Identity does not perform only through hair
Marion Marchetti, blogger and active member of ZeroWaste Switzerland, discovered it: her friend Gergana, whom she met in Dublin, told her that she had given her hair to create wigs for people suffering from cancer. One year later, she decided to look up for a similar option in Switzerland.
Coupe d’éclat is an ongoing Belgian initiative organised by Think Pink, a national campaign against cancer, and allows people to donate their hair. The idea is to send your wicks for the creation of wigs in order to support people who have cancer.
Beyond the wicks’ materiality, this dedramatizes hair loss caused by cancer treatments. Gender constructs condition most people to link feminity with beautiful, long hair, which can be harmful to the women who have to shave their heads for medical reasons. Coupe d’éclat asserts that more than half of the women who have cancer consider that losing their hair was the most painful moment of their illness. Along those lines, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie beautifully claims in a video that “hair is political”, another good reason to act with Coupe d’éclat: deciding to cut your hair and sending it to them deconstructs these conventional ideas and constructs a new definition of feminity.
Participation condition can be summarized in one point: your hair must be at least 25 cm long. May it be natural, grey or coloured, they will be happy to receive it, as long as they are clean and dry. Ask your hairdresser to cut a ponytail or a braid, and then send it yourself in a plastic bag.
Volunteers will then transfer your hair to a wigmaker, who needs six ponytails to create a wig. If you want to contribute but can’t donate your hair, it is also possible to support them financially. This kind of action also takes place in France (Solidhair), in the UK (Little Princess Trust) and in Canada (Pantene). The Swiss organization Chauve pour la bonne cause has just ended after five years of generous work. Let’s thank them for everything they have done! A similar association on Swiss soil would make many people happy.
This action is appealing in different ways and falls within the Zero Waste movement, which has been gaining momentum over the past few years. A golden opportunity to be generous without making an effort: why not kill two birds with one stone? Why not change your hairstyle and help someone out while you’re at it?
More information on hair donation on the League Against Cancer page.