Keratin and kindness
Sinead O’ Connor. Shetty. Patrick Stewart. Bruce Willis. Charlie Brown. Samuel L Jackson. You could actually count the number of famous bald people in the world. And if you were to count only the famous bald women, you probably won’t need more than 2 pairs of hands to count with. Because more than conventional beauty norms that a head full of hair has always been associated with, hair also plays an extremely important part in our self-confidence for most humans. We have several billion-dollar companies who only survive because of our innate need to make our hair look the best it can.
As important as hair is to the human psyche, it becomes especially devastating when we lose our hair. Hair loss with age is quite natural, yet most of us spend enough money to keep several companies afloat on the promise of stopping or even reversing hair fall. However, when the hair loss is due to illnesses that no amount of hair creams and serums can help with, the impact on the person’s self-confidence is massive. Which, in fact, is one of the biggest issues cancer patients deal with. And an area where women can help. By donating their hair, which is used to make wigs for cancer patients.
Like our colleague, Dona Thomas, did.
Dona heard about this initiative on social media and was especially inspired by Roshni Kumar, a photographer and cancer survivor, who has donated her hair several times for cancer patients. Dona had seen cancer survivors in her immediate circle go through mental stress and agony on losing hair after chemotherapy treatments. This is what prompted her to donate her hair to make a small difference in their lives. In her own words, “the reason I decided to donate my entire hair is because I believe if you have something in abundance why not give it all to someone less privileged and hair is just something that once given will grow back again.”
Nevertheless, even though Dona had resolved to donate her hair, it was not an easy decision to follow through on. It takes great courage to actually voluntarily go bald and Dona spent close to 6 months visualising herself without hair. But then she met a cancer patient and that gave her the strength to go ahead and take the plunge.
It still wasn’t easy though. At first, Dona went to a hair collection drive but left disheartened because they seemed callous about the whole affair. Finally, she went to a salon to get her hair cut, sitting through the taunts and cribbing from the stylist as she got her hair cut. When she went to the salon – nervous and excited – Dona wasn’t entirely prepared for her new bald look. Even when her head was shaved completely, the feeling hadn’t sunk in until she actually gave her hair to the MADAT Trust.
Having gone bald once, Dona is confident she will do again this as many times as possible. Going bald has been a life changing experience for her, bringing with it an infusion of self-confidence and self-love. Dona believes every woman should go bald at least once in her life to view the world differently!
Her family were initially reluctant to side with Dona’s decision to go bald. But now, they don’t miss an opportunity to talk about Dona’s selfless act of kindness. Her friends too have been supportive and extremely proud of her with compliments pouring in for her bald new look, alongwith the odd exhortation to maintain it lifelong.