Hair Today… A close shave fund-raiser
Jane’s decision to support her friends coping with breast cancer led her to a close shave!
By the day itself, I could hardly believe I had gone several times over my target!
About five years ago I lost a friend through cancer. Keris had lost her hair and had been saying that she was cold,” explains Jane Means, a gift wrapping expert whose creativity has wowed clients around the world and more than a few My Weekly readers, too. “I thought about doing a sponsored head shave back then but unfortunately I left it too late before she sadly died. I went on to dedicate my book Giftwrapped to her
“Then, last Christmas I was in Kew Gardens on a girlie get-together when my friend Becs told us that she had breast cancer. She said that she was absolutely dreading losing her hair.
“I’d had a couple of Glühweins by then and I just turned around to her and said, ‘Do you know what, Becs? I’ll go bald with you’.
“The next morning, I woke up and thought, ‘What on earth have I said?’ But I had to go through with it, I couldn’t back out now.
“I messaged Becs and told her that I hadn’t forgotten what I had said and that I just needed to liaise a little bit with my clients first, because I do a lot of filming.
“She was over the moon to know that she would not be on her own. I told her I was going for a proper skinhead, Kojak shiny head. I rationalised that my hair would grow back to a decent length within six months and if I ended up having to wear a wig for that time, then I was going to have a lot of fun along the way.”
“Then about a month later, another friend told me that she had breast cancer. When a third friend also got cancer I just thought, ‘That’s it, I need to do this now’.
“I decided I’d do it in ten days’ time and, although my main reason for doing it was to support my friends, I felt I might as well fundraise while I was at it. Becs suggested Stand Up To Cancer so I set up a fundraising account and gave myself a target of £1,000, calling it The Grand Head Shave.”
“Amazingly, I actually hit my target in 5 hours! It was incredible, the money just flew in, supported by generous celebrities such as Kirstie Allsopp, Eamonn Holmes and Victoria Derbyshire who were also mentioning it on social media and really helping my cause.
“On the day itself last March, I could hardly believe that the total had gone several times over my target.
“My old hairdresser from Lincolnshire had asked if she could be the one to shave my head – her mum had cancer and she said it would really mean a lot to her to do it. She really encouraged the local community on board, even putting a sign up outside inviting people in to cut off a section of my hair for £5.”
“What really gave me a lump in my throat that day was the outpouring of grief; people telling me their stories, sending me heartfelt messages to say that they’d recently found out they had cancer, or that they had cancer but hadn’t told anyone, or even that their mother had died the day before. There was an
absolute wave of emotion that I just hadn’t anticipated. Of course, cancer touches everyone, and we all know somebody with it or who has died from it.”
“After having my head shaved, I felt really invigorated. I love having my hair cut anyway, it is like ‘out with the old and in with the new’. I thought great, I have a blank canvas here now, and I can do what I like, I can experiment and I’m going to have loads of fun. I wanted to make being bald quite cool and to put a positive spin on it. Afterwards I did feel really cold though. I had to wear a hat all the time, including when I was in bed!”
“I raised over £10,000 with my head shave and I was really chuffed with that. It feels so rewarding to have supported such a good cause. Not everyone wants to go to the same extreme, but we can all do something to help. I didn’t actually do it for the publicity but it has certainly helped to raise awareness, including mine, about breast cancer issues.”
“Would I do it again? I would, actually! My hair has grown back so thick. If I get
Getting her hair sectioned off… …to cut off a section at £5 a pop!
Braving the shave
thinning hair when I’m older, I’m just going to get my head shaved!”Jane’s fundraising page for Stand Up To Cancer is at JUSTGIVING.COM/FUNDRAISING/ JANE-MEANS