June 19, 2011

Hair loss

I woke up this morning with hair loss that is so spotty, I looked like a clown, all tufts and patches of thinning hair that don't quite cover the bald places. It was so disheartening to realize that yesterday was the last day I could get away with nothing on my head -- and it was Shabbat, so I wore a hat to shul.

I don't know why hair loss is so powerful for women, but can be traumatizing. Somehow I thought I could avoid it, even when my hair has been thinning for weeks. I guess I wanted to have one more week with my own hair. But now it's entirely clear that in order to look like a normal human being. I have to start covering my head with a scarf or a hat or my wig.

It was a very emotional morning. I snapped at Rik when I thought he wasn't being supportive enough. He suggested that maybe he was offering solutions when I didn't want them. We worked it all out but it was a frustrating few minutes for me, between freaking out at the hair loss, trying to decide what to do about it, and wanting (and getting) emotional support from my hubby. That's why I married him -- Rik always comes through for me.

Then I called Cherie at Essence Salon, who last year buzzed off my hair as it began to fall out. Rik and I remembered how tough that was for me, so I asked Cherie if she could just trim up the wispies instead. She did a great job, and I now feel as though I have a really short haircut with a few bald patches. It's short enough to go hat-less around the house, but I feel it's more under my control this way. And bless Cherie; she wouldn't accept any payment. This is her mitzvah work, her charity project for the American Cancer Society. Next time you need a hair cut or other salon work, please consider going to Essence. You'll be happy with the result and you'll be supporting a business owner who does the right thing for cancer patients losing their hair.

We took out my wig, tried it on and fluffed it up. It looks OK, not great -- it certainly looks like a wig -- but this way I have the option of looking like I have hair if I want it.

I pulled out all my scarves and put them in the big basket on my dresser, so I can find exactly the one I want for the day when I get dressed. And I pulled out the cute black and white polka-dotted cap my sister sent me last year.

I guess I am as ready as can be to face the world bald again.


  1. I had decided when I lost my for the second time, its only hair. Once again with the hats, scarves and a friend gave me a do rag with Harley Davidson on it, He said it wasn't a true do ray unless it had it on it, and it was pink. I have a blog also if you haven't seen it,
    Little Obstacles in Our Way. About my cancer and life. I am just waiting now to see how my hair comes back this time.

  2. Bless Cherie's heart! What a sweet, selfless project!

  3. Anonymous10:40 PM

    When I lost my hair, I had a wig but it looked like I was wearing a wig... A friend of mine got me another one that looked so much like my own hair that many did not know it wasn't. Unfortunately, a wig like that is beyond most women's budget, esp. when they have new debts related to dealing with cancer.