So yesterday I got into a heated debate on Facebook with my friend and her friends. She announced that she was going to do Shave For A Cure.

I advised her against it, and told her the stares and general nastiness from people all the time isn't worth it, and suggested she simply donate the money. It just makes me sad to think of a young woman in her 20s with a perfectly healthy head of long hair, looking the thickest and shiniest it will ever look in her life, and shaving it all off to provide some strange voyeuristic reason for her friends to donate to a cause that they could simply donate to regardless.

Yes, as one of her friends argued, it's about showing solidarity with people undergoing chemotherapy. But aren't there less personally damaging ways to do that? Do cancer patients really want healthy people to be bald too? I would imagine that most of them either don't care or are jealous, (like me I guess) that they even have a choice about it.
So her friends basically all thought I was a total killjoy. And I know I sound bitter about this, but I think, having alopecia, I have a reason to be.
What do you think, fellow hair-challenged people?

Views: 267

Comment by Tiffany P on February 24, 2013 at 4:13pm

Personally if thats what she wanted to do then as a friend i would have just been surportive with the side warning that not everyone will react to her bald head in a positive way. Its her hair and she can grow it back so i dont see a problem. I dont know how every person with cancer feels about others shaving their head in their behalf but those that choose to shave thier head for whatever reason can then sympathize with those that have lost thier hair because they get first hand experience of how people react to them.if she has been a surportive friend to you then you should only recipricate. My personal opinion :o/

Comment by Holly on February 24, 2013 at 7:44pm
No she hasn't been a particularly supportive or close friend, she's really my sister's friend. Maybe therefore you could argue that it's none of my business, but if you announce something on Facebook I think you invite comment.
Comment by michelle on March 1, 2013 at 11:08pm

My mother lost her hair 3 years ago...a reaction from radiation. I offered to shave my hair off simply so she wouldn't feel alone. It was far less about any message....I care that much about my mother. She wouldn't let me.

Here's the irony. I know have Alopecia hair on my body. Be careful what you wish for.

I am curious about your loss due to Chemo is not the same as hair loss from Alopecia. What cure does your friend want to find...Cancer or Alopecia? Cure for cancer has a ton of air play. There is so much stigma associated with alopecia, especially in females. If your friend wants to share her voice with a bald head then I would say thank you!

Comment by Pat Crotty on March 3, 2013 at 7:27pm

Hello Holly, you're not the only one who feels uncomfortable with the Shave for a Cure fundraiser. One of the contributors to our newsletter wrote his personal response to SFC in Australia in our May 2012 newsletter

Comment by Pat Crotty on March 3, 2013 at 7:28pm
Comment by Kate on March 4, 2013 at 2:29am

Every evening for the past month I've seen the advert on TV for the worlds greatest shave or whatever it is and it genuinely makes me feel sick. The idea that someone who has the luxury of hair is deciding to shave it off when I would give anything in the world to have mine back generally upsets me. I understand the principle and the fact that people are trying to show their support to those who have experienced hair loss but I can’t imagine anyone who has lost their hair would wish that upon anyone else in the world, it’s by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me and the fact that someone else is even considering shaving their head when they don’t need to seems mad. Also simply shaving your hair with clippers is not the same as having a bald head with no eyelashes or eyebrows, I would be thrilled if I could have a number 2 shave and I know I’m jealous, I’m not hiding that, but I feel that someone saying “I’m shaving my head in support of hair loss” and then proceeds to shave only most of their hair is in a way tormenting me further.
Raising money for a great charity is something that I’ve always seen as a positive thing but I feel that there is a lot better ways to do it without putting yourself through the strains of being in this world with a bald head.
Secondly, why does nobody ever make such commercial campaigns about Alopecia. I'm fed up of people asking me how my treatments going or informing me "you're looking really well" "you're so brave" etc etc and I know this is not their fault, I know they're being kind but it doesn’t help me and it makes me feel bad having to explain that I don’t have cancer and then feel that I've cheated them out of some sympathy that I didn’t go looking for in the first place. There’s no TV campaigns about finding a cure for us let alone anything that helps people understand that a bald head doesn’t mean cancer.
As a result, I’m fully with you on this one Holly, I would’ve done the same, luckily, as far as I’m aware none of my friends are planning any head shaving antics that I’m aware of, but if they were, I don’t think I’d be able to hold back my opinions.

