To grow or not to grow…that is the question! So my hair started growing back a year ago and then I couldn’t imagine being in a position to ask myself this. All I wanted then was hair, didn’t care what colour, straight or curly…just hair.
Fast forward a year and I am now starting to ask myself whether to keep it short or grow it long like it used to be. I have a hair appointment coming up so I find myself debating whether to carry on growing it or keep it as it is!
My hair was a big part of my personality, confidence and femininity before I lost it which actually I had been totally unaware of until it happened. I was never massively confident or full of myself but my hair was the one thing I liked about my appearance. I found the hairbrush I had taken to hospital when I was first admitted, it still had my old hair in it, I felt sick as the memories flooded back.
At first my reaction was to grow it back to the length it was before, never crossing my mind that I might like it short. However, now I find myself starting to like it after months of just tolerating it, I can do different styles, use nice accessories and choose what I want to do with it. Over the years I had often looked at short styles and really loved them but, I would never have had the guts to cut my hair off…so that’s a positive. Everyone has said it suits me and they prefer it to before…are they just humouring me? It dawned on me the other day, thinking about how much it has grown in the past year, that it would take about 5 years to get it to the length it was before. Not sure I have the patience for that!
I know to some people this may seem a little shallow when my health is what really matters, so what I lost my hair, small price to pay right? Yes of course but, it’s not the only thing I have lost. Some I have no control over, this is something I can. I know how it feels to go out in public with ‘chemo hair’ or with my ‘chemo hat’ on and it was tough at times. People look at you differently, not in a bad way, always sympathetically but still I felt very self conscious. Often when I met people for the first time, who didn’t know what had happened, I wanted to explain to them that my hair style wasn’t my choice and that I didn’t like it. It wasn’t me…
It’s a very personal thing and everyones experience will be different, I get that, this is mine. One thing that upset me the most was people I knew not recognising me, it got so bad that I didn’t bother to say hello to avoid the embarrassment of blank looks. I am always honest about how I feel when writing my blog otherwise I don’t see the point.
I came up with this list a while ago, the simple day to day things about hair that we take for granted yet once you’ve been through chemo hair loss become quite significant.
The first time…
- I needed to wash my hair, after using a baby wipe to wash my head during treatment…yeah baby wipes are also head wipes
- I went out without my hat on
- I felt the wind moving my fluffy baby hair
- I needed to dry my hair with a towel
- I had to wrap a towel around my wet hair
- I wore a headband and clip
- I needed to visit my hairdresser
- I used my hairdryer and straighteners
- I needed to use a hairbrush rather than just my fingers
- Used product on my hair
- My daughter was brave enough to touch my hair and it was long enough to play hairdressers again