The new Christine Long.
Well, she didn’t go all the way. They didn’t bring out the razors. And in fact, between her, her cameraman and her boss who were there, she’s still the one with the longest hair. But there’s no mistaking that Christine Long looks different today than she used to.
“Tomorrow mommy’s gonna look pretty scary,” Long told me on Halloween night, after taking her kids trick-or-treating. It was a joke, of course, there’s nothing scary here. And despite all the cracks directed at her, she didn’t feel nervous or worried at all. If anything, she was eager to get it done.
Long has been trying to shave her head for six years, she said. But being a TV reporter, her bosses had resisted allowing her to do so. She credited the fact that Virgin Radio and CTV are under common ownership with helping to push it toward happening. (Going over her boss’s head to new station manager Louis Douville might have also had an impact.)
Jed Kahane, CTV Montreal’s news director, had a slightly different history. Yes, they weren’t crazy about it in the past, but it was more the seriousness of the proposal this time that prompted them to finally agree.
Either way, CTV now has a reporter with a lot less hair.
“I was like, you know, I’d like to do more than write a cheque,” Long said of her decision to go along with it. As a CTV personality, she’s hosted plenty of events for cancer fundraisers and other charities, and she felt the need to give back in some tangible way.
And because she’s on TV, she wanted to show to women who are going through cancer treatment that there’s nothing wrong with having a bald head or a short head of hair.
Ultimately, she said, her goal is that women who have gone bald will feel less self-conscious about going out to the grocery store without a hat or a wig. She wants to normalize the look.
And so, she says she won’t be hiding her new hairstyle as it grows back, though she’ll be keeping her head warm and admits she loves hats.
The hair hasn’t been put to waste. It’s been donated to the CanDonate hair program, which creates free wigs for children under 16. Long said she hopes to follow the progress of her hair and talk to the child who receives it.
At least in the moments after it happened, Long was relieved more than anything else. She needed a haircut.
And she’s excited to see it grow back. “By Christmas, I’ll look like Justin Bieber.”
She’s promised her husband she’ll only do this once. Both of them seemed pretty sure she’d stick to that promise.
Virgin’s Shave to Save event wasn’t the only thing happening at Fairview. Just a few feet away, people are lining up at the Apple Store for an iPad Air.
One of many who braved the Shave to Save event and went bald or nearly bald for the cause.
Christine Long puts on a jacket as she prepares for the shears.
Flipping her hair over a jacket collar isn’t something Christine Long is going to have to worry about much longer.
Virgin’s Mike D is the last of a handful of the station’s personalities to shave.
Some of his colleagues jokingly suggest the shave should stop right here.
Christine Long gets interviewed by Freeway Frank and Natasha Gargiulo as her boss, CTV News Director Jed Kahane, hangs his head.
Christine Long is the star attraction, and dozens of people have come to see the spectacle, including a few news photographers.
Jed Kahane gets a free shave. No donation here. He spends the time cracking wise about how little he’s changing.
It’s a whole new Jed!
A last laugh before Christine goes under the knife. … Or scissors.
Leah Jewer’s video camera, capturing the event for Virgin Radio, is one of many recording.
Christine Long’s hair is made into ponytails for collection.
Christine Long wonders if the four ponytail look might work for her.
Four ponytails means a lot of hair for a wig.
Christine Long plays along a bit while holding a piece of her hair that was just cut off.
The three ponytails are now in her hand.
Laurie Brown of the Can Donate Hair program chats with Christine Long in the moments after the first cut.
Christine Long gives her eyebrows a workout. Fortunately, those aren’t getting cut today.
Beginning Stage 2, getting even shorter.
Christine Long gives her hair a first rub.
Practising The Look.
Christine Long clears some hair off of her lapel microphone.
Christine Long tries out looking cool.
The Virgin Radio crew pull up a giant cheque for $161,160.
Christine Long with Jason Rockman, one of many people here who’s still balder than her.
Friends and fans take photos of the group of head-shavers.
Virgin personalities and participants in the Shave to Save program.
A little cheer for the cameras.
One of many photos Christine Long took with fans
Many cancer survivors and others gave hugs and other forms of thanks for Christine Long’s efforts.
The Red Hat society presents Christine Long with a hat.
Virgin Radio staff who shaved their heads for the cause.
This is what the Virgin Radio guys look like when they’re trying to pose cool.
Christine Long gets a touching hug from her husband Serge.
Christine Long and hubby Serge. Now he’s the one with the luscious hair.
Christine Long is Tony Stark’s latest celebrity headlock.
Virgin Radio’s Shave to Save campaign raised $161,160 (or at least that’s what was on the cheque, last-minute donations will push it a bit higher). They’re still accepting donations.