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Solidarity, Wigs, and Pantene Beautiful Lengths: Part III


by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

And now the part I assume everyone’s been secretly waiting for: the reveal of Liz’s new look. Here’s the thing. When we came up with the idea for this program, the part I was most excited about was taking Liz’s photos. I wanted to show the world that you don’t have to have hair to be beautiful (and clearly, you don’t). But what I ended up getting from the experience was something totally different. As you read earlier today, getting her head shaved wasn’t easy for Liz. But for me, knowing that she was willing to do it anyway meant so much. Cancer sucks. On so many levels. And frankly, there isn’t always a lot that you can do to make it better for someone else when you’re not close enough for, say, bringing over dinner or helping watch the kids during a doctor’s visit. But this? Donating your hair? It’s something you can do, and it can make a big difference in helping someone else feel a little closer to normal. Even if it’s not easy.

Maddie

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Photos of Liz by APW sponsor Hart & Sol West (aka me), thanks to a generous partnership with Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

**This post was sponsored by Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Thank you Pantene for helping make the APW mission possible!**

Solidarity, Wigs, and Pantene Beautiful Lengths: Part III | A Practical Wedding

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

    That first color photo of Liz sans hair? Holy shit, your EYES.

    • Jeanine

      That’s all I could think with the “after” shots…her EYES! so beautiful.

      • Amanda L.

        Ditto… I don’t see a single imperfection. I see a beautiful woman who makes me wish I was half as brave.

  • Beca

    This picture!: http://media.apracticalwedding.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-2-550×826.jpg

    Sheer badass.

    Liz, you deserve drinks and hugs and high fives for ever.

    • http://bandbbuildalife.com Beth

      Badass. That was the first thing that came to mind in the peach fuzz post cut photos.

      Badass because, well you seriously look like a total Badass now! (In a good way!)

      And also Badass because I am in awe of your courage to do this. I hold so much of my identity behind my locks that I don’t think I could do it. Which makes me all the more inspired by your contribution.

      Way to go!

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com Rachel Wilkerson

      Seriously, I got tears in my eyes when I looked at that picture…badass is, indeed, the word for why.

  • Courtney K

    Gorgeous, badass, and totally inspiring!

  • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

    Uh yeah, wow. Losing your hair does make your face more visible which has the added benefit of making your eyes look ENORMOUS AND GORGEOUS.

    I think you make a rockin’ bald woman and the leather jacket over the red dress is baller.

  • Samantha

    Liz you are gorgeous and a rockstar and a badass. Thank you for being so courageous. Truly inspirational.

  • Kate

    Thank you <3

  • Elisa

    Amazing. Absolutely beautiful and brave. You look stunning! Virtual hugs all around :)

  • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

    This is making me want to shave my head even more!

    • http://shopcraftgasm.com Melissa of craftgasm

      I would totally back you up on this if you wanted to. :)

  • http://gennafreedatlast.blogspot.com Genna

    Liz, you’re beautiful. And strong. And so kind. I don’t think there’s much else to say than that.

  • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

    This one: http://media.apracticalwedding.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Shave-14.jpg is my FAVE. I mean, they’re all completely fabulous (yay Maddie!) but there’s just something about this look on Liz’s face in that one (yay, Liz!). You are so many kind of awesome, Liz, and now you can just add a couple more kinds to the list: both with and without hair.

    (P.S. I’m moving to Philly by the end of the year. Can we be friends? I might need some extra awesome.)

  • http://www.stalkingsarah.com Stalking Sarah

    She looks pretty amazing to me! Also bonus points for having a clearly awesome family and partner.

  • http://byjacki.com Jacki

    Damn … between Liz’s essay and these photos I’m a tearful mess!

  • Mer

    I know others have commented on it, but you have beautiful, captivating eyes! No hair or hair you look gorgeous.

  • Shari

    Liz – You. Are. Awesome. Brave. Lovely.
    And, may I just add – you have a beautiful head. (Not everyone is blessed like that.)

  • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

    Liz. You. Look. Awesome.
    Im going to show some exceedingly shallow true colors right now (or maybe just my interpretation of what Stacy and Clinton might say?).

