Piece Of Me


A week or so ago, I gave myself a haircut. I only cut the front in order to give myself some layers, but even so I ended up with a braid of leftover hair nearly a foot long. At first I planned to hold onto it: it seemed like a waste to throw it away. I didn’t need to keep it for anything in particular, though: it wasn’t like I was going to make a wig out of it or anything.

Then it occurred to me that I could sell it. My sister Bean had introduced me to a website where people posted ads for their hair and tried to get a good price for it. It came complete with a hair price calculator based on length, thickness, color, and whether or not the hair was considered ‘virgin’ or not, meaning that it had never been dyed or treated. I’d valued my hair before, curious to know just how much my hair might be worth if I ever decided to cut it all off. The estimate was in the four digits.

The estimate for a pre-cut braid of modest length was much more conservative: the price generator said I could probably get a maximum of $273 for mine. Still, not too shabby. It would be money that I didn’t have yesterday. I decided to go for it.

Most of the ads feature individuals who are preparing to cut their hair, so most of the photos show people with long, luxurious trains of hair. It’s a much better selling tool than a photo of a pre- cut braid. I figured that would probably affect the price I’d be able to get so I listed the price at $150. I figured the goal was to try to sell the braid quickly, not get top dollar for it. ( If I were cutting off all of my hair you better believe I’d be holding out for top dollar).

Within a few days I had an offer for my asking price, so I took it. Yesterday I put the braid in the mail and sent it away. It feels very strange to know that you’ve just sold a part of yourself, even if it was a part that you were going to discard otherwise. The most paranoid part of me worries about the fact that many genetic material is out there now and someday someone might find it and make vengeful clones of me. Mostly I just wonder where it will end up. It’s not really my business, just curious. A wig, maybe. Or hair for a doll. That’s what I like to believe anyway.

Anyway, so that was a new experience. I’ve now joined the realm of literary heroines who sell their hair for money, although frankly I hope to be more “Gift of the Magi” and less “Les Miserables” in my story arc.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 25, 2016.

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