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Hair today, gone tomorrow

April 15, 2014
2013. My former chestnut hair was streaked with gray but still thick and waving.

2013. My former chestnut hair was streaked with gray but still thick and waving.

When a person goes through chemotherapy, part of the package deal includes hair loss.

At first this fact deeply disturbed me. I’ve had thick, wavy and tempestuous hair all my life, and I’ve always had a special relationship with it. It always refused to take a curl other than its own wave; it generally pulled loose whenver I pinned it up; and individual fallen hairs have accumulated in the corners of my bathroom floor from time immemorial. And yet I loved my hair, loved it so much that I preferred having it long than having it short. Loved it so much that I could hardly bear at first to think of going bald. The aesthetics of bald craniums are entirely lost on me, since I associate thick hair with vitality, health and sexiness. Bruce Willis and other bald actors can buff their shining domes all they like, but I have never found the look to be particularly attractive.

By the end of the day on which this photo was taken, almost twice as much was falling out at each gentle tug. It was as though a switch had been turned on which made the hair fall out.

By the end of the day on which this photo was taken, almost twice as much was falling out at each gentle tug. It was as though a switch had been turned on which made the hair fall out.

But several weeks into my treatment, my thinking has come around. I’ve accepted the inevitability of the fact of my own looming baldness, and my lower lip no longer begins to tremble at the idea. And it’s just in time, too, because today (15 days after my first chemo) my hair has begun falling out almost literally by the handful. There’s definitely a wistful sensation deep in my heart as I pull out a new clump and toss it into the chilly spring air to float away on the breeze; but I know that baldness will come and meet me before the end of the week is here. And that knowledge is actually far easier to handle than I thought it would be back at the beginning.

My feeling now is one of resolution: I rocked the shaggy thick hair look for more than five decades. Now it’s time to rock that bald head! — And don’t think I can’t do it.

 

 

 

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12 Comments
  1. Rock that noggin, baby!!!   XXOOO Cynthia Cynthia Bretheim, MS, NCMT, LMT Therapeutic Massage & Holistic Health

    205 N College #717 (NW corner 6th & College) Bloomington, IN  47404 cynthiabretheim.com 812.333.8858

    ________________________________

  2. imagesbyrox permalink

    I luv you

  3. You are a beautiful, strong woman. Not like Samson. Your strength is in your courageous heart!

  4. Jaimie permalink

    I’m gonna show Carla how to do my cool “odalisk” look, and hopefully have her tape it show you can see how to do it…it’s easy and sexy.

    • It’s impressive how many YouTube videos there are that show different methods of tying headscarves. But in addition to scarves, I DO want to see what it’s like to just go bald in public. Soon it will be warm instead of cold outside, and I can give it a try, hooray!
      thanks for writing, Jaimie!
      all best, Carrol

  5. Mark Richardson permalink

    I’ve thought of naming the new kitty ‘Chemo’ since she leaves tufts of fluffy fur in the areas where she sleeps, in honor of those like yourself who are experiencing this change in your lives. We know who it is with the invisible hair, so however you approach this change, know we are still backing you.

    • Thanks for writing, Mark! I’m wearing a headscarf today, not to hide my rapidly thinning hair but to prevent it from leaving fallen tufts everywhere around the house, like your kitty. 🙂
      I really appreciate your support.
      hugs,
      Carrol

  6. Good luck with your battle Carrol. We’ve been down this path in our family as well. Wishing you the best!

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