Today marks one year since my Mum and I shaved our heads to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation. I also donated my hair to be made into a wig for a cancer patient through Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths Campaign which encourages people to donate their ponytails. I raised over $1700 on my fundraising page through a number of generous donations from my friends, family and even people I’d never met. Combined my mum, cousin in Australia and I raised over $5000 which is absolutely incredible.
Whilst the past year has had many more ups and down than anticipated it has been a really eye-opening experience and I absolutely do not regret my decision. It is something I had wanted to do since I was 14 and I’m proud to have done it.
Today I thought I would share the 5 biggest things I have learnt in the last year since shaving my head.
1. It’s liberating
Letting go of my hair was almost like letting go of my childhood. It was a refreshing change. Whilst I’d never felt like my hair was holding me back or I was hiding behind it beforehand it felt so different and gave me a new perspective on things.
2. It can be inspirational
Since I shaved my head a few of my friends have made the decision to cut their hair short and one even accredited me as an inspiration. Most people will suit short hair of some sort but just have no idea until they do it. I honestly thought I would hate having short hair and want to wear hats 24/7, so the fact that I enjoyed having short hair came as a bit of a shock.
3. You don’t have to have long hair to feel feminine
The one thing I was most scared about was not feeling “pretty” or “feminine”. But then I opened my eyes and realised it’s the freaking 21st century and I can be whatever kind of woman I want. Whilst of course I still have bad hair days and days where my self esteem isn’t the greatest I realised the social construction of women having long beautiful hair is simply that; a social construction. I actually feel that breaking down traditional boundaries of what femininity is increased my confidence to express myself (#feminist).
4. You never know what’s around the corner.
Whilst this one does not directly relate to shaving my head it was a crazily unexpected coincidence when my mum was diagnosed with leukaemia a little over a month after we both shaved out heads. We had to laugh at the irony of the whole situation. Luckily she’s been given the all clear and is doing really well now. But it just shows that you never know what’s around the corner and really made me appreciate the fact that I had the choice to lose my hair, as there are so many people that don’t.
But most importantly
5. It’s just hair…It grows back.
The one thing I have heard so many times in the past year is “omg your hair has grown so much”. Yeah, well funny that. Whilst I’m lucky to have thick and fast growing hair, it grew just as fast when it was long – it just wasn’t as noticeable. Shaving my head wasn’t the end of the world by any means.
Thanks to all my friends and family for the support over the last year and still being friends with me through all the bad hair days.
The photos shown obviously show the best hair days and represent approximately each month in the last year (right down to today). I have made a full video using the app Everyday which you can view here.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey since shaving my head. Thanks for hanging in there on the blog front, I want to get back into a regular schedule ASAP but unfortunately university and general life must take priority.