Desperate or Genius? Learn How This Young Woman Stuck It to Cancer

“The first thing I thought about was — oh God, I’m going to lose my hair.” 

Soon into her treatment, Shell was confronted with one of her deepest fears: hair loss. It’s easy to think of hair as something that’s vain or shallow — culture commonly teases women (and men, at times) for being “too vain” and spending too much time, attention, and money on such a superficial trait.

For Shell, however, hair was more than functional — or even cosmetic: It was a large part of her identity, her presentation, her sense of self. Without her hair, Shell felt that she risked losing an integral part of herself.