Weekend Diversion: Giving until it HURTS!

When I issued my Charity Challenge to you a few weeks ago, I had no right to expect the support that all of you have given me. So listen to Michael Chapman singing Memphis in Winter while I give you what you gave for:

We have reached:
  • 101 separate donations,
  • at least $3,260 in new donations pledged,
  • over 80 additional charity hours, and
  • many great additional donations, such as food, clothing, shoes, diapers, medicine, and many other philanthropic offers!

And so, as promised, you're getting what you paid for. Here's how I do it (and with all images, just click for the full size):

Step 1: it's important to wash your hair well if you're going to donate it to charity. Shampoo, conditioner, and letting it dry properly.

Step 2: put that thing in a ponytail! If you're going to send it off to locks of love, it needs to be dry and either braided or in a ponytail.

Step 3: shave it! There are no two ways about it, you've just gotta hold your breath and take it all off. Want some more pictures? Of course you do:

So that leaves me pretty bald. But, I didn't say "pretty bald" in my challenge, did I?

Step 4: might as well give you the complete shave that you were looking for; no sense in not going full tilt for this one! Goodbye, last remnant of hair! That leaves us with this:

Nice! So now that that's done, you've just got one more step to finish this off:

Step 5: place the hair for donation in a stamped envelope and mail it to Locks of Love at 234 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405! Is my hair suitable for donation? I'm not sure, but the worst thing that happens is they can't make a wig out of it, and so they sell it instead. Still, not such a bad thing to do!

And then, finally, there was the issue of going above and beyond, and responding to the challenge that I wax my chest for an extra $1,000 to the charity of my choice, which was KIVA. All I needed to do was to get my chest and stomach waxed, and to videotape it.

Well, as you can see from the pictures above, the waxing has already happened! I found a fabulous professional -- Lisa Huppe -- who runs portlandwaxing.com. That's all she does: waxing. She not only does all the standard waxing services, but has a full line of men's services as well. The whole thing took less than half-an-hour, and was much, much less painful than I had any right to expect. And if you ever need a wax and you're anywhere near Portland, I highly recommend her.

And for those of you who are into the schadenfreude, you're welcome to watch the video of the waxing itself:

Thank you for all of your charitable support, and congratulations to us all for meeting/exceeding our charitable goals! (Over $4,000 total, all combined! Amazing!)

More like this

As many of you know, I am raising money and volunteer time for charity by shaving my head. Yes, I'm nervous about it, and yes, I'm definitely going to do it once we get 100 donors. If you'd like to donate, some fantastic charities that I can recommend are: Heifer International: providing livestock…
Have you seen Ethan Siegel? He's the blogger behind Starts with a Bang. The guy has got a lot of hair! And he's offering to shave his head if 100 unique commenters each give at least $10 dollars or 4 hours of their time to the charity of their choice. What a great way to give people a little…
At the time of this writing, the Uncertain Principles blog challenge stands in first place on the ScienceBlogs Leaderboard, with just under $2,000 in donations so far. That's almost a third of the challenge goal of $6000 in just three days, which is fantastic. Thank you for your generosity. Of…
I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further. Ahh... good old Star Wars. So, I am altering the deal. Two weeks ago, I told you all that we were having a charity challenge, and that if I got 100 of you to donate either money ($10 minimum) or time (4 hours minimum), I would shave my…

Of course now you look like a mad genius.

Admit it - this was your plan all along, wasn't it, Herr Doktor Siegel?

The chest looks good, though. But why didn't you get the pits done while you were at it?

Congrats on the great result. What'll you do next time now that you're out of hair?

One final and very important step remaining: sunscreen!

(Well, OK, a ball cap works too.)

That skin hasn't seen UV for a loooooong time and, speaking from experience, you do not want a sunburn up there. A moisturizing lotion isn't a bad idea either. It's been almost forty years since I had to give up long hair and another 20 since I more or less gave up hair entirely, but some lessons stick longer than others.

Good on ya, Mate.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 07 Aug 2009 #permalink

You look handsome after you shaved off your hair!
Coz of your heroic behavior, I will donate 24 HK dollars(around 3 US dollars) on every Saturday in the future:D


By Duncan Ivry (not verified) on 08 Aug 2009 #permalink

Outstanding. Your a very brave man. I've seen tough guys, real parachute jumping snake eaters, one of who walked out of a war zone on a broken leg, who couldn't handle being waxed.

I recommend lotion to protect the raw skin and sunscreen until the extreme whiteness fades a bit.

Holy Cow!!! And Isis claims SHE'S hot???

I suspect that tastes vary somewhat. Still, even this over-the-hill homophobic creepy misogynist sleazebag can recognize quality beefcake when it's presented well.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 08 Aug 2009 #permalink

Now you get to have all that fun growing it back.


You are the greatest! Well done on achieving over $3,000 in charitable donations - outstanding.

Skepdude submission comment seconded! ;^)

I can't believe I watched that whole video. It was surprisingly entertaining.

On a side note, that salon is only about 2 miles from my house. I knew you'd moved to my city, but I guess I hadn't realized just how close you were :)

Good job on the charity work.

Congratulations Ethan!

I'm with DC Sessions - don't get a sunburn, they're really nasty and putting a cap on afterwards is just painful.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 08 Aug 2009 #permalink

OMG.... u r one crazy brave guy!

Ummm.. better you than me. I cannot imagine having my chest and belly hair ripped out. I'm rather attached to my facial hair too.

Tony P, I think you mean IT's attached to YOU... (*badum-ching*)

Cool idea, sounded like the donations are going to a good cause.

You look great! Now, keep shaving....keep shaving...keep shaving...it look much better than the curly pony. :D

What a good-looking man! I like the hairless look for you.

Nicely done! I disagree, though, I think people ALWAYS look more like mad scientists when there's lots of hair involved. Einstein-like, you know. Sci strives for this look at conferences in the hopes of people recognizing her genius.

Hi Ethan,

Having just been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, my own long ponytail will start going in about a week (First chemo was 2 days ago). I thought back to this post and am going to cut off my ponytail for Locks of Love, then shave my head in advance. I've never been bald, but a new look might be nice.


Best wishes for you in the challenge that lies ahead; I'm glad I could provide some small positive thing for you!

And I checked out your site (following the link on your name), and I think the bald look will be good on you!

What disappointed me, however, is that Dr. Bernardine Healy, former Director of the NIH, was a guest and that she didn't slap Maher down hard for his idiotic statements about vaccines and Pasteur.