Tag Archive | chemo hair loss

My First Hair Cut!

When I lost all of my hair just two weeks after starting chemo last year, I was not the least bit disturbed.  I had heard many stories of women whose pre-chemo hair was replaced by a head of luxurious curls when their chemo ended.  I never did really like my hair; it was too thin, too fine, and too mousey brown.   I would gladly sacrifice that hair for a big mane of sexy curls!

After chemo ended in December, I would rush off to a mirror every morning and examine my head under a bright light, eagerly anticipating my chemo curls.  But alas, they never appeared.  Instead of the prize winning locks, I got the consolation prize:  even thinner than before, baby fine hair, with what I can only describe as bald patches on the top and sides.  Yes folks, I had been ripped off!

I promised myself that as soon as this hair was long enough, I would go some place nice to have it styled by a professional who could at least give the illusion of nice hair.  For weeks I agonized over where to go.  I finally settled on a place close to Shawn’s house, which from the outside, looked up-scale, yet affordable.

As soon as I walked in, I knew I had made the right choice.  I had never seen so many beautiful people (the staff) gathered in one place.  I was lost in a sea of flawless skin, gorgeous hair and impeccable clothes….and that was just the men!  Several of the staff approached me at the same time to take my coat and offer me a tea, coffee or a glass of wine from the mini bar.  A GLASS OF WINE NO LESS!  I had never before been offered a glass of wine at a hair salon, how classy.  Oh yes, I had come to the right place all right!

Next Stephen, my stylist, colored my hair, and I was treated to a complimentary paraffin wax treatment on my hands.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of my beautiful and youthful image in the mirror.  Stephen confessed that the salon uses special lighting and mirrors to shave ten years off your reflection. (“If I have to look at myself in a mirror all day, I wanna look good!” said Stephen