Justin Tepper supporting the Hope For Tomorrow Charity. Date: 31st January 2016. Justin had his hair cut off a year before - his intention was to have people sponsor him to not have it cut for a year. Friends through my wife, I'd been invited to photograph Justin on the day of the "great cut". I was delighted to take the offer up.

hope for tomorrow | charity hair cut | head shaved

Justin Tepper | More than a haircut for the Hope for Tomorrow charity

Interview by Alex Saville

The following interview took place on 31st January, 2016. Friends and family, gathered for the cutting and shaving of Justin’s hair, which he had been growing for a year for the Hope For Tomorrow charity, untouched by any blade. A bit like Samson. But without the whole thing with the pillars.

“So, I am cutting my hair and shaving my beard for the first time in a year, in order to raise money for charity. The charity is called Hope for Tomorrow, a nationwide cancer charity that organises mobile chemotherapy units in order to bring the treatment closer to the patient. I’d heard about the charity through the Freemasons in Hertfordshire. It struck me as kind of strange that in the 21st century we would need a charity to do this because it is not something that the government are able to do. So I decided that I was going to do something. And as most people shave their hair off for charity and that is it, I decided to shave my head, grow it back – and then shave it all off again!

Soup-er

“Mostly it felt okay. There have been some times when I got a bit fed up with it. I realised particularly in the last few months, how much of a challenge it is – in the disgusting way of getting so much stuff caught in my beard. Soup became nigh on impossible. I’d have a bowl of soup next to me and a stack of napkins like 1/2 a metre high because every 30 seconds I’d be going through one to wipe half a gallon of soup offer my face. It is funny you don’t realise how much soup drips off the spoon until you have a beard and moustache of this size. So that became quite impossible. Also drinking just you put a drink to your top lip you drink and you don’t realise how much of it sits on your top lip. But with a moustache this long as well it became apparent that after a set of drink I had enough in my moustache to have another set. So there were times when it became tough.

Never give up, never surrender!

“I wasn’t tempted to give up, though there were times when I thought this is a ridiculous idea. But then I just thought about it what I was doing for the charity and just carried on. Most people have been really supportive. A few have been supportive in an annoying way – I have one friend who keeps telling me to get my hair cut. But every time he makes a silly comment or anything like that, he added to the total he’s going to give. One or two people have been a bit rude about it, but mostly people, when you’re doing something for charity, they jump in and support you.

Cutting it fine

“How does it feel now it’s going to come off? Very, very relieving. It is going to be a bit cold. I am going on Cub Camp next weekend, which probably isn’t going to help. But it is a relief that it’s all coming off.

Final words before the final cut

“Thank you to everyone who supported me. Thank you from me and thank you from hope.”

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