A hair cut has the power to lift even the deepest and darkest of moods. A feel-good hair cut can make you experience something else entirely.
I've been debating getting my hair chopped off for a good few months now. I had spent two years growing it to the point where it sat two thirds of the way down my back. I knew I wanted to get quite a drastic mop chop - a chin-length bob - but I was a bit anxious about taking the plunge.
After I'd spent a fair amount of time perusing Pinterest for hair style inspiration, I decided to focus my efforts on looking for charities that could recycle my hair and put it to better use than the salon floor. I came across the Little Princess Trust - a charity that makes and provides free wigs to children suffering with hair loss - and knew instantly that I wanted my beloved bit of hair to go to them.
This weekend, I decided to grab the bull by the horns. I booked an appointment at a salon I'd never visited before called Ashley Gamble and asked the hair stylist to chop a large chunk of my hair off - in one go. There was no gradual snipping, instead the stylist plaited my hair (which I'd washed that morning) and chopped it off above the bobble.
I was a little apprehensive about going gung-ho, but the fact that I was doing something positive was enough to make me utter the words: "Do it".
After my precious plait - measuring an impressive 10 inches (who knew my hair had grown THAT much?) - had been removed, I had my hair washed and then sat back in the chair while a stylist tidied up my bob, blow-dried it and styled my new 'do into loose waves. I didn't feel sad or remorseful though, I felt renewed.
I carried my detached plait out of that salon with pride.
Today I sent my hair off to the Little Princess Trust. From there, it will be sent to China to be made into part of a wig. And after that, it will help a child who is going through cancer treatment, or who has alopecia or another condition, to feel confident once more.
It will keep their little heads warm - and hopefully, it will make them smile again too.
Knowing that my hair isn't in a bin somewhere, and is instead helping someone feel good about themselves, makes me so, so happy. It's such a small thing to do, that requires minimal effort, yet it has the potential to make someone's day - and maybe even their year.
I'm not writing this to ask you to chop all of your hair off, I'm asking that if you do decide to embrace a drastic hair cut this year, that you consider helping others in the process. With a couple of bobbles, an unusual request and an envelope; you too can do something good. And at a time where things seem to be unravelling so quickly, even the tiniest acts of kindness can make a world of difference.