There is something very mysterious about the Shave for the Brave and we have decided to get to the bottom of it! The Shave is the biggest fundraiser for Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) and YACC exists to support young adult cancer survivors in Canada who are living with, through, and beyond cancer but we can’t figure out why all of these Shavers are so ecstatic about losing their hair!
From the young to the not-so-young, across all genders and ethnicities, in schools, retirement homes, offices, hockey stadiums and everywhere in between, the same startling and confusing phenomenon keeps occurring; Shavers are beyond excited to go completely bald. Regardless of the frigid Canadian winters, these Shavers are thrilled to expose the top of their heads to the elements. They laugh in the face of societal beauty standards and embrace the mantra, “bald is beautiful,” with a confidence and joy that appears completely non-sensical. We feel it is our duty to get to the bottom of this, so we started doing a bit of research. The results are shocking, to say the least.
It turns out that people are wired to give and help others! Altruism is a fundamental part of what it means to be a healthy and happy human being. Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman, neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health, conducted a scientific experiment in which they used fMRI machines to measure how giving and selflessness affects the human brain, and the results were amazing! When a person takes part in the Shave for the Brave, they are giving to an initiative that helps others and this action causes a flood of activity in the brain’s reward centres. There is more and more research to suggest that humans are evolving into more empathetic and compassionate mammals, who view collaboration and working together to be imperative to surviving and thriving. You can read more about all of this compelling research by clicking here.
So there you have it, folks! The joy that is felt and experienced at the Shave for the Brave flows from the inside out. The rush, excitement and thrill of helping others is what makes the Shave so incredibly powerful and that power changes the lives of young adult cancer survivors, all across the country.