Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver
Conley opted to chop off his dreadlocks last week in order to donate his hair to the Children With Hair Loss organization (CWHL).
Conley had been growing his hair out for more than four years dating back to his days as a junior at the University of Georgia, something he admitted was a commitment.
“I think at any point when you've had something cosmetic like that for that long, it is a little bit harder to give it up,” he said. “You have to go through an awkward stage where it's short and there's a lot of stuff you go through to get your hair to that length.”
What made it an easier decision, he explained, was CWHL’s mission.
“It was an awesome opportunity to send out in the airwaves what this organization does and what they stand for,” he said. “There are a lot of organizations you could donate hair to, but not all of them make commitments to children until they're 21 (years old). That's one of the things Children With Hair Loss does. They make a commitment to supplying these needs of these children up until 21. That's a long time."
In addition to that, CWHL provides wigs and its services free of cost.
CWHL is the only organization of its kind that provides hair and services absolutely free to children until they are 21. You can donate too.— Chris Conley (@_flight17_) March 6, 2017
“Not every organization does that, so I think that's an awesome opportunity,” he added. “I had a lot of people asking me what they should do or where they should look to donate, and I think this is an awesome place to partner with because of how they provide their services for free and how they make their commitments to their kids and protect their kids.”
After his cut of more than nine inches of hair, Conley sent selfies out to his family, friends and girlfriend, who all approved of the change. As for his teammates and those working inside the Chiefs building, there are a few still adjusting to the new style.
"Most people do a double-take,” he said. “In the business of the NFL, there are players that come in and out all the time, so some people just thought I was a new guy in the building and they said hello, and they kind of came back around the corner and were like, 'Chris?' Then we had the conversation.
“It's new. It's new for me. I'm still getting used to it. It's been a long time since I could see the back of my head. It will be an adjustment—I’ll go down a helmet size, [so I’m] going to go get fitted for that next week and I’ll take a new headshot, but it's a good change.
“Every once and a while there needs to be a season of change."
If you are looking to donate, the CWHL suggests 8 inches in length or longer. For more information, click here.