This Head-Shaving Video Is Super Emotional

The new year is a time of renewal and change — this often manifests itself with a whole bunch of people chopping off their hair. Rebecca Brown is one of those people, but for her, it’s about much more than trying out a new look. Brown suffers from trichotillomania (as does 2 to 4% of the population) and runs a YouTube channel called TrichJournal where she documents her experiences. To ring in 2016, she posted an emotional video in which she's shaving her head.

According to the Mayo Clinic, trichotillomania is “a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.” According to Brown, it is extremely complicated and difficult to explain to those who don't suffer from it. She breaks it down in one of her videos. “It’s basically an impulse-control disorder, whereby the person who has it repeatedly tears out their hair resulting in bald patches,” she says. “Obviously, it has physical repercussions, but it also has emotional impacts as well."

Brown explains that she has decided to shave her head because she has bald patches on her scalp that are not growing back. Though this is not the first time she’s done it — in the past, she has stated that shaving her head has meant “a new beginning, a fresh start, back to square one in a positive way” — she is still visibly frightened in the video. “I’m shaving all my hair off, and I’m terrified," she says. "I’m not scared of shaving it off or being bald; that doesn’t scare me. It’s what it symbolizes that hurts."

As she looks into the camera taking deep breaths, her hands trembling, she says: "It’s either shave my hair or lose my hair. I’m fed up being triggered and tortured by the hair on my head, and I don't feel I have any other option; it’s so complicated." She is full of emotion as she takes the razor to her hair for the first swipe, her eyes welling up, but as she gets farther into the process her anxiety seems to lessen. In the end, she smiles, rubs her head, and even says, "It feels really nice." Watch her brave and emotional act above.

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