Sophia Ast on shaving her head for charity
“Hi, my name is Sophia Ast and I loved my hair, no really I did!
The reason for saying ‘loved’ in the past tense is because it’s all gone as of last week!”
‘Brave’ is probably the best way to describe Sophia Ast, a teen model based in Melbourne here at WINK Models. She took the plunge after years of deliberation and decided to shave her head for a worthy cause. Read all about why she did it below.
Why did you shave your head?
Basically because I wanted to!
Ever since I discovered Ruby Rose on OITNB I’ve always thought that people with short hair are so blessed, but unfortunately I could never pluck up the courage to do it myself so I just admired from the side lines. I think I subconsciously made a pact with myself to eventually cut my hair short ONLY when the time would be right BUT WAKE UP WORLD… the time is never going to right! So that is how I ended up on my bedroom floor at 3am, with a $19 shaver, having my best friend shave my head.
Anyway, it’s just hair; it would grow back, I told myself.
The only thing that petrified me, was regretting my own decision at any point of my hair growing back. In an attempt to make myself feel better about it, I tried contacting a few NGOs so that I could donate my hair to people who need it, my friend recommended me to donate it to an organisation called ‘wigs for kids’ which is basically an organisation that takes donated hair, turns it into wigs and gives it to children suffering with trichotillomania, alopecia or going through different types of treatments that result in hair loss. After doing the small amount of paper works, off my long blonde locks went!
What reactions did you receive when telling people this is what you are going to do?
Everyone pretty much had a “eh, whatever” kind of attitude besides my traditional side of the family. They continuously, emotionally blackmailed me saying that I will look like a boy, no boy will ever speak to me again let alone look at me. There were even a few tears shed from my grandmother. It was pretty heart breaking having the people that love me tell me that I would no longer be my beautiful self. It was like my hair was what defined me. I decided to not continue the conversation with people that did not bring me happiness on controversial topics and still continue with what I felt was right. I decided to let them figure it out on their own that that they could have not been more wrong! They all eventually came around and love the way the style looks on me.
How did you feel when you were going through with it?
Luckily I filmed every second of me going through with it which is on my YouTube channel sophiaast. But in summary I was in shock that it all just didn’t feel real. I had waited for this moment for so long it felt like I was dreaming.
Do you think it will be hard to adjust to your new look?
Honestly no, whilst yes as a model I do use my hair as a prop, there are several different ways to get the perfect shot!
People often say that after shaving your hair, it grows back different to how it used to be. Are you hoping for it to grown back the same or a completely different look?
I’m not really sure as to how to answer this question. On one side I adored my hair and the way it flattered me but then again the beauty did not come with ease. To maintain my previous look, it involved a lot of product, time and effort. Having shaved hair definitely eliminates those problems so maybe I’ll keep the buzz cut, but if I do decide to grow it – I think that inevitably, if it grows back different I’ll just have to learn to love it, struggles and all!
What advice would you give to other girls who are wanting to do this, but may be a little afraid?
Just go for it!
This may sound super cliché but as Selena Gomez once said “We only have one life, and it is very precious, and there’s a lot we can do, and there’s a lot we should do.” And I for one, believe that holding yourself back from the things you want to do is not the way to live your life.
So as I say,
live large or die trying.
And here is what the beautiful Sophia looks like now!
Sophia was inspired by her friend, Amy Bulman, who shaved her head for The World’s Greatest Shave. This is what she had to say about her decision;
“I had long thick hair for a very long time and figured I probably cared way to much about it and should shave it off for the heck of it. After telling people about my ‘crazy’ idea I couldn’t look back because I’m extremely stubborn. I signed up to The World’s Greatest Shave and a date was set! I tend to make what some people would consider ‘big decisions’ quite quickly. For example, when I went vegan around two years ago people were quite surprised because I was a huge meat eater in the past and completely flipped in one day. I haven’t regretted that decision at all in the last two years and as of yet I haven’t regretted shaving my head either.
The World’s Greatest Shave is an awesome organisation who support those with leukemia and their families. I raised around $2000 and donated my ponytail in the hopes someone could enjoy my luscious locks and feel confident in the midst of what must be an unimaginably tough time for them. The World’s Greatest Shave gets thousands of people participating each year and has raised a whopping $14,643,997 by encouraging people all over Australia to donate or participate.
Everyone’s extremely supportive and encouraging. Personally, I don’t see why it’s such a big deal to shave your head and I’ve been really surprised by just how much praise I’ve received for simply getting a haircut. My mum was very against the idea initially but she came around and soon enough we’ll be twinning as she has quite short hair.”
When asked what advice she’d give to those who are thinking about doing the same, she said;
“I’d remind them just how much easier life is with a shaved head. You wake up in the morning and you don’t have to do a thing with your hair as well as being able to towel dry it which is definitely the best thing ever. In all seriousness though, I’d encourage them to think about what’s really important to them and I’m sure they wouldn’t say something as superficial as their luscious locks which will surprisingly actually grow back!”
Check out Amy’s before and after shots below