    It’s really trendy and sexy. You rock it. If I didn’t know it were for such an incredible reason I would have pegged you for one of the fashion-forward types looking for a challenge. I do not want to take away from the magnitude of what you just did but here’s some more thoughts to add to the fray:
    Add an edge to just about any soft outfit (a la that amazing leather jacket and cat eye) and you’re instantly not-bald but overtly sexy and trendy.

    I will follow you (and probably your emerging glorious patterned/colored/fabulous fabric head scarves, and hats, and just awesomely naked head) anywhere. ‘nother awesome tip from a glasses-wearing nerd type: even if you don’t wear them they are the new accessory. If you’re having a weird or low moment over the decision (which are never, ever necessary because you’re my hero) face-accessories can step it up as a trendy movement as well.

    Also. Lip color win in both sets of photos Is that just gloss?!

  • http://writemeg.com Megan

    Liz, you look absolutely gorgeous — but more importantly, you did an outstandingly awesome thing. So great!

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

    First off, Liz, you are very, very beautiful. With or without hair, you are stunning. These photos are gorgeous.

    Also, that photo of you and your husband holding hands getting your heads shaved together, and the photo of the two of you holding your little boy? There are no words ofr how beautiful that is.

  • http://ahobbitatheart.blogspot.com/ rachel

    Liz, you are 1.) Bad-ass 2.) Jaw-dropping gorgeous 3.) So ridiculously brave.

    We are all so incredibly proud of and inspired by you. Thank you for making a difference.

  • Sara

    Amazing & beautiful. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • Hintzy

    Liz, you are amazing gorgeous and you definitely have a beautiful head! ha! You’ve got my total utter respect. Seriously you are one awesome lady!

    and I didn’t realize you were in Philly, now the comment of the guy on the subway makes more sense… people are blunt around here in the mid atlantic states, doesn’t make it less rude, but yeah.

  • http://www.hungrybruno.com Adrienne

    This is SO amazing, I mean, your EYES! They are GORGEOUS! Way to go, Liz :)

  • Andrea

    Liz, In your previous post about feeling as if having no hair brings attention to other imperfections on your face, I politely disagree – no hair emphasizes your beautiful facial structure and eyes! :) I encountered a lot of resistance when I decided to chop off all my hair (i.e long hair is more attractive, feminine) plus my own nerves. In the end, I found the whole experience to be very liberating of cliches and rewarding to know that 8 inches of my hair were going towards such a wonderful cause with Pantene. Thank you for sharing your story – you’re beautiful!

    • KB

      EXACTLY, it totally emphasizes your bone structure – example being the photo coming out of the subway, the tilt of your chin. You can look delicate/pixie-like in one moment and rocker/badass the next – that’s not just fancy camera work (sorry Maddie!!), it’s the subject!

  • robyn

    You look so stunning!!

  • http://www.theplannery.com Katie

    Holy shit. She is STUNNING.

    • http://heidiaphrodite.blogspot.com HeidiAphrodite

      That’s basically what went through my head. Stunning is the only word! Well, stunning and brave. :)

  • Corrie

    Whoa. Liz. You are one beautiful bald woman. And I’m not saying that in a beautiful-because-of-your-bravery way (though, YES, that too), but because you truly look edgy and gorgeous without hair. Rock on girl, and thanks for being such an inspiration!

  • Leslie

    So courageous and so beautiful. You are totally rocking it. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  • Class of 1980

    STILL PRETTY!!!

    Do we get updates on the growing out phase too? I want to see every stage.

    • KB

      Me too!! The great thing about short hair is that you “grow” with your hair, it’s length marks the stages of your immediate future, and it’ll be nice to trace your memories that ways, in photos and how you look at yourself.

  • http://www.jemeventsdc.com JEM

    Liz. Holy Wow. Goregous.

    And Maddie? You’ve captured some stunning moments of vulnerability but sheer strength that quite literally grab my heart.

  • Vanessa

    Simply stunning.

  • Leah

    Amazing photos. Gorgeous lady. Awesome all around to infinity!!!!

