BROADFORD resident Melanie Hanson has raised more than $1000 for cancer research and will take the plunge to shave her head on Friday as part of the World’s Greatest Shave.
The 22-year-old hopes to remove the stigma around women’s beauty being dependent on the length of their hair.
“I’ve actually always been compelled to participate, but I’ve never really had the courage to fully go for it, because I just feel most feminine when I have long hair,” she said.
“But with this pandemic, it’s the perfect time to do it, I’m showing support and I’m fighting the stigma within myself by getting rid of my hair.
“In all honesty I’m kind of nervous, because I do rely on my hair a lot to feel girly and feminine, but at the same time I’m ready to push past it.”
Ms Hanson works at Sugar ‘n’ Spice Café in Broadford, where customers regularly ask about the challenge she has set herself by participating in the shave.
She said she had received overwhelming support from the community including many of her regular customers.
“Just by doing the simple thing of shaving my head, I’m raising so much money and it’s such an overwhelming feeling. Just knowing that I’m doing it for a good cause is pushing me … I’m starting to come to terms with it,” Ms Hanson said.
“It’s like I’m giving hope to [people who lose their hair], it’s like I’m standing with them in solidarity. I can give up my hair, they don’t have the choice.
“Everyone here is so supportive, all the older ladies that come in here – one of them told me she lost all her hair, and she got really emotional.
“She said what I was doing meant a lot to her, she’s one of my regulars on a Saturday, and she’s one of the nicest people ever. She told me I would look beautiful.”
Café owner Belinda Merton said Ms Hanson’s participation in the shave was demonstrative of her personality.
“It was something Mel wanted to do so we’re supporting her on it. It feels great that she’s participating in it, this is Mel’s personality, she’s happy-go-lucky, and fun,” she said.
“Every focaccia purchased on the day will contribute $2 to the cause, and people who contribute larger sum donations can cut part of her hair.”
The shave will take place at Sugar ‘n’ Spice Café at 10am Friday in the courtyard. More donations are welcome.