Headful of hair leads to headful of purpose

Calaveras Enterprise sports editor Guy Dossi shows off hair that was once on his head. Dossi grew his hair out for 15 months in order to donate it to an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer and other diseases.

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It wasn’t until I got into high school that I really started getting into rock and roll. And because my dad had seemingly every record made between 1950 and 1975, I had my pick to listen to so much great music.

In the winter of my junior year, he gave me a CD to listen to and there was one song that really stood out to me. It was, “Almost Cut My Hair,” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. There was something about that song that just stopped me in my tracks.

It’s a mid-tempo song with good guitar playing and strong vocals by David Crosby. The song, much like the title would suggest, was about not cutting his hair. Now yes, there are deeper meanings behind the lyrics, but on the surface, a 16-year-old hears it as a song about making choices.

“Almost cut my hair. It happened just the other day. It was getting kind of long. I guess you could have said it was in my way. But I didn’t, and I wonder why. I feel like letting my freak flag fly. Well, I feel, like I owe it, to someone.”

And maybe that song inspired me to grow my hair out as a teenager. Because I was getting into rock and roll, a lot of the musicians that I was learning about and listening to all seemed to have long hair and I wanted to join in. John Fogerty, Stephen Stills, The Beatles all had long hair, so I grew mine out, too.

For years I always had semi-long hair. I went through different stages where my hair length was long and others where it was just shaggy. But for the majority of my teenage years and for much of my 20s, I didn’t have short hair.

But as I started getting into the latter part of my 20s, I decided that it was time to clean up my look and get a “grown-up” haircut. And honestly, I liked it. And perhaps more importantly, the lovely Mrs. Dossi liked it. So, for a few years, I had short hair.

In early May of 2019, I was going to be the best man in my buddy Cisco’s wedding, so I went to the barber to get a nice haircut. That was the last time my hair was met by scissors in over 15 months.

Headful of hair leads to headful of purpose

Guy Dossi's hair moments before being mailed away.

In the fall of 2019, my hair was starting to get a little shaggy, but working the hours that I was working, it was easier just to put my hat on and not worry about a haircut. The fall turned into winter and before I knew it, my hair had begun to cover my ears. At this point I decided to commit to something I had always wanted to do, but never had the patience to accomplish.

I would grow my hair out and then donate it to children with cancer.

If not doing anything, like cutting my hair, could one day result in putting a smile on the face of a child with cancer, it seemed like a no-brainer. And COVID-19 helped limit my temptation to visit a barber. With the majority of barber shops closed because of the coronavirus, I had no option other than to not cut my hair.

As months went on, my hair grew longer and longer. While I got used to having long hair, it became kind of an inconvenience. My showering habits changed, as it took much longer to wash my hair. I learned that getting knots was rather painful. And having long hair when the temperature is over 100 degrees is not ideal.

As time passed by, my hair went from resting on my shoulders to falling down the middle of my back. I then started doing research and looking into where I should donate my hair. I found an organization and I met all of the qualifications. So, after 15 months of not getting a haircut, I finally ended my streak.

I sat in the chair and was excited to finally once again have short hair, but I was also worried about what the finished product would look like. My hair was carefully cut and set aside for me to take home. When I got my hair cut in 2019, the woman doing the cutting said the dreaded “R” word: Receding. I asked this stylist and she let me know that I have no signs of receding hair and that everything looks good. Yeah, that was a wonderful thing to hear.

When she finished, I looked in the mirror and was happy with the final product. It felt weird walking out of a building with my hair in a bag, but it was for a good cause. A few days later, I went to the post office and mailed it away.

It was a long time to go without a haircut. But at the end of the day, if that hair can be part of a wig to make a young girl feel pretty, then I did my job. And I guess it all kind of goes back to that song I discovered when I was just 16 years old.

Yes, I almost cut my hair, but I didn’t and I wonder why. I guess I felt that I owed it to someone.

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