The Unveiling

Here is what I look like now (approximately one week of hair stubble!):

look of wonder

This following picture was taken just after my no. 2 cut:

Me and Helen

And here is me with my long curly frizz the day before:

Me and the Gals

For lots more photos, click on the ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ pics posts- Enjoy!

Bad look for a good cause

A while back I decided I would like to get my long hair cut a lot shorter. Then, I had a conversation with some friends at lunch while still at uni, and I decided I would just shave the whole lot off and try and raise some cash for charity.

I chose to do it for a charity called Habitat for Humanity. I heard quite a lot about this charity and their wonderful work in a short space of time, and at about the same time they launched their HopeBuilders appeal.

One in three people live in poverty housing according to recent UN stats. Having no home, or inadequate housing is damaging for so many reasons. It causes insecurity, promotes disease, and makes getting a job or education very difficult. Emotionally, people living in poverty housing are more vulnerable and are robbed of a future of hope and opportunity.

Habitat for Humanity works in over 100 countries, its goal to combat poverty housing and homelessness. Since it was founded the charity has built over 200,000 homes worldwide. Homeowners help build the houses they will eventually live in together with the community and Habitat volunteers which is a real boost to their self esteem. As homes are built, so is the community. And the process brings new hope and inspiration.

I am in awe of what Habitat for Humanity has achieved and is achieving. Their focus on building houses recognises that homes are more than simply a shelter. They provide stability, a hope-filled future and a place to call home.

My friend Sascha has suggested he try to perpetuate an urban legend of the girl who built a house with her hair. The silliness made me laugh at first. It made me think though, people’s generosity in sponsoring my rather radical haircut has meant that I have nearly got to £1235, the average cost of a Habitat build. What seemed like a wildly ambitious target now seems like its in view. If losing my hair means someone gains a house, how cool is that?

If you would like to contribute you can do it HERE

Other useful links: Read more about the HopeBuilder’s appeal, including stories of how homes have changed lives and become a HopeBuilder yourself Read more about the charity’s work worldwide

Personal Oscar speech

Total to date: £1,336.18

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the people who have donated time and money to my charity headshave. Your kind words and support mean a lot to me. In honour of you, there is a separate page on the menu above with a list of thankyous as long as my arm.

Some people have been asking me if they can still donate. Well, you sure can! The best way is online at:

If you’re a UK taxpayer you can reclaim gift aid which increases all gifts by a third. If you would like to donate some other way, then send an email to me at: See my last post for inspiration on how much to donate…

The Donation Manual

I don’t know about you but I sometimes find it hard to decide how much to donate. Here is a guideline to make life a little bit easier:

If you’re feeling generous you can sponsor me 1p per hair. Apparently this can range between 100-250 thousand hairs so I’m gonna assume that I’m at the top end of the scale. This is pocket change to all those city boys/gals who just got their Christmas bonuses!

This is the average price of a Habitat for Humanity build, so you can go ahead and fund a whole house if you like

For those who like round numbers

For mathematicians who despise integers

“I can’t believe she’s shaving her hair”

To bribe me NOT to shave my hair

“I’ll pay her to do it so I won’t have to”

“Maybe she’ll meet a man by doing this”

About the price of a haircut

“I barely have enough for rent!”

Anila who? Who the heck is she?

Click “Builder’s merchants” to see the individual price of raw building materials.

Other donations that would most certainly be appreciated:

  • hats
  • Indian head massage
  • haircut at gents prices
  • hair gel/mousse and styling tips
  • a husband (it can’t hurt to ask!)

Alternative fundraising

In the run up to my charity headshave I had quite a lot of friends and family suggest different ways of raising money for charity. Suggestions included:

  • A huge cake sale
  • Jumping out of a plane (many girlfriends saw this as preferable)
  • Parachuting from somewhere other than a plane
  • Other death defying stunts (the theme of risking my life continues)
  • Auctioning off less vital body parts
  • Doing a headshave in my place (from Ernie, an old man at my church with next to no hair)

I guess when I’m set on something (or in this case threatened it to enough people) I just have to go ahead and do it. I don’t know what this says about my personality, or whether it’s a good or bad thing? No comment!

Nicknames etc.

I have inevitably accrued a few nicknames in the past few weeks. ‘Baldy’ is quite popular, but rather unimaginative. Still every single person who uses it laughs as though they were he first one to come up with it, haha. Others include:

* Baldilocks
* Scalp (thanks to Rhea my dear sister for this)
* Microphone (also Rhea)
* Slaphead
* Tuppenny all-off (when haircuts like mine used to cost 2p?)

“What have you done with my sister?” Aaron my 14yr old brother
“We have this really old man who’s living in our house!” also Aaron
“I would look like a moon and Loretta would look like an egg” Natalie
“Can I stroke it?”
 *stroking my head* (without permission)
“Have you got lots of hats lined up?”
“You’re crazy!”

Girls with boycuts

Girls with boycuts
I keep getting “You look like Sinead O’Connor” (I really don’t) but I guess there aren’t that many girls with crew cuts. If you do, email me! Here are some more famous bald girls:

Natalie Portman:


Demi Moore:


Sigourney Weaver:


Noemie Lenoir:


Neve Campbell:


and… Sinead O’ Connor:


Gimme Dollar

Add to my fundraising total by sponsoring me safely and securely online

click on the link below:

Donate online

Any donations big or small are greatly appreciated! If you are a UK taxpayer, you can tick ‘gift aid’ and tax reclaim will increase pledges by a further 30%.

