“My head feels so cold. Can I pull it off?” Seher Cam asks while she gently touches her prickly head. Three friends of her smile and reassure her that she can pull off the bald look.
In two plastic bags on the floor lie the 30-centimeter-long pigtails made from Seher Cam’s hair. Ready to be sent off to the organization Verein Haarfee e.V. in Austria, who will send it to a wig manufacturer to produce wigs for children, who have lost their hair.
Only a few hours ago, CBS WIRE met Seher Cam, a student at the master’s program Business and Development at CBS, in the doorway where she lives in Hellerup. Her hair was at that point long, chestnut brown and with frizzy curls encapsulating her face, which was one big smile of excitement.
The day had come where she would shave off her about 40-centimeter-long hair. A seven-year-old dream was finally coming true.
A simple act of freedom
When Seher Cam was an 18-year-old teenager in the German city of Augsburg, she often thought about shaving off her hair. Back then it was mainly for the fun and provocation of it – nothing else.
Years past by and when she was 22 the idea popped back into her head – but this time it should have a purpose.
She wanted the project to be of greater value to more people, which was why she came up with the idea to both donate her hair to children in need of wigs, and make a campaign (see fact box) to create awareness of the lack of freedom many women suffer from in other countries.
“Cutting my hair is only a simple act of freedom. It’s really nothing, but I have the freedom to do so. Other women struggle with much bigger issues regarding their freedom. My hair is just a symbol of empowerment, and I want the same freedom I’ve got to be available for anyone,” explains Seher Cam before her curly hair is straightened and put into pigtails.
The sound of scissors
Before Seher Cam’s hair was chopped off, she did a photo shoot with and without her curly hair straightened.
“I will not regret shaving it off. Of course, I will have bad hair days, but that’s how it is,” she says and smiles.
Seher Cam has gathered a group of three girls, some of which are from CBS, to help her put on make-up, cut her hair and document the entire process in pictures.
Seher Cam sits on a chair, cramming a towel around her neck, and pulls a grimace, when the sound of the scissors cutting through her thick hair sends a shiver down everyone’s spine. Seher Cam bursts out laughing, when she holds one of the two pigtails in her hand.
While her friend Celina Borg shaves her head, she tilts it to the side and closes her eyes and a calmness fills the room, while the monotone buzzing of the trimmer continues endlessly.
The time has come, when Seher Cam faces the mirror, looking back at a bald version of herself. She laughs and smiles and looks at herself from different angels. Earlier she said, she was afraid she might start crying. Not in regret, but of excitement. But Seher Cam didn’t shed a tear.
“I was scared of my reaction, since I didn’t know what my head looked like without hair. But I actually like it,” she says.
Going back to school
Seher Cam has told some friends from CBS what she is up to and they understand it to some extent, although, they would never do it themselves.
“I’m a bit freaked out about going back to school tomorrow. What will people think? Yet, I try not to care about what people think – or so I tell myself,” says Seher Cam and keeps touching her freshly shaved head.
She hasn’t told anyone from work yet, and plans to wear a turban – which she often does.
Feeling cold, yet satisfied
A few weeks later Seher Cam comes by CBS WIRE’s office. Her hair has now grown a few millimeters and looks like a black swimming cap, which is tightly fitted around her head.
“I have been so amazed about how people have reacted to this. I’ve only heard positive comments, and people have actually been genuinely touched by the course, which makes me 100 percent sure it’s a good idea,” says Seher Cam.
She is not wearing a turban or hat today, but she explains that she had to the first week.
“I felt so cold the first week. I actually had to sleep with a hat on,” she says and laughs.
But then she mentions all the positive things about having short hair.
“It seriously only takes two minutes washing it and I only need two drops of shampoo. The same couldn’t be said when I had my long hair. It took such a long time getting ready in the morning,” she explains.
As far as Seher Cam knows, Verein Haarfee e.V. has used her hair to make their 70th wig, but she doesn’t know who received the wig, or what it looks like.
Seher Cam says she hasn’t missed her long hair one bit since she shaved it off, and that she probably wants to keep it short for a long period of time.