I recently shaved my head and donated my hair to an organization which uses hair to make wigs for people who need it. It was something that I had wanted to do for a long time and the decision was deeply laced with intention. Here are the five reasons why I shaved my head and the significance behind a seemingly innocuous decision:
1) People Need It
Let that sink in for a second. I feel that having hair on the top of our head is one of the things that we take most for granted. It’s always there and plays such a big part of your identity – yet it would be so hard to imagine not having it. But, for some people, that is there life every day. And, it can be their dignity, too. So, if a small action can be taken by an individual to raise awareness for this cause, why not? People need it.
2) I cut my safety net
I was chatting with my dear friend Bee Creel and told her of my idea to do this about a month ago. She confided in me (and now all of you) that she wouldn’t be able to do it, because her hair was her safety net. I loved the analogy and realized it was the same for me. I had kept my hair long for at least a decade, because, having great hair, it was something I could always fall back on. So, I decided to cut my safety net and live life with the possibility of free fall.
3) I was terrified to do it
Challenging yourself to do things that scare you or make you uncomfortable is like building a muscle – the more you work it, the stronger it gets. Only by consistently doing things that scare you will you be able to conquer future fears more fluidly. It is a constant progression. This chance to shave my head was the perfect opportunity for me. For years, I’d sit in the chair before getting a haircut and have the voice inside my head say, ‘do it, do it, do it, go short, go short, go short’ but I could never pull the trigger - until I decided I would do it for a reason bigger than me. And, now that I’ve done it (and seen how silly all that fear was), I know it will empower me to do other things that scare me in the future. If shaving my head was like a gym workout, it was biceps days – just a pure pump.
4) I’ve always dreamed of it
For as long as I can remember, I dreamt of shaving my head and then heading straight to the airport to fly to India. And, while I am not flying directly to India (currently in Reykjavik, Iceland), I did shave my head on the way to the airport on my way to India. There is something to be said about fulfilling life dreams, however obscure they may be, which feels incredible. And the fact that I had one of my best friends, Paul Arlin, wash, dry, cut and shave my hair out of support, meant all the more to me. Doing this inspires me to come up with more random life dreams to live out in the future.
5) It doesn’t make any difference
While part of me was scared to do this, the second the first piece of hair was shaved, I realized that it didn’t matter how I looked – I’m the same person. While I went through some rough patches while growing my hair out (curious looks from strangers, chastised at formal functions or being berated by family members) it is so obvious that the way I look doesn’t really matter at all. What matters is how I treat other people and how much positive energy I can bring to the world. I feel that I needed to shave my head to realize this and am grateful to have done it.
So, my invitation to you…
DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU. DO SOMETHING THAT HELPS OTHERS. DO SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF.
And then see what you learned and how you are better for it.