Comment by Holly on March 4, 2013 at 7:01am

Ok I feel validated now :-D
I agree that hair is a luxury. I mean, when you add up all the people who have alopecia areata/totalis/universalis, hair thinning, androgenetic alopecia, traction alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia, etc etc it is really quite a huge proportion of the population. The young (and some middle-aged) people who have a full, thick, healthy, shiny, luxuriant head of hair just don't appreciate it as much as perhaps they should. (Speaking of which I am hating on Kate Middleton a bit lol!) But they do say that "youth is wasted on the young" so perhaps I am getting a taste of that perspective already even though I'm still in my 20s... :-)
Anyway I think there definitely should be more widespread campaigning for awareness about alopecia, particularly about autoimmune alopecia, because it really sucks having to constantly feel ashamed that you don't have cancer because that's what everyone thinks you have and treats you as such! Also, I hate the looks of horror on people's faces (usually females). If people just knew about the disease then the impact would be minimised.
So after my PhD is handed in later this year, I am going to try to organize a BaldWalk in the Sydney CBD. :-) bald caps to be distributed to those who are not bald but wish to march with us.

Comment by Pat Crotty on March 4, 2013 at 8:23pm

Hi your PhD on alopecia? There's an interesting phenomenon of women with alopecia writing PhDs on aspects of the alopecia experience...says something about having to do things ourselves!! I commented on 2 recent theses in our most recent newsletter Feb 2013 Newsletter link again available from our website (links to pdf or page turning versions), Emma West's (from the UK) and Priya Dua (US), both sociological. Could I pick up on your use of the term 'ashamed', I am currently reading on the concept of 'shame' as I believe it is a fundamental and probably universal experience for women with hair which because of its cultural nature and psychological origins in the 'self' makes bsic aspects of our experience extremely difficult to recognise and talk about which leads to a lack of language and expression for us and what concerns us. Might you be working in this area? Hope the thesis is going well!! Cheers, Pat (I work with the Alopecia Areata Support Association in Melbourne)

Comment by Dena on March 5, 2013 at 3:19pm

When my 6 year old daughter lost all of her hair I mentioned shaving mine off to support her. She said that didn't make sense to her. Her reaction was, you like your long hair why would you do that. I tried to explain I was hoping to make her feel better. She said it made more sense to grow it out and donate it to help people without hair. I have to admit she was thinking about it more logically than I was.

Comment by Nani on March 7, 2013 at 6:28pm

I'm going to get my head shaved next weekend with my family and friends in tow. I told them that I love them and DO NOT under any circumstances shave your head to support me. Instead put the word out about this condition. So they made t shirts instead. They wear them all the time. They say things like.. does this shirt make me look bald... then support alopecia on the back. It cracks me and when we go out and they wear those shirts, I feel stronger and don't wear a wig or scarf. I feel you on telling them not to do it. They put it out there, you responded. You of all people should be allowed to voice your opinion on the matter.


You need to be a member of Alopecia World to add comments!

Join Alopecia World




Any mention of products and services on Alopecia World is for informational purposes only; it does not imply a recommendation or endorsement by Alopecia World. Nor should any statement or representation on this site be construed as professional, medical or expert advice, or as pre-screened or endorsed by Alopecia World. Alopecia World is not responsible or liable for any of the views, opinions or conduct, online or offline, of any user or member of Alopecia World. It's hair loss support at its best!

© 2018   Created by Alopecia World.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service