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October is the time for cozy sweaters, hot cider and awareness. That's right, it's breast cancer awareness month and there are a whole slew of ways to support the cause. So break out your pink....everything, and honor those women who've battled and are battling the fight.

Donate your hair. For many women, breast cancer means chemotherapy and the loss of hair. This alone can be devastating to a woman's self-esteem and it's a particularly low blow dealt by this disease. Some women are okay with rocking the shaved head look, but many prefer to wear a wig and one made with real human hair can make all the difference in bolstering a woman's self-esteem during this transition period.

Here at Reflections we partner with Pantene Beautiful Lengths to help them collect real human hair to create wigs for the Beautiful Lengths program.

How to Donate your Hair

1. Grow Your Hair Out. Pantene Beautiful Lengths requires a minimum of 8 inches of hair. Pull your hair back in a ponytail and measure from just above your ponytail holder to the tip of the ends of your hair.

2. Talk to Your Hairstylist. Before you make a donation appointment, let your stylist know of your plans and ask her to help you find a new hairstyle that will work for you. Having 8 inches cut off is a huge change. Your stylist can tell you how short your hair will be once it is cut.

3. Make the appointment. When your hair has reached the length you need, let your stylist know you are ready to donate your hair and be prepared for a new style.

4. Send Your Hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Reflections will send your hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths for you, but not all salons will do this step.

Donated hair may be colored with vegetable dyes, rinses, and semi-permanent dyes. It cannot be bleached, permanently colored or chemically treated. Hair cannot be permed. Hair must be in a ponytail to be donated. It should be freshly washed and completely dry, without any styling products. Hair that has been shaved off cannot be used. If you are shaving your head, divide it into multiple pony tails and cut it off for donation.

Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid. Dreadlocks, wigs, hairpieces, hair extensions and synthetic hair cannot be donated.

Curly or wavy hair can be straightened to measure 8-inches.

Hair may not be more than 5 percent gray.

Check out their website at https://pantene.com/en-us/experience-main-section2/beautiful-lengths for more tips and information about their program.

If hair donation isn't for you, but you want to show your support, consider coloring your hair pink for the month. Matrix has a wide variety of pinks from fuchsia, pastel and rose gold that come in semi, demi and permanent colors. If your hair is naturally dark it may need to be pre-lightened to get the shade of pink you desire. Plan ahead, this may require two separate appointments due to processing time.

If changing your hair is too drastic for you, consider joining a breast cancer walk or donate directly to The American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org, the Susan G. Komen Organization at https://ww5.komen.org , or the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. at www.nationalbreastcancer.org

Let's face it, at one point in our lives we will be touched by this disease either through a family member, a friend or personally. The more we fight together, the better our chances are of beating this horrible beast. Go. Fight. Win.

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