I will never be able to explain how I felt when I looked down at my soapy hands and saw a mass of hair wrapped around my fingers. It wasn’t a surprise, or at least it shouldn’t have been – I knew the particular flavour of chemo I was fed would almost certainly cause hair loss. But for the first couple of weeks of treatment I clung to the tiny possibility that I’d be one of the lucky ones and would keep my hair without going through the discomfort of cold cap treatment. I wasn’t. I stood in the shower sobbing into my hairy hands for some time while this new reality sunk in.
I’ve had long hair for a very long time. I like it that way. My hair was my armour. Part of my makeup. I could easily hide behind it, and often did. I never tied it back since it made me feel more exposed and “on show”. Plus I’ve got a pin head – a tiny head on a large body. It needs hair to add proportion.
I thought I was prepared to lose my hair. My first wig was ready and waiting. I’d already had my long hair cut into a shorter bob. But nothing can really prepare you for that actual moment when you realise there’s no going back.
For a few weeks I managed to carry on as normal as possible while the daily hair loss became more and more traumatic. Until it was time for the head shave. Time to kiss goodbye to hair. (The head shave blog is here for anyone that wants a read).
From that moment I embraced the wig thing totally and in no time at all was the proud owner of 4 of them. They became my new armour.
I’m now 5 months post chemo and my hair is growing back. Slowly. Grey. And to add insult to injury – curly. I’ve got nothing against curls. I think they look great on everyone else. But I’ve never really wanted to be curly. My old hair had a kink and I always straightened any waves away. I’m a straight and sleek kind of girl. At least I was! Not any more! Or at least not at the moment. I’m told that it might not stay curly. It hasn’t stayed grey that’s for sure (but that has nothing to do with Mother Nature and everything to do with hair dye). At the moment my hair is a mess and I can do nothing with it. I’m not getting it cut because I want it to be longer not shorter – or at least long enough to cut into a proper style. I’ve still got no proper fringe. So for now the wigs are staying firmly put. I may even add to my collection…..