It’s that time of year again, when you can say goodbye to bad hair days, goodbye to shampoos and conditioners, hair gels, hair colourants and hair sprays, blow-dryers, combs and brushes, and hairdressers and barbers.
And you can say hello and welcome to quick showers, broad-rimmed hats on sunny days and warm snuggly beanies on wintery days.
This year will be the 80th birthday of the Cancer Association of South Africa – and the 8th annual Shavathon. The event is taking place at about 200 shopping centres all around the country on Saturday, 5 March 2011, with numerous places of work actually hosting their own ‘shave or spray’ events today (3 March 2011) and Friday (4 March 2011). The aim of the event is to create public awareness of cancer, while also raising funds for CANSA – a shave, spray or bail-out each costs R50.
- Shave: If you are sufficiently brave, you can have all your hair shaved off, using a number 1 to number 4 cut. They no longer do clean-shaves (presumably for health and safety reasons, given the prevalence of AIDS and other blood-borne illnesses). If your hair is at least 22cm or longer, clean and dry, you can even donate it to be refashioned into a wig for a cancer patient.
- Spray: If you are particularly attached (!) to your hair, or are growing it for a special occasion, or have a grouchy boss who’s going to fire you if you cut it off, then you can donate the same amount of money (R50) to have it sprayed a multitude of colours. It’s a vegetable dye, so it’ll come out after a couple of washes.
- Bail-Out: If you don’t want to do either of those, or you panic at the last moment (which I can completely understand!), you can also pay the bail-out fee. Either way, CANSA wins.
In 2009, after emailing pretty much everyone I knew (erm, sorry ’bout that… ;-)), I eventually convinced hubby and two dear friends of ours that this would be a cool thing to do for a really good cause, and we duly allowed some strong young men wielding shavers, with a mischievous twinkle in their eyes, to remove our unruly mops of hair (have a read before and after).
This year, after somehow missing last year’s event, I’ve persuaded hubby (poor dear) and a dear friend from my school days to accompany me to one of the participating shopping centres. Regardless of what we end up doing, CANSA is getting our R50. Given that every single one of us will most likely, at some time in our lives, either know someone who is fighting cancer, or who has died of cancer, or have to fight cancer ourselves, I think this is a very good cause to support.
So, are you participating?