  • Granola

    I know it’s not the point of it all, but DAMN lady do you look pretty.

  • http://about.me/steffanyf SteffanyF

    Tearing up here.
    Also, you look amazing. Truly.

  • Erica

    Holy cow, mamma, you look gorgeous! And, I confess, I was probably going to write that no matter what you looked like b/c the bravery and compassion you’ve demonstrated deserve to be celebrated and I KNEW they’d shine through, even if it turned out that you kinda, sorta, secretly did look better with hair. But, wow. The bravery and compassion DO shine through, you gorgeous badass, you – but you’d still look plain, old-fashioned smoking hot even without the inner beauty.

  • SHANON

    Liz, darling, sweet, brave, wonderful, Liz:

    You are outstandingly beautiful in every incarnation.

    Exquisite cheekbones and those eyes. Not to mention with the leather and the skirt you look like an avenging angel.

    It’s ok if you don’t believe us yet. We see it, and you.

    Thank you for your courage.

  • http://maggiewinters.com Maggie

    What an amazing cause, and seriously: you look awesome bald, Liz! Awesome!

  • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

    Wow.

    I want to say that I have been having the worst day. Seriously, today is fired. I am sitting in the break room at work, trying not to cry on my lunchbreak because it would be embarrassing if anyone walked in on me while I was sobbing.

    And then I got to this post. And I stopped crying. I still feel a little misty-eyed, but in the other direction. So much awesome, so much kicking of ass, so much bravery, so much beauty.

    Collectively, you have made my day better. Thank you.

    • meg

      <3

  • Catherine

    HOLY MOLY!!!!! Arguably…. Liz is even MORE BEAUTIFUL nowwww!!!!!!!!! You have inspired me!!!!!

  • Aly

    Liz, you are gorgeous. And I really would not comment if I didn’t think so. Your eyes, girl, your EYES!!

    Cancer is terrifying and scary and emotional and personal. My mom’s wig made things so much more normal for my her when she went through chemo, and I cannot thank the people like you who have donated their hair enough. (I donated when I was 16, but I only shortened my hair!)

  • Sara C.

    My goodness you have beautiful eyes! I know I’m just repeating what has already been said, but you look stunning – both before and after. Well done!

  • fermi

    Those eyes!

  • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com Rachel Wilkerson

    Can someone re-post the link to donate to Liz’s fund? Cause…yeah.

  • Nora

    BEAUTIFUL…. Liz, you look amazing! You look like you can take on the world. Your little one is lucky to have such an amazing role model of a strong, generous, independent woman.

    As a former shaved-head gal, I really enjoyed the freedom (from both high-maintenance hair care and social expectations of what a woman “should” look like). And the regrowing process was so much fun! You get to experiment with your look at all different lengths as you go. I hope that you find a similarly joyous journey, whether you decide to regrow it or keep it short. At any length of hair, your inner awesomeness has no problem shining through!

  • Amy

    So so so so so incredibly gorgeous. And brave. And wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Kathy

    You are a beautiful woman with hair but you are STUNNING without it.

  • Meagan

    Never posted on APW before despite reading ever day. All I have to say is:

    ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. I’m speechless. Amazing.

  • http://akc09.livejournal.com Annie in LA

    I know it’s been said so many times, but seriously. Stunning.

    Amazing photos, and an even more amazing cause. I am in awe!

  • http://maineliveaboards.com Sophi

    Totally badass!! And this is the reason I’ve sort of always wanted to shave my head, but I’ve always chickened out. Maybe I won’t next time. It looks awesome!

    Also, a girl I went to college with just posted this http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/why-i-still-believe-in-marriage/ on facebook. It’s worth reading if you want to think more about weddings and cancer and cry a little extra today :-)

  • Dithie

    I have never left a comment on here before (despite reading for over a year and a half) and this post made me HAVE TO LEAVE THIS COMMENT telling you how awesome and bad-ass and gorgeous you look without hair. It is making me want to shave my own head for purely selfish reasons. You look that good.

