I Shaved My Head for a Good Cause
Shaving my head has been on my bucket list for years. But somehow I’ve always found an excuse not to do it. School might make a fuss, I have a wedding to attend, I want to grow my hair out for Year 12 formal…the list goes on. After putting it off for so long, I decided late in 2016 to just bite the bullet and do it. The timing seemed to be just right. I’d finished high school in September. I don’t start university until mid-February. It seemed to be symbolic of the big changes that are happening in my life right now.
So I paid a visit to my hairdresser who was understandably shocked that I wanted to shave it all off. But that only seemed to be all the more reason to do it. We set a date for January 12th; it was finally happening.
For me, this was never going to just be a fashion choice or a symbol of a brand-new me–there had to be a purpose. And that purpose was that I was going to raise money for the Australian Leukemia Foundation by signing up to do their World’s Greatest Shave. As the Leukemia Foundation’s annual fundraiser, thousands of Australians shave, color, or wax their hair to help raise money. Those funds are used to provide patients and families affected by blood cancer with the emotional and practical support they need. It also goes towards research to find treatments and cures for patients. By the time I was sitting in the chair for the shave, I had raised $1,148. I was absolutely overwhelmed by people’s willingness to give. To think that the decision to do something as trivial as shave my head triggered it is absolutely surreal.
I was terrified that I would start bawling at the salon. That didn’t happen. The shave itself was nowhere near as dramatic as I thought it would be. My hairdresser tied my hair back in two ponytails and cut each of them off. At that point, I looked like Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was tragic. Then, my hairdresser brought out the clippers and shaved the rest of it. I was more excited than anything else. I love the new look and it was refreshing to have almost nothing on my head (especially since the day after the shave it was more than 40C in Sydney).
In the few days that have passed since the shave, I’ve learned some unexpected things. I discovered that showering takes half the time it used to. But I also discovered that the time saved in the shower is more than made up for by how much more difficult it is to pick outfits to wear. Mostly, though, I discovered that even when I think people are staring at me, they probably aren’t. If I had to sum up my whole World’s Greatest Shave experience into one discovery, it would be that generosity very much exists. And so do a lot of other amazing human qualities: empathy, compassion, kindness, and love. Our ability to make this world a better place is the most valuable thing that we possess and we should never stop using it.
By Zoe Victoria, 18