Chop & Change - Rachel August

For a number of years now I have been growing and then donating my hair. Each time I get it cut I get a little braver and my hair gets a little shorter. I have spoken to many women over the years about this process and time and time again they seem intrigued at the idea, think its wonderful but are hesitant themselves to have a go.

I want to do more then just donate my hair. I want to show other women that though it may seem scary to change your style and have a part of you taken away. That change can be a positive thing. I’v teamed up with individuals to photograph their before and after transformations to show just how wonderful it all can be. As well as getting some insight into them and their decisions to make the chop!

First person up Rachel August

Which charity are you donating to? 
Little Princess Trust.

Is this your first time taking the chop? First time! I’ve never even had short hair before.

What has inspired you to make these donations? It’s crossed my mind in the past, but this time I’m taking action. Some people very close to me have recently been diagnosed with cancer and I wanted to do something that felt at least a bit useful. I am busy maintaining a somewhat romanticised struggling artist persona so don’t have two pennies to rub together, but what I do have is an abundance of hair. I’m bizarrely nervous - I think I’ve developed separation anxiety with my hair - but on the other hand I am very ready for a new start.

Any any other info you would like to add, maybe a bit about yourself, what inspires you. I’m an actress making my way in London, and generally spend my time baby-sitting cats, pretending to be a Russian undercover agent in Leicester Square and mumbling Shakespeare under my breath at the bus stop, at work, on the tube… Luckily you can get away with anything in London. I like to think, perhaps naively, that small acts of kindness can have an effect on the world. In my own naive way I am hoping this will have some karmic impact on my loved ones.

How do you feel now that you have made the chop!? Happy! I love having short hair - shorter showers, not having to tie it back all the time, no getting it caught in my jacket zipper… First world problems for sure but I like my new feeling of freedom.

What advice would you give others who are thinking about doing this for the first time? Go for it. It’s quite fun really and feels good to send off your hair and feel you have officially done a Good Deed.

Where and who did your new look? The wonderful Avalon Hair & Beauty Salon in Crouch End. They very generously sponsored my hair cut as it was a charity chop, and were lovely to deal with throughout. They gave me such a cute pixie cut! All-round brilliant salon. Highly recommend it for anyone getting their hair done - even just for a trim. 

Speaking with Debbie owner of Avalon, she tells me that the salon “generally give donations to local schools e.g. raffle prizes” every year. Charlie was the stylist that created Rachel’s new look. You can book an appointment with them here.

You can follow Rachel on Twitter.

If you too would like to book a shoot to document your before and after. Please click here to email me.

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