People ask about it occasionally, but usually they’re just curious how/why I’ve grown it so long. (To answer, in case anyone is curious: I don’t rinse out my conditioner all the way and I manually detangle every knot instead of ripping through them with a brush, and I just like having long hair. It’s not religion-related or anything.)”
“I do have one person in my life, though, who I’ll call R (20 F[emale]). She has a much younger sister, E (8F) who has alopecia and is very insecure about being bald. Their family doesn’t have much money and can’t afford a wig that E can wear, since she also has allergies to one of the main ingredients in synthetic wigs.”
“R told me about a week ago that she contacted a wig-making place who said they could provide a big discount if the family could provide the hair themselves. She asked me to donate my hair, and I said no.”
“She wasn’t initially upset and didn’t press me at first—I don’t think she expected me to say yes right away—but she has become steadily more persistent over the past few days. She keeps calling me selfish, saying I ‘wouldn’t even miss it,’ and that I ‘don’t need it’ since I’m not growing my hair for religious reasons.”
“I absolutely would miss it, since they would need about 16 inches for a full wig because my hair is so thin. I also have psoriasis, so I’m a little irrationally attached to my long pretty hair because my scalp is so gross.”
“R asked again tonight, so I told her my reasons.”
“She snapped. She told me that how much I love my hair should show me just how insecure E is without any hair at all, and that it would make it a really meaningful gift.”
“I also found out tonight that she already told E I would be giving her my hair, so she said I’d be breaking E’s heart if I ‘went back on it now,’ even though—again—I NEVER said yes.”
“R just left furiously, and now I’m wondering if I’m wrong here. I’m pretty confident that what she did is a huge d*ck move, so I’m not asking about that.”
“But I can’t really argue with her assertion that I don’t need it.”
“Is it selfish of me not to donate my hair when her sister doesn’t have any?”
Ordinarily Redditors would weigh in using four voting codes:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
But the feedback was pretty cut and dry.
Redditors were unanimous in deciding the OP was not the a**hole for not donating her hair. Many suggested the OP communicate with R’s family.
The OP provided a detailed update.
“I set up a time to call her parents and just talked to them, and wow, R was lying to me about a bunch of things. Luckily, she didn’t actually tell E that I’d promised to donate my hair.”
“She also failed to tell me that the family had contacted several other people and a couple of charity groups. (Apparently because she has a form of alopecia where her hair grows back and then falls out again, she’s not eligible for a lot of the typical charity groups, but there are still some that might help.)”
“They’ve come into contact with plenty of people who are willing to donate hair, so mine isn’t an issue any more. I also got to talk to E, who tried to apologize for her sister after her parents asked about all this, and I reassured her that R just loves her and is trying to take care of her.”
“We chatted for a while, and she told me about how she’s learning to crochet sweaters and she wants to be a herpetologist. I also told her that although it might feel weird to be bald, she can do cool things that I can’t do with hair on my head, like henna.”
“I sent her parents a couple pictures of henna on bald heads to show to her and she’s apparently really into the idea, so I told them I’d send them a couple of tubes, since my roommates are Indian and have a bunch on hand that they’re happy to give to E.”
“R is an artist with some henna experience and I know she’ll do a great job. I really hope it helps E’s self-esteem until they can get her a wig.”
“A couple of people said that R probably just behaved the way she did out of concern for E. I agree.”
“She’s had some difficulty connecting with her in the past because of their [12 year] age gap, and I think she really wanted to be the one to provide a solution to show E how much she cares.”
“R doesn’t usually behave like this, and I know she’s under a lot of stress because she has a really heavy courseload but also had to get a job last month to help support her family, so looking back on it I completely understand her lashing out.”
“I texted her asking to talk later & explained I’d talked to her family about everything, and I hope she responds.”
So far there have been no additional updates. But hopefully the OP can mend fences with her friend.