I love my hair. I love that it's curly and thick. I love its brown color. I love that it can get big and frizzy or be styled stick-straight. Cancer, feel free to take the boobs but really, do I have to lose my hair?
I know after chemo my hair will grow back. It's not a big deal considering that what's making me lose it is saving my life. But it still doesn't make it easy.
Deep thoughts on big hair
So what's my hang up? My big, curly-sometimes-straight hair is part of my personality. It makes me feel good. When it's gone you'll see what's underneath, the scars from past surgeries and the quirkiness of my head. You'll see me like I don't want to be seen.
You don't think twice about a bald man. Once male baldness was a sign of aging and now it's seen as sexy and strong. But if you saw a bald woman, you'd immediately think something was wrong with her. A bald head is like a scarlet letter that says you're a cancer patient. It's not something you really want to wear.
Bald is bad-ass
I've come around to see that losing my hair is good. Getting through my first chemo reaffirmed that I have the strength to do this. I see the hair loss as the beginning of my healing and transformation. I see baldness as a sign of my strength and determination. And I don't care what anyone thinks. To me, my bald head will be bad-ass.
TMI alert here. When I talk about losing hair, I mean I will lose hair EVERYWHERE for a while. Ladies normally pay big money for that. Upside! Although not exactly thrilled about the likelihood of losing the eyebrows and eyelashes too.
Jason, husband and hair stylist
Friends who have gone/are going through breast cancer advised me to shave my head before the 14th day after my first chemo because that's when it will start falling out in clumps. That means I had to decide when to go bald before Friday, August 28th.
I thought about getting a short, pixie-style haircut to transition between long hair and bald. Then I imagined sitting in the salon chair and being asked "Why are you getting your haircut so short?" Talking to a stranger about it was a complete no-go.
So I asked Jason, the most amazing stay-at-home dad and husband ever, to not only be my part-time nurse but also my hair stylist. "Are you sure?" he asked. Yep, let's do it.
Loving and cutting
Wednesday morning I spent some quality time with my hair. Took a long shower to shampoo and condition it. Applied some expensive hair products so my curls could air dry to perfection while happily knowing they'll frizz out in an hour. Then a quick blow dry and flat iron to the bangs. Just a little lovin' before I said goodbye.
Our backyard patio was turned into Jason's hair salon. Scissors, electric shaver, razor, shaving cream and mirror were set up on the table. Our little one and oldest sat nearby waiting to see Dad cut Mom's hair. Our middle stayed inside, not wanting to see it which I totally understood.
The first cut was the hardest. I thought I could do it myself. I started crying and Jason gave me a kiss and said it would be alright. He took the scissors out of my hand and cut a pony-tail's worth of hair off my head. It was a relief, like ripping off a band-aid. From there each cut was easier. However Jason definitely does not have a future as a hair stylist- it was not pretty.
If I'm going to shave my head, I'm going to have fun along the way. Time for the big, punk rocker style mohawk! Sounds simple but it was a lot of work with all that cutting, trimming, and shaving. Looking back I should have googled it because no matter how much ratting, gelling, and hairspray I did, my hair was not cooperating. It was having its last bad hair day.
With a little more cutting and spraying, my first and last mohawk was done! Maybe not me on the outside but it certainly is how I feel on the inside. I'm going to battle cancer with fun and toughness!
I am bald
I had a mohawk for about 15 minutes. Hungry kids meant it was time to wrap it up for dinner and go full baldy. With a mohawk under his belt, Jason's skillfully shaved the rest. My new bald head feels smooth, a little weird but not that bad. Occasionally I'll sport my free dome but likely I'll wear a lot of hats. It's a little breezy without all that hair!
Our dear friends, Eric and Jen, sent me this AMAZING Wonder Woman hat handmade by Jen. Love it! If you don't know the significance, read my first blog post. My new hat made me laugh and cry at the same time. Btw, laughing and crying at the same time is called "craughing". Had to look that one up.
I hope everyone has some good craughing over my hair. It's a big change but it's a good one.