The story of my hair

April 10, 2011

Interestingly my posts featuring hair (and lack thereof) are those that by far have had the most views. Not only that, but if I look at the search terms that have lead people to my blog, there are an awful lot of them that are hair related e.g. “bald women”, “chemo bald”, “bald women by choice”, “bald parents”, “wig shopping” and very many other similar terms. Not only that, but the amount of time I have spent discussing hair issues over the last 10 months is unbelievable! Even now when I meet people I haven’t seen for a while the first topic of discussion is usually my hair. I have also realised from talking to or reading blogs of others going through chemo that for most, the hair thing is a really big deal. But in retrospect, I’m not really sure that it has been for me.

In the past I have read numerous articles in women’s magazines about women who have lost their hair and thought that it must be truly awful. When I got my cancer diagnosis, one of the first things people asked me was whether I was going to lose my hair, but at that point it really didn’t seem like a big deal to me – or at least it was totally overshadowed as in issue by many other things that really did seem like a huge deal. Mostly I felt freaked out at the thought of having to wear a wig (which at that point I thought was compulsory) than at the thought of being bald. So it was a huge relief to me to realise that going bald was an option and when I did shave my head the honest truth is that I quite like the way I looked bald. It made feel brave and yes, attractive, while wearing the wig made me feel like an ugly loser (which is nothing to do with the wig itself which my husband couldn’t differentiate from my own hair).From then on I bore my bald pate with pride and I can quite honestly say I only got positive reactions to my choice (apart from my two teenage children who thought it was the most embarrassing thing ever!).

When my hair started growing again in came in surprisingly thick and fast and while there were a couple of weeks where people stared and wonder that I would choose a crew cut, it really didn’t take long before it looked like a hairstyle, although it has taken until now (almost 6 months after my last chemo) for it to be long enough to get trimmed into a real hairstyle. The thing is that I LOVE my short hair! If you had asked me a year ago I would have told you that I would never have short hair – it just didn’t suit me and I certainly would never have dared to have it cut as short as it is now! Now I think it is great! I adore the look and on top of that it is so easy to look after. So that is one positive thing that has come out of all this!

For me this has never been about the hair, but I do know that for many women it really is a big deal. I hope that in time the taboo of the bald woman disappears so that more women feel comfortable and attractive with baldness if they are unfortunate enough to have it forced upon them. And I hope that for those, like me, who don’t turn out to be wig types, that my story will at least give them the idea that going bald is an option.

And here is a summary of the posts about the hair:

https://kirstenejlskov.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/hair-today-gone-tomorrow/

https://kirstenejlskov.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/bad-hair-day/

https://kirstenejlskov.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/more-hairy-stories/

https://kirstenejlskov.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/as-promised/

https://kirstenejlskov.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/for-now/

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One Response to “The story of my hair”

  1. Lynn Says:

    Hi Kirsten
    I, too didn’t mind losing my hair, it was never my crowning glory, thin, fine and stick straight. Being bald seemed the least of my problems, and I would never known how beautiful the human head can be.

    My last chemotherapy was June 30 and my hair finally came in thick, curly and a different colour.
    I get nothing but compliments on my ultra short do, something that never happened before. I will keep it this short until it loses it’s thickness and curl. I guess once you’ve been down to two lower eyelashes, as the only hair left on your body, anything else is an improvement.

    PEI. Canada

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