  • http://www.aviedesigns.com Avis

    I was in a panic as I scrolled down to see you without hair. After reading your last post, I was so scared of how you would look. And let me just say, you are gorgeous with and without hair. It must be your glowing, kind spirit shining through. My family has just recently been touched by cancer and this post brightened my day.

  • LifeSheWrote

    Oh my goodness, Liz. You are so brave. And beautiful. I’m blown away by this whole story and I LOVED seeing the gorgeous pictures of gorgeous you!!

  • Ellie

    You are absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. What an amazing role model for your son, your community, and all of us. Also – you rock this look. Totally stunning.

  • http://thebookguardian.blogspot.com AmandaStretch

    Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I donate whenever I can, probably again in a few months. I love this!

  • http://www.breakingdownthebank.blogspot.com EmilyF

    Liz, you look beyond lovely. I can imagine it’s frustrating, but you have inspired so many people. I hope you look back on these pictures and see how beautiful you are for the rest of your life.

  • http://www.callieleuck.com Callie Leuck

    So I’m a newish reader and haven’t commented, usually skulking behind my RSS feed reader. But I had to click through to say to Liz what apparently everybody else is saying, too: OMG YOUR *EYES*

    Liz, you looked beautiful with hair, and you look beautiful without hair. I do “get” however the feeling that you described in your earlier post about hating it and feeling naked. The fashion tips a few people offered above strike me as accurate. If I saw you on the sidewalk in that leather jacket, I would think you were a fierce, fashion-forward cool person.

    Also your eyes are simply To Die For.

  • Amanda

    Liz you are so brave and beautiful. You were stunning with gorgeous hair, and you are beautiful bald. You have the most gorgeous eyes. You are such an inspiration.

  • http://www.mylifeasherbst.wordpress.com AutumnE

    So powerful. And those eyes!

  • kira.bennett@gmail.com

    Looking awesome, Liz! I’m totally impressed. Way to support a cause, inspire us all, and be a totally kickass role model for your son!

  • Lara

    Oh my goodness, those EYES!!!

  • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

    With and without hair, your eyes are stunning and probably the first thing I see. You’re so brave to do this!

  • Liz

    HOLY, those eyes. Liz looks gorgeous!

    So impressed by her.

  • April

    Super brave and super awesome! Well done, Liz!

  • Rebekah

    I read this post and all the comments that were up last night and honestly haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

    Liz, you are EXCEPTIONAL.

    Thank you for everything you do. Additionally, you are stunning.

  • http://www.christytylerphotography.com Christy Tyler

    Oh my wow. You are a beautiful, strong woman! I see these pictures and wish I was half as brave. Also – you have the most beautiful eyes!! (I. want.) Secondly, these brought me to tears thinking of my dear friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 years old and shaved her head prior to chemo this past year so she could own it instead of lose it… xoxo.

  • http://brusselsproutblog.blogspot.com Cassandra

    Speaking from a purely aesthetic, shallow point of view… Liz, you totally rock being bald. No joke.

    The backstory makes it mean so, so much more, though… I have a precious friend who is fighting metastasized breast cancer-turned-brain-cancer, and she rocks being bald, too. Keep an eye out for The Chemo Princess :)

    Anyway, thank you for this.

  • http://lyssabeths.com/colorado.html Maureen @ Lyssabeth’s Wedding Officiants

    Took me a couple of days to see this–just catching up on my APW reading. YOU LOOK GORGEOUS!!!!

  • Katie

    You have a LOVELY shaped head. ;)

    This is so wonderful and so inspiring. A friend’s husband has shaved his head for the past 4 years for children’s cancer research, and I’ve considered signing up next year. Like you said in the last post, however, it’s a scary prospect. I’ve donated hair to Locks of Love before, but never even come close to chopping it all off. But as someone who has lost a LOT of loved ones to cancer, I feel like it would be a wonderful way to honor them. Your posts about your experience have definitely given me more courage.

  • http://arealliveladyperson.blogspot.com Krissy

    You look so gorgeous! You absolutely pull of the bald look – you look absolutely incredible. Makes me so happy and gives me so much encouragement! Seriously. So. Beautiful.