St. Baldrick's Day - Let the Head-Shaving Begin!

St. Baldrick’s Day – Let the Head-Shaving Begin!

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St Baldricks

On September 14th, I will be getting my head shaved as part of my fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s, a charity that supports research on childhood cancer.

I will also be donating the hair that is shaved to Pantene Beautiful Lengths as part of their program with the American Cancer Society to provide women with wigs after cancer treatments take their hair. I have gotten a lot of comments on my “bravery” but I don’t think that this is brave thing at all that I’m doing, especially since I am just the teeniest bit terrified.

Though I am more than proud to be doing this, self-doubt keeps whispering in the background, like an annoying mean girl at the cafeteria table. “Um, hello?? You get compliments on your hair; nobody will think you’re attractive without it! Do you realize how long it will take to grow back?? What if you have a weird-shaped head and don’t know it? What if your toddler son doesn’t recognize you??”

St Baldricks

These things are hard to think about sometimes, I’m not going to lie. And it’s these thoughts that keep people from donating to Pantene or pledging to St Baldrick’s. And I’m here to say, that is perfectly okay. I am not better or braver because I’m shaving my head. The better and braver people are those who actually lose their hair to cancer, and it’s for them that I do this. They don’t have choice in the matter and don’t get to argue with their ego.

But maybe, just maybe, if all of us shavees (and donors, and people who even just spread the word by sharing a link) help raise money for cancer research, maybe one day these people will not have to worry about losing their hair. Maybe we’ll be able to fund research to keep kids healthy longer and have less invasive or damaging treatments. Maybe they won’t have to worry about losing their hair, or being sick, at all.

In addition to raising money, St. Baldrick’s also raises awareness by having its volunteers being walking advertisements for the cause. Shavees have “Ask Me Why I’m Bald” buttons that they can wear, to invite questions about the charity and the fight for childhood cancer. The fundraising doesn’t stop with my shave; it continues as I grow my hair out, as I wear my St. Baldrick’s t-shirt and button around town, as I tell the story of what I did in September.

My commitment continues beyond September 14th, as it does with most shavees. I have a friend who did it more than three years ago and still counts it among one of the best things he’s ever done. Being part of the St. Baldrick’s family of crazy head shavees will make this much easier, because even though you may no longer be a shavee, you are automatically a cheerleader for those who are in the future.

shaved head inspiration

But, ugh, that self-doubt. She sits there in the back, snapping her gum and giving me some serious side-eye. Well, we all know that the best way to combat mean girls is with solidarity and confidence. In the end, I may not have hair but I have my bold red lipstick (Julie Hewett Coco Noir, natch) and big dangly earrings at the ready. I have head wraps when it’s chilly and for when I’m just feeling sassy. And I have my real-life friends to support me, as well as all of the incredible people on the internet who are virtually behind me with cheers and pom-poms. The mean girl in my head does not stand a chance.

And for those days of when I’m feeling a little less powerful, I have created a Pinterest board called St. Baldrick’s – Post Shave Inspiration I am in process of collecting inspirational images of bald women, famous and ordinary, as well as fun head wraps and accessories that will make my bald head sexy.

I’m also hosting an Etsy giveaway in honor of my shave, so please feel free to check it out and enter to win a $25 Etsy gift card!

Finally, if you took the time to read this, please take the time to share this article and my St. Baldrick’s Shave Event Page. My goal is to reach $1,500, but my real goal is to spread the word about St. Baldrick’s and Pantene Beautiful Lengths. And maybe, to inspire a few other shavees that I can cheer on.

25 thoughts on “St. Baldrick’s Day – Let the Head-Shaving Begin!”

  1. Alyssa, you inspire us to do what your heart says. @lyssachelle you are doing more good than you realize. By putting your tender feelings out there and remaining true to your heart by going forward with your convictions, it’s just a noble and sweet action of love, to a measure we need so much more of. This love, is a wonderful attribute you possess.. Just think of the happiness you are giving to that child! I’ll be thinking of you this weekend! BIG time Blessings! :)

  2. Thank you for this inspiring post @lyssachelle Self doubt = totally normal. You’ll look like a different person but you’ll feel like a better person. I think the latter outweighs the former in tons of ways <3

    And think of all the new possibilities once you can start to style it a bit more! Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Emma Watson and Rihanna are all different from each other and rocked their pixie looks. Good Luck moving forward, you're going to do great :)

    1. Thank you, @mandabear! I think you’re right, although with my curly hair hopefully my pixie will be more Rihanna and less Bozo the Clown! :-) I need to made a “Growing out the shave” Pinterest board to get me excited about a few months from now too.

  3. @lyssachelle thank you for being so fabulous and brave! You will look amazing on the outside but I suspect that you will feel more amazing on the inside knowing that you have done something to help in the fight against cancer. WTG for reaching your goal already!! I hope that you way surpass it.

  4. @lyssachelle – You are, quite simply, THE balls. This is high praise from me.
    You’re beautiful with your wrongly awesome hair (no one person should have hair that nice–and you know it’s only going to grow back even better than before) and you’ll be a beautiful baldy.

    You’re awesome for doing this! :)

    1. Awww, you are too sweet! Thank you!!
      And I’m totally stealing calling someone “the balls.” With attribution, of course, but yeah—stealin’ it. It’s too awesome not to!

  5. Ok, how cool that this is our 2nd writing team member who has shaved her head for a good cause! @mandaleem also donated her hair towards making booms to soak up oil in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

    @lyssachelle – I’m so incredibly proud. Both that you are doing this and that I even know you! I do think your brave. And giving. And quite frankly, awesome. You will rock a bald head like nobody’s business. I can’t wait to hear how your makeup routine changes.

    1. YES!!! I’d almost forgotten that @mandaleem shaved her head! We will have to swap baldy stories!!

      And thank you! I’m looking forward to sleeping in a bit, no more showering in the morning to wet and tame my hair. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back! :-)

    1. Yes!! I’m not an earrings type of girl like I used to be (I’m on the phone constantly at work) but I went out and bought 5 pairs already! (Cheap ones, but giant and FANCY!)

  6. I am so impressed–not only by what you are doing, duh, but also at how thoughtfully you explained the motivations and thoughts behind your action! This post has given me excellent food for thought today, and I will be happy to donate.

    1. Thanks so much! I’ve been running around like crazy today because we are moving into a new house tomorrow. (ACK.) But it’s comments like this that keep me going and keep me excited about Saturday!!!

  7. Bravo @lyssachelle! You’re such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story and your honesty. I’m sure it will be a wonderful experience! Don’t forget that you’ll be able to rock the super cute 1940s scarf styles too – adorbs! Add me to your list of virtual cheerleaders!

  8. You’re GORGEOUS, and your shaved head is just going to bring even more attention to your pretty face :) I appreciate how honest you are about cutting your hair and that it’s a little scary. We live in a culture overly obsessed with hair (just look at all of the shampoo commercials), and going against the grain can be terrifying. I think what you’re doing is awesome. When you’re afraid to do something, but feel compelled to do it because it’s good and right, it’s that much more powerful. <3

  9. I just was thinking..@lyssachelle! Just think of how little shampoo you’ll need! Those trial sizes will last a long time! Before you know it, your hair will be back and just as beautiful! I’m still thinking about the impact this is going to have on some little angel and it gives me Goosebumps thinking about it now!

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