If you follow Tenaciously Teal on Facebook you’ve watched the launch of our Brave Shave parties! A Brave Shave is a private party where a hairstylist, salon space, and hor d’ oeuvers are provided to women facing hair loss to cancer treatment. The party is a way for women to tackle this difficult aspect of treatment with courage, and in the company of their family and friends.
The idea of T. Teal throwing Brave Shave parties has been a dream of mine for some time. My desire to include them in T. Teal’s services stems from my personal hair loss experience, but to fully understand the inspiration behind the Brave Shave I must take you back a little. My mom battled Stage 3c Breast Cancer almost 10 years ago. A decade ago it was much harder for women battling cancer to grapple with the issue of hair loss, because women didn’t go without a scarf or a wig in public, and there certainly weren’t charities offering women the opportunity to shave their head.
After my first round of chemo, and the impending doom of each hair follicle was inevitable, I made the decision to shave my head! I couldn’t watch my hair fall out on my pillow each morning or clog the shower drain, but without shaving my head this was unavoidable. Following my initial round of chemo, I was talking to my youngest sister about my plans, and I could tell it struck a chord with her. See, my little sister Marla was just in junior high when our mother began chemotherapy in Oregon, and my sister Andrea and I were attending college in Oklahoma. I’d never heard the story before, but my sister recalled the night she realized my mother was sacrificing her hair in order to save her life. She heard crying coming from the bathroom, and when she opened the door that night she realized the reason for all the tears. Our mom was kneeling, grasping her head, and overwhelmed at the amount of fallen hair lying at the bottom of the cold tub.
This story impacted me greatly, my heart ached for my young sister, there without her two older sisters to lean on, and for my mom; alarmed, scared, alone. The story affirmed my decision to shave my head, so in the company of a small group of friends, with some good food and good music, my hairstylist came to my home on a warm Sunday afternoon in January and we just shaved it (hopefully there’s a bird nest with Tarah hairs some where, haha) Anyway, we laughed, we definitely cried, but we were not alone!
This is the inspiration behind the Brave Shave parties, and I would like to dedicate them to my beautiful, tenacious, smart, caring, strong and courageous mom!!! I love you!
Cancer Can Take our Hair but it CAN’T Take our Courage!!