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Shaan Suhas Kumar

Donating my hair wasn’t a one way process for me. The last time I had hair this short, I was in the 6th grade. I am 27 now and I had grown my hair relentlessly up till this point and even though I went through an international beauty pageant, I made sure to not make my hair go through chemical treatments or extreme styling because a few years ago I had decided that one day I will donate my hair to people who need it. My reasons stem from the importance of my hair in my own life. For years my hair meant a lot more to me than it just being hair. I have these hereditary lines on my back which one could confuse for prominent stretch marks and this crazy birth mark on my arm that my long hair served as cover ups for, for years. I’ve been complimented for my hair and asked HOW I have such thick, long hair a million times. In the industry I have been in the past few years (where hair extensions are almost a daily routine for some), beautiful long hair has been a formidable asset, that I have been incredibly grateful for. In a lot of ways, my long hair was a reason for my confidence, happiness and a way to hide my insecurities.  So to think of the opportunity to give what has been such a huge source of strength to me for years, seemed both scary and powerful to me. And to be honest, I have found the process liberating. Those three seconds when my hair was being cut, I had goosebumps, but within minutes I held my braid in my hands, hopeful that a part of my hair will help someone feel the way it made me feel for years! For me, it also meant that the time to hide the things that I was insecure of for years, was gone and it was time to embrace something new. I am immensely grateful to copewithcancer for providing me and many others with a trusted platform to do this and I genuinely hope that more and more people donate in the time to come. Best Wishes and Gratitude, Shaan Suhas Kumar, Miss Earth India 2017