Braving the shave

Neha Nagi donated the plaits of hair to the cause as well. (Supplied)

Michaela Meade

For four years, Neha Nagi have thought about shaving her head to raise money for blood cancer research.

Late last month, she took the plunge and decided to finally brave the shave as part of the World’s Greatest Shave.

The World’s Greatest Shave raises money for families affected by blood cancer, as well as research into better diagnoses and treatment.

Participants can choose to shave, cut or colour their hair.

According to WGS, an average of 20,000 people “brave the shave” each year.

Ms Nagi made the decision to shave her head after four years consideration and consultation with her husband.

“I come from India, where culturally women never shave their hair,” Ms Nagi said.

“A haircut is okay but a lady shaving off her hair would be considered culturally inappropriate.

“This year I felt stronger than ever to shave my hair.

“I [asked my husband] again… after a little persuasion, he agreed, and then I got myself registered.

“Shaving my hair is an act of solidarity and a powerful message of hope.”

Ms Nagi said fundraising for the cause arose from personal experiences.

“I have lost family, extended family, parents of my best friend,” she said.

“I have also come across acquaintances and community members, who are or have someone in their family going through cancer.

“It breaks my heart to see little kids and adults alike who are going through it.

“It is a fight not just for the person going through this disease but for the whole family.

“The juggling of life, work, treatment sessions, and after-effects of treatment.”

Ms Nagi also donated her hair to the cause, and said there were many reasons for this.

“[My hair can] be made into beautiful wigs for those suffering from cancer.

“The hair clippings can also help soak up oil spills – hair can absorb up to four litres of oil in a spill on land or at sea.”

Ms Nagi’s supportive network of family, friends and colleagues helped her raise $1,300, with the community still able to donate to her page online.