Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: A Sponsored Shearing

The initial steps of removal
The initial steps of removal

A few weeks ago I decided to get a haircut but for once do something with all that dead protein. I had an abundance of it: thick, luxurious locks, tumbling down from my weird head in earthy ringlets; the hair of a Princess, in fact.

I can’t remember if I read about The Little Princess Trust first or if I had the idea of making a wig for myself out of my own hair and found out about them by accident; but put simply, chemotherapy can cause hair loss and this charity helps many young cancer sufferers by fitting them with wigs.

I can remember the teasing little swine that kids can be over even the slightest of differences so can only imagine what a child dealing not only with the possibility of their death but also the little idiots in the playground, no, fuck that. And after thinking about how many people have wanted me to keep my hair short in the past I decided to hold them to ransom and raise some sponsorship money. Of course anyone else was more than welcome to help regardless of their ambivalence towards an overweight depressive with a greasy ponytail writhing down his back.

My naive aim was to raise £507 – a quid for each of my facebook friends, I thought. I created a page to collect sponsorship money and invited hassled them all to lend a hand. I didn’t think about how we’re all assaulted twenty times a day for donations and signatures and sponsors and any spare change, bud. Who’s to say which cause is right? A quid for a drunk who might stab you or the guide-dogs? Telling the Big Issue guy you’ve already got a copy but feeling guilty and giving him a quid to split the difference. It’s a fucking minefield, I’ll admit.

I didn’t want to get too preachy, I mean my Dad died of cancer but then we were never that close so waving that about felt cheap. I started to question my motives, to be honest. I gave blood for the first time last year and wrote about it, now here I am writing about this and I’ve got something in the works that will no doubt creep you all out but I believe my motives are altruistic. I’m not doing any of this for money; nobody slept with me because of the hilarious, insiteful and well written piece on blood donation, and I don’t think I encouraged anyone to donate because of it.

But if anyone is thinking of sleeping with me then I would certainly sponsor their guide-dog post-coitus – purely to balance the universe’s charity levels, of course.

They say we’re judged by our actions, not our motivations, but is this donating money to a cause but making sure you get your name in the paper? I’m pretty confused about it all, I’ll be honest. I guess I’m overthinking shit, again. But then this is fun; it’s helping people I’ll never meet and it’s an experience.

I’m not doing this for Jesus or Karma either, but later when they asked me in the hairdressers why I was doing it I mumbled something about, ‘Just doing something nice…’ and that feels like such a cop-out. It sounds so odd, so contrived, and even though they were all awesome for a second I felt like when you hold the door open for someone and they look at you funny. It’s sick, I’ve a sickness, I’m sure of it; there’s that little voice in my head whispering: ‘You fucking liar, you fake, you charity tourist – you don’t give a shit about these kids, you just crave the divine pleasures of another beautiful hairdresser.’

Jesus, what a world we live in.

Prior to all this I’d gotten myself on a downer and couldn’t pluck up the courage to arrange an appointment for the chop so instead jumped off the bus on the way to the supermarket and walked into the first salon I came across. I tried to explain myself at the girl who just eyed me strangely and said streams of words back but I couldn’t get the fundraising page up on my phone because my fingers had stopped working properly. She and her colleague simply told me to contact their manager, because this was all some kind of a big deal; I offered to pay but the sums were large, the salon was empty.

A bit further down the road I came across thebeautyworks – a bona fide beauty salon that deserves a plug – I repeated my shaking mandate and was introduced to the lovely Karyn who firmly set me at ease, sat me down, and got out her scissors. It was a relief to get started, although it was hard hearing all she was saying with the client getting her hair blow-dried next to me. It was buzzing in there, and I guess that’s what a good attitude brings to a business, and the reason the other place was dead.

So, hair in pigtails; tied at both ends; cut off; wrapped tight and posted to Hove. The fundraising amount stands at a little over £100 at the moment. A lot of people have been really kind with their donations; not so much with their comments on my new haircut. I’ve had: ‘You look a bit more British now….shame….’; ‘I think it’s time you went and got that gym membership you’ve never thought about getting, and smile, you look kind of scary dude’; and ‘It takes ten years off you.’

In the end, the real heroes are this great nations hairdressers.

Well, if you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you could throw £1 into the pot, here’s that link again.

Any donation, no matter how large, is much appreciated. I know you have a choice between people bothering you for your small change so thank you for considering my small effort for The Little Princess Trust.

Thanks for reading, and for your help.


A total of £118.40 was raised (£101.52 with an extra £16.88 in Gift Aid)!

Hair certificate

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