The Hair Evolution
When I learned that I had cancer, my first thought was obvious. I don’t want to die! I am way too young! I am too busy to have cancer! But the thought that followed closely after was…my hair, I love my hair! Besides worrying about the progression of my disease, I have spent a lot of time worrying about my hair. Inspecting it, combing it this way and that, using clips, researching thickening products, you name it, I have googled it. It is a hard fact to admit, but alas, it is true. Hair is such a visual reminder that all is not well with my body. I can’t see the tumors inside without medical intervention, but I see my hair everyday when I look in the mirror, and so can everyone else.
In case you don’t know, having stage IV cancer means consistent treatment. It is not curable and I will never be done. To stay alive, I always have to have some sort of treatment. Some make me lose my hair, some cause a skin rash, some impact my appetite, some cause mouth sores. It is usually not all of the above, but it is always something. Luckily, the nurses and doctors at the Arthur G. James Cancer Center at The Ohio State University help me to manage my side effects and live a full and exciting life. But the one side effect that can’t be cured is hair loss.
It has taken me almost two and a half years, but I have come to accept my hair, or lack thereof! When my hair first started thinning, I did my best to hide it. I used clips, hair thickeners and even the dreaded comb over. I finally went to the wig specialist at the hospital store and was fitted for a partial hair piece. I had enough hair that I could clip it in and blend it with my natural hair. Although it looked nice, I hated it! It was itchy, hot, and generally uncomfortable. So I just went back to my thin hair. As I changed treatments, my hair began to grow back and I cut it short.
Fast forward to today. Another change in treatments caused my hair to thin again. This time it was more drastic. I had bald spots in odd places and random long strands of hair in others. It just generally looked weird like I walked out of Chernobyl! This time, I bought more wigs, but decided to go the scarf and hat route. I tried many different types, and decided I liked the Buff brand coverings. They are not traditionally marketed to cancer patients, but I liked the flexibility and that they were meant for outdoor activities and sports. The fabric choices were also great for my busy lifestyle and they can be worn lots of different ways.
Eventually I decided that I was tired of always covering my head and messing around with a hat or scarf. So, I asked my husband to buzz the rest of my longer hair strands and I displayed my bald head for all to see. Yep, bad-ass and bald. But it took time to feel bad-ass. Mostly I just felt awkward and self conscious. Fortunately, I have lots of people who love me and are complementary. Over the last few months, I have come to love my bald…now more of a buzz cut head. I like how I look and feel more confident that I ever have before. I have grown to love my face, and embraced looking different than other women. I may never grow my hair out again! Whatever look you decide on, try to channel your inner bad-ass. Life is a party, my friends.
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase. These are some of my favorite buffs below. In these crazy times, they can also be used as a face mask!