While you may think hair is simply hair—something everyone has, that incessantly grows no matter what—those who have lost their hair for any one of a variety of reasons may feel otherwise.
Chelsea Sylvaria shared two videos on her Facebook page that was the result of a conversation she had with her daughter Riley. While the conversation between mother and daughter was heartbreaking, the resulting conversation between Riley and her father was extremely heartwarming.
Riley has alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
Sylvaria wrote on her Facebook that one day she was joking around with her daughter, telling her the names of everyone that she loved. Riley asked her mother if she loved herself, which Sylvaria replied, “Of course I do, you always have to love yourself! Do you love yourself???”
Riley responded that she didn’t love herself.
“What do you mean you don’t love yourself?” Sylvaria asked her daughter.
The little girl said she didn’t love herself because she didn’t have hair.
Riley’s answer to Sylvaria’s question was her “worst fear.”
“I don’t love myself because I don’t have hair!” Riley told her mother.
Later that night Riley’s father, Dave, spoke to her about what she said.
Dave explained to his little girl that while he would love for her to have the hair she wished for, it didn’t make a difference in the amount of love both he and her mother had for her.
He then proposed an idea, which brought a big smile to Riley’s face. Would she like it if he shaved his head?
Riley helped her father shave his head.
The father and daughter proceeded to the bathroom where Dave shaved his head. At one point he handed over the electric shaver and let his little girl shave his head.
Not only did the touching moment she shared with her father help Riley realize that you don’t need a head full of hair to love yourself, but it also inspired others who have alopecia to share photos of themselves in the comments.
One woman shared how her child reacted after someone made fun of him for being bald.
“He got in the car, put darts all over his head and said, ‘that kid can make fun of me, but he can’t do this!!!!!’ YOU are beautiful!!! Don’t let anyone else bring you down!!!!” Kim Rex wrote.
Someone even shaved their head in honor of Riley.
“Riley is PERFECT just the way she is!! I’m shaving my head in about 10 minutes in her honor…… I’m going to call the haircut ‘The Riley’,” Andy Pagoota commented.
Others offered heartwarming advice to Riley.
“Each and everyone of us are beautiful and deserving of love from others and most importantly, ourselves,” Rhonda Fredricks wrote.
“We are not defined by our hair, eyes, skin, shape, or height. We are not defined by the houses we live in, the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive. We are defined by our actions. So let our actions be those of patience, kindness, and love. Let us share our hearts with the world. Sweet, pretty, amazing Riley…we are the crafters of our own beautiful and unique lives and legacies.”