Hope you can give a little. I am well on my way to building a house with the money my headshave has raised so far. Many thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far, peace and happy Christmas, Anila x

Hairdevil! Pictures A-plenty

Lots of people have been asking me to put some pictures up, and I promised to do it before I got my curly mane back. Here are some photos that were taken the day before:

The night before

Jen and me prettifying ourselves. Oh, that would be the last time I’d have to spend hours diffusing my curly ‘fro!:

In the mirror

The number of days left ’til my hair execution…

2 days to go

The gals and me at La Tasca in honour of little Kavita’s twenty third year

illford-charity-headshave-2006-006.jpg illford-charity-headshave-2006-015.jpg

My quiff threatens to take over Suzy’s face


Our waiter Miguelito and I compare afro


Miguelito learns the fate soon to befall my hair…


Fundraising beforehand in the shopping centre

Some pictures of me and my collecting team before the event:

Jen                    Rhea               Helen                me & Helz        Kiran

pc152919.JPG pc152921.JPG pc152938.JPG pc152931.JPG pc152945.JPG

Who could resist Kiran? (my lil bro’ who is apparently 14yrs old!)


Collecting – action shots! Check out the Ilford rudeboys…

pc152923.JPG pc152929.JPG pc152930.JPG pc152941.JPG pc152943.JPG

Here’s a very nice man, and me beforehand getting nervous:

pc152944.JPG pc152947.JPG

Click the thumbnails for a larger version of the photographs below:

During pictures:

Me and my loyal helpers in the grand coin collection:


Morgan looks none too pleased about my hair loss:


I was making a scissors sign, honest!:


Esther and crew tie my hair into lots of fountains…a look last sported when I was about 7:

pc152953.JPG pc152955.JPG pc152954.JPG

They chop them off and hand them to me one by one:

pc152957.JPG pc152958.JPG pc152959.JPG

Some Christmas shoppers stopped by to see what was going on:

pc152970.JPG pc152961.JPG pc152960.JPG

Morgan and Efe had their heads in their hands for about 90% of the time:


And the clippers are out… The hair on my lap starts to resemble a furry rodent like creature

pc152963.JPG pc152967.JPG pc152968.JPG illford-charity-headshave-2006-027.jpg

Ester takes my hair down to a fuzzy no. 2…Do you think I would have got more money if I left the right-hand tuft of hair there?


Clowns to the left of me…jokers to the right:

illford-charity-headshave-2006-029.jpg illford-charity-headshave-2006-028.jpg

You’d be forgiven for thinking I was actually enjoying myself! Ester checks for final lumps and bumps, and adds the finishing touches to my new ‘hairstyle’:

pc152971.JPG pc152973.JPG pc152975.JPG

My right hand did something funny when I clocked my reflection:


After Pictures (The Fallout!)

Lil Miss Hairy Face:


I felt famous for about five minutes! There was a lovely lady who came up and said some kind words. The looks on their faces are priceless:

pc152977.JPG pc152978.JPG image2.jpg pc152979.JPG

At first I couldn’t stop touching my spiky hair. Please stop me making this into a habit! My old hair made a fetching toupee…

pc152980.JPG pc152981.JPG

Friends a.k.a helpers take a well-earned rest:

illford-charity-headshave-2006-032.jpg pc152990.JPG

My mum has trouble letting go of my hair…literally:


Chillin’ wit da homies!

pc152985.JPG pc152986.JPG pc152987.JPG pc152995.JPG

Like sister, like brother? YOU decide!

pc152988.JPG pc152989.JPG

Morgan still has that lost puppy look on his face:


One week on…Aisha and me at Frankie and Benny’s with me looking dreamily at her (unintentional) and later, laughing demonically:

me-aisha.jpg jokez.jpg

Morgan’s face has returned to normal:


Five minutes of fame

Kind of like IMDB, a list of movies I have starred in!

I did a short interview (about 5 minutes) with a lovely lady from BBC Local LONDON, and she ran a little feature on my charity headshave. It was a little after the event so you can see my new look. You can see it here (the link is on the right column):

BBC London interview

You will need RealPlayer plug-in to view it. You can download it here:

Download RealPlayer plugin

If you weren’t able to come down to see my headshave, do not fear, I had dear ole Suzy video the whole thing, and thanks to the power of YouTube you can see it here (or if you were there, relive the moment once again). It’s in five parts because it was taken on a digital camera that doesn’t let you film for longer than about a minute continuously!

Part 1
Listen for the end of the countdown. I was nervous in those last few seconds but then as they got going I got quite into it. You can hear a few people asking how I’m feeling and see me when they cut off and hand me my first ponytail. That was the point of no return, haha. There are quite a lot of flashes going off, mostly by my ‘little’ baby bro Ashlee who’s the one with the camera – all I needed was a red carpet, and I’d have felt like a movie star! Then Esther handed me a mirror so I could assess the damage thus far, although I can’t even really remember it

Part 2
It was kinda weird to look at my hair on my lap. Then they whipped out the clippers and got to work on the shaving. You can hear a few exclamations of “Oh my God” and I point to Morgan who was too scared to watch (only jokin’ hun!)

Part 3
Having my hair clipped was actually quite a nice sensation… Cue Suzy: “Uhh you don’t look that bad, no you don’t look that bad” It feel nice. I’m looking quite pleased with the extreme crop but the gal to my right isn’t so sure! Ashlee tried to coax a few more onlookers into donating a penny or two…

Part 4
I assess people’s reactions in this video. Before I had a good look at my reflection, these guys were my ‘mirror’

Part 5
Check out the assortment of cheesy grins as Esther styles my hair. I had a no1 on the edges, no2 on the sides and no3 on top, just in case you were thinking about going for the same look. Someone mentioned the advantage of a low/no maintenance hairstyle for getting ready in next to no time in the morning!