So This Is Happening: I'm shaving off my hair

As many readers will know by now, next year I'm challenging myself to ride a horse across rural Mongolia in an attempt to raise lots of vital funds for Mind - the mental health charity. To say that I'm excited about the opportunity is a gross understatement, and I couldn't be prouder to be raising money for such a fantastic charity. I have promised to write a more detailed post about Mind, the work that they do and how you can access help if you feel you, or somebody that you know, might need it - and I'll do so very soon. 

Every year Mind help tens of thousands of people facing mental illness, and saves thousands of lives in doing so. If the money that I raise helps them to go on providing such a vital and life saving service to the millions of people struggling with mental illnesses of varying descriptions, then I couldn't be happier. 

To get my fundraising ball rolling, as it were, I've pledged to shave all of my hair off on my 27th birthday, in return for sponsorship from the generous types of the world, of course. My hair has seen many phases, at the moment it's cut in to a long, angular, collar-bone-skimming bob, dyed chestnut brown, and, when I can be arsed to style it, boasts a full fringe. In previous lives it's been bright pillarbox red, black, blue, ash blonde, golden blonde, white blonde, and auburn. It's had highlights, lowlights, colour flashes and even a Christina Aguilera-esque two tone job. I curl it, I straighten it, for a long time I "scrunched" it with a disproportionate volume of mousse. In my lifetime I estimate that I've used 5,723 bottled of Elnett, and even more Baptiste dry shampoo. What has never happened, to my head, since my birth, is for it to have been hairless. 

To say that the prospect freaks me out is mild. I have two fundamental fears:

  1. I am going to look truly truly awful with no hair
  2. I am going to look truly truly awful in every wig on the British market

The likelihood of either of these things being true is, logically, pretty slim; not because I'm so God damn sexy, but because hair really is just hair. My hair isn't what makes my friends laugh (I hope), or what lovingly tucks my son in to bed at night, or cooks an awesome lasagne. My hair doesn't make me kind, or considerate, or generous, or even particularly interesting. It's just hair. Also - hair grows back. 

Of course I'm still hugely dubious about whether this is the most ridiculous idea I've ever had and whether I'll spend the next few months in floods of tears; and then of course there's the next stage... having really really short hair, which could, potentially, be more appalling than having no hair. 

Still, I think this is the ideal way to start my year of fun-draising; by making an enormously visual statement in order to raise awareness of a cause often invisible to most people. Mental illness needs some time in the spotlight; it's needs to be discussed openly, looked at closely, and understood compassionately. If people ask me why I've shaved off my hair and I can open a conversation about the amazing work that Mind do to help people like me, who suffer often with mental illness, to help them avoid becoming people like my Father, who take their own lives out of fear, desperation and isolation - then that's great. 

Now for the boring bit - please take just two minutes to sponsor a little spare change via my sponsorship page on the Mind website. You can do that here. It really doesn't matter if it's only £1, in fact - £1 would be absolutely amazing! 

Please note, if you're one of the very FIRST FIVE people to sponsor me via my page on the Mind website, you'll receive a very special little surprise gift. I'm keeping shtum about it, but once you've sponsored (any amount) drop me an email to ashleighlawrencerye@gmail.com and if you're in the first five people to pledge some of your hard earned poundage - then I'll spoil you back in return.

Thank you in advance to anyone who's even taken the time to read this post, let alone donated. 

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