Fans follow online as Shannen Doherty shaves head in breast cancer battle

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LOS ANGELES — Shannen Doherty touched hearts around the world when shared emotional photos of a difficult and deeply personal moment in her battle against breast cancer.

The 45-year-old actress shaved her head Tuesday and shared pictures of each step of the process with her fans, followers and supporters.

First, Doherty hinted at what she was about to do on Instagram.

Doherty then shared a photo of herself with her mother, Rosa Elizabeth, as she was about to shear off her shoulder-length hair.

Doherty’s friend, model Anne Kortright-Shilstat, was by her side as she started cutting her own hair.

It was clear the ladies were giving Doherty lots of love and support during the process.

People immediately responded on Facebook and Twitter with heartfelt and encouraging comments.

“Thank you for your bravery in sharing this. It is one of the most difficult parts of this process. And so isolating – it’s like you’re branding yourself a cancer patient,” Patti Roberts Jett posted. “The sisterhood is with you (Ovarian Cancer – diagnosed August 2013). Loosing eyebrows and eyelashes will suck too, I’m afraid. But you won’t have to shave or wax your legs and showering is a breeze. Other bonus – mosquitoes ignore you!! Prayers for healing inside and out, and lots and lots of hugs. Just remember, cancer is a word, not a sentence. Fight like a girl!”

The messages from supporters poured in as she posted “Step 4.”

“I have been a huge fan of yours for many years sense the 90210 & Charmed days and beyond,” wrote Brian Bartlett. “I’ll be praying for you daily and hope you will stay strong. You have many many people who love you and are pulling for you …”

The next two posts showed Doherty’s new, closely cropped look.

Kortright-Shilstat posted a selfie with Doherty at the end of the process.

“I couldn’t be prouder of you today. Your strength and courage is so inspiring and I am so very lucky to have you in my life,” Kortright-Shilstat wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for blindly trusting me today to help you with such a big step. I will forever be there for you no matter what.”

Some of Doherty’s super-fans posted some precious and priceless comments throughout the process.

“This reminds me of the episode of Charmed where Piper gets the virus from the fruit fly. She survived. Because she was loved and you are to (sic),” fan Lizzy Hill  wrote on Facebook.

Another shared a spell from “The Book of Shadows,” which was used in “Charmed” to banish the “Woogyman.”

“I am light,
I am one too strong to fight,
Return to dark where shadows dwell,
You can not have this Halliwell!
Now go away, and leave my sight,
And take with you this endless night,” Sheree Pratt posted. Her comment had more than 470 likes within 12 hours.