This whole losing-my-hair thing has been a bit of an adventure.
Traditionally, it’s seen as one of the scariest things about having cancer – one of the things you first think of when you get diagnosed. (Never mind dying and all that other medical stuff). But it’s just hair. It’s all part of beauty, vanity, outward appearance, and it’s seen as a huge part of being a woman, so it’s awful to think of losing it. And chemo drugs can also mess with the way it grows back, so my hair could grow back grey (or ginge?), or maybe even curly, and I’m not necessarily looking forward to the possibility of being grey at 30, but at least I’ll have a story to tell – like with my scars.
Last Saturday, when I finally lost all my hair, I wore Miss Candy Pink for the afternoon while all the family arrived at the house for my Mum’s birthday (note, my two-year-old niece didn’t bat an eyelid when she came through the door and saw me with bright pink, long hair – she clearly thought I was the cool Aunty Laura she’d always known I was). I then wore Valerie for my Mum’s Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) party on Saturday night, and finally donned Samantha on Sunday afternoon for the family barbecue. (Don’t worry, there’s a blog post in the works to introduce you properly to all my alter egos).
Saturday night, all Valerie brought me was a big headache. I remember thinking, “finally I understand why people with cancer wear headscarves”. I’d always wanted to avoid wearing a headscarf because I think they can just scream ‘cancer patient’ and make you look generally a bit ill. But it’s because wigs can be just darn uncomfortable. Then, after wearing Valerie a couple more times, she started to wear in and the headaches stopped coming, so I think I’ll be ok. But on Monday when I braved my egghead to the world, I started to think about why it’s actually not bad being bald. Here goes…
The Advantages of Being Bald
1. There is no need for shampoo or conditioner. This makes showering quicker and cheaper, thus there’s an economical angle too. (Although I am a bit unsure about general bald-head care – should I be waxing and/or moisturising it?)
2. I can do away with my hairbrush for six months or so. There is also no need for straighteners, hairdryers, hairspray, hair products, clips, slides and accessories, though I was always a wash-and-go kind of girl anyway.
3. Some people say bald women are sexy. At least four of you said I’d look sexy with a bald head. (I’m sure it was just a coincidence that three out of four were bald men).
5. It is incredibly liberating. And it doesn’t dangle in the sink when I wash my face. (Although it will be a little chilly in winter)
6. I love the feel of my bald head! (And I can’t stop stroking it.)
7. Every morning, you wake up the same - no bedhead, no Jedward head, no Something-About-Mary head.
8. If you’re too cold, you can always don a wig or a hat, and if you’re too hot, being bald is a great way to lose a bit of heat from your head! (Though, as Baz Luhrmann once said, definitely don’t forget to wear sunscreen.)
9. It’s cool to be different! (Right?)
10. I think I look a little like a boxer with my anti-sickness-bands-and-skinhead combo. Reckon I could give Team GB Yorkshire superstar Nicola Adams a run for her money… (Or maybe not. Don’t hold me to that, Nicola!)
Big shout-out to my bald amigos around the world!