By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Since fourth grade Jane Greene of Imperial hadn’t cut her hair. Despite trims, her braids recently measured 28 inches. She could sit on her fine brown hair.
The 26-year-old and husband Ryan, of Imperial, were talking with brother-in-law Aaron Greene awhile ago, when he mentioned that people pay good money for “virgin” hair.
Virgin hair is that which hasn’t been dyed, heat treated with a blow dryer or curlers, and hasn’t had styling products used on it.
Greene’s hair fit the bill. She researched Internet sites and found hairwork.com, which posts hair and sells it for people.
She sold her hair to someone in London, England for $750. The buyer is making it into a wig for his girlfriend, who lost her hair due to chemotherapy.
“Losing her hair has left a big dent on her self confidence,” he wrote. “I really hope this will make her happy.”
“I did it because I was ready for a change, plus the money, which was just a bonus,” Greene laughed. “I definitely wouldn’t have done it if I wasn’t selling it. I’m not that generous!”
Hair that is sold may be used for wigs, but also used on porcelain dolls, or for jewelry.
Greene had read that someone with 28-inch hair had sold hers for $1,700. She was hoping for that much, but after posting it for three months, settled for the $750.
On June 25 Greene and some relatives traveled to the McCook Beauty Academy, equipped with video cameras.
Greene had butterflies in her stomach and couldn’t eat lunch, but she was excited.
Holly Purkeypile of Imperial, a student at the academy, and another student separated Greene’s hair into four strands and braided them.
As they began to cut, Greene said her mind went blank. “I couldn’t remember a thing later when I watched the video. I thought I would cry but I didn’t.”
“After it was cut she fluffed the back and it was scary. It sent shivers down my spine,” Greene explained. “I had worked up to it (getting cut) for so long.”
Today Greene sports a kicky short cut with bangs, which she’s getting used to. She has also had it highlighted.
At age 26 she purchased her first blow dryer. “I wanted to try different things, hairstyles, colors,” she explained. If she doesn’t like something, “I can do that next time.”
Sometimes when she looks in a mirror she does a double-take. Who is that?
As for Ryan, Greene said he keeps saying, “It will grow back.” She said he likes her new look, but it took a bit of getting used to.