Sirmon goes to a ‘beautiful length’ to help others

Published 11:16 am Monday, September 24, 2012

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Brannon Sirmon, a 26-year-old from Indian Springs, grew a 10-inch ponytail and no one originally knew why.

Sirmon (Contributed)

He was 22 years old when he started growing it and it took him four years to get it the length he wanted.

At first he received funny looks from people and was questioned by close friends and family members as to why he wanted to grow a ponytail. Some thought he was just seeking the “writer look” since he was writing and later published a book, titled “That’s War.”

When people found out why Sirmon was growing his hair so long, their views quickly changed. What had once been negative looks and comments became very positive. Growing up, he had a good friend whose little brother had no hair and he always wondered why. Later he discovered it was because the little boy had cancer.

Sirmon also had an aunt who lost her hair and died of cancer.

He had always wanted to donate his hair to help make wigs for people who needed them. From ages 22 to 26. he did just that.

He recently went to a friend’s salon and she cut his ponytail. What took four years to grow was gone in an instant. The beautiful long ponytail was no more. It was being mailed to a good cause though.

The hair was donated to Beautiful Lengths, a charity supported by the Pantene Co., which makes wigs and gives them to those who need them most.

What appeared to look like a “phase” he was going through or a streak of rebellion trying to make a statement, turned out to be a well thought out, very long effort to help other people.

Thanks Brannon Sirmon for selflessly giving of yourself and your hair to those who need it most. There is a lesson we can all learn from you and the “beautiful length” you went for others.


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at