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'AITA for refusing to donate my hair to my aunt with cancer?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for refusing to donate my hair to my aunt with cancer?' UPDATED 2X


Standing up for yourself can be incredibly difficult, especially if you're still living under your parent's' roof.

"AITA for refusing to donate my hair to my aunt with cancer?"

For context, I'm adopted and have super long and very thick red hair. No one in my adopted family has hair like mine, and it's been kind of a thing for them to touch, admire, & talk about my hair at family gatherings since I was a kid. My aunt has lung cancer, and it's really taken a toll on her. She's lost all her hair and has talked about getting a wig, but they're too expensive and she says she wants real hair.

My mom suggested I donate my hair to make a wig for my aunt at Easter dinner, and my aunt got so excited she started crying. I felt horrible about it, and didn't say anything. We went to this wig place and the lady said she could make a shoulder length wig for my aunt using my hair. (I keep it up extremely well and it's down to my knees).

My aunt started crying again and again I feel so awful, but I really don't want to part with my hair. I know it grows back but still.

No one had asked me how I felt, but I think my mom could tell I wasn't very excited about it because she asked the lady if she could donate her own hair, and she said she'd need both my sister (mom's biological daughter) and my mom to donate their hair, since it's very thin, and she could only make a chin length wig with it.

My aunt also wants red hair, so the lady said she'd have to dye it & that would cause it damage & cost more than using my hair. My uncle then said it'd make much more sense to use mine. It's been a month and my aunt wants to know when we can make the appointment. I don't know what to do.

I told my sister and she called me ungrateful and told me to stop being selfish because it would grow back. If I'm TA I won't hesitate to donate it but I don't know anymore.

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

EDIT: People suggested I clarify, I have knee length hair & I'd have to cut all of it off to the scalp in order to make the wig. To all the people saying it doesn't take that much hair to make a wig: it does. One average donation of hair doesn't make a full wig, they match it with other donations. It usually takes 2-3 heads of hair for a full wig.

Mine is long enough on its' own for a full wig, and my aunt doesn't want synthetic hair mixed in to supplement it. I completely understand everyone that said I was the AH for not saying no in the beginning. I'm not trying to justify that, but I want to make it clear that it's extremely difficult for me to stand up to my family.

I don't think I've ever had a say in anything since I started living with them, and that's how it's always been. They never give me a voice, even though I should have spoken up. It always goes without saying that what my mom says will happen.

The internet continued to share all of their thoughts.

[deleted] wrote:

NTA. But you have to stop stringing your aunt along. Tell them that you are feeling pressured and it's making you uncomfortable and you aren't going to donate your hair. It was completely inappropriate of your mom to donate your hair for you in the presence of the aunt.

OP responded:

I do really want to tell her no, and not get her hopes up any more. It's just that she got so excited the moment my mom suggested it. I can't figure out how to tell her & I'm afraid I'm in the wrong, so I haven't told her anything.

NotAnNpc69 wrote:

NTA. Jesus christ, I can feel your stress through the screen.

OP responded:

Honestly I don't know what to do at all. It's kind of terrifying. I know it sounds stupid but my hair is the only thing I have that I feel is connected with my birth family. I love my family but I have a weird thing with my hair. I know it grows back though, so that's something.

sjbsaphira wrote:

I also have natural red hair, it's extremely long (maybe not quite as much as yours) and I honestly started sweating just thinking about this. I get that it's a very selfless thing to do, but there are decent quality synthetic wigs that put no one in an awkward position. I consider my hair to be a vital part of my identity, it ties me to my gran as I have inherited the colour from her.

If anyone asks about me their comment is always oh the girl with the long red hair. I think because so few people naturally have red hair they don't realize how important it becomes to your own identity, and not gonna lie folk are seriously weird about red hair. NTA I understand you completely

OP responded:

Thank you so much for that comment.

In one comment, OP clarified her age.

I turned 17 a few weeks ago. I was adopted when I was 7, and I don't really know why my parents gave me up or anything about them. So there's no contact until I turn 18. I am really grateful to my mother for adopting me and taking care of me, but I feel so awful about this situation.

Two days later, OP jumped on with another update.

Thanks to everyone who commented and especially those who offered to help with sending me their wigs. I talked to my mom about it, and she said "We could've bought hair from anyone this is special to your aunt because it's your hair." So. I decided to just go ahead and do it.

After reading all the YTA comments I felt even more like garbage than I did before and I knew I'd feel awful if I didn't. We went to the salon yesterday. I cried. I have a really gross hipster crew cut now. My aunt was so happy. They told her it wouldn't be ready for a few months so she bought a blonde wig. She told us she's going to alternate between the blonde wig and my wig to match her outfits.

I don't even care if this sounds selfish any more because I did what they wanted. I hate not having my hair. I look like a boy now.

I hope the happiness that wig brought my aunt helps get her through the cancer but it won't because she's going to keep smoking if she survives this anyways I don't know how I feel about anything but I miss my hair. My mom is really happy though & so is my aunt, so hopefully I'll just get over my hair I don't know.

The internet had her back.

oblivious_bookworm wrote:

This poor kid was let down by every adult in her life, Jesus Christ. They didn't even ask her if she wanted to donate.

greymoria wrote:

This gives me a really bad feeling. Why would people say that she was an AH? That basically drove her to misery for several years to come. This is a really awful update and I wish I could donate some of my hair to that poor girl.

Salsarice wrote:

Damn, I feel sorry for OP.

I'm kind of surprised the salon worker didn't notice the atmosphere and lie for OP, saying it was unusable or something. Hospitals will do that for someone that is b*llied/strong-armed into organ donation against their will.

Liontamer74 wrote:

Aunt who says wigs are 'too expensive' can suddenly afford a blonde one to tide her over until the red one is made. These people are so selfish. Poor kid - it was the only thing that was hers. I bet they guilt her about being adopted and 'all they've done for her.'

Thickoroniandcheese wrote:

All the Redditors who voted YTA are the real AHs. Honestly, shame on them for putting this poor girl in such a mindset where she felt pressured. I have feelings of rage inside of me after reading the full story.

This is a really sad endpoint for OP.

Sources: Reddit
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