For Victorian detective Jaime Gillard, shaving her head was something she had always wanted to do but had never quite gotten around to.
However, it was participating in the World’s Greatest Shave and knowing that she was helping an amazing cause that finally gave her the push she needed.
“By midway through 2017 I had definitely decided to do it,” the 29-year-old tells Mamamia. “Like a lot of people, I’ve had family members who have been diagnosed with cancer, with some losing their battle with cancer, and I just wanted to do something to show my support.”
And just like that, she signed up to the World’s Greatest Shave for the Leukaemia Foundation, shared her profile on Facebook, and the support very quickly rolled in from family and friends.
Her fundraising target was $560 – and much to her surprise, she exceeded it by $5181.
On the road to that success, she overcame some initial nerves about turning her collar-bone-length locks to a buzzcut – not to mention having the moment filmed on camera.
“It was a little overwhelming, and I was definitely a bit emotional about it,” she says. “I think females use their hair to hide a little bit. It’s reassuring, and you feel a bit exposed without it, but it’s been kind of empowering.
“It was also nice having my friends and family with around me on the day. It was so special and I was really happy to have them there.”
Obviously from going to a lob to no hair at all is eye-catching to say the least, and she’s used this as a conversation starter, igniting discussions about cancer.
“You have no idea how many people it affects until you do something like this,” Jaime says. “It was really nice to chat to people about what they or their family had gone through or are currently going through, or even reminding someone to get a check-up at the doctors for early detection.
“After donating to my fund, a colleague told me about her brother who was currently going through chemo and how difficult that was for the family. And people would offer up their stories. In that way it’s particularly good for the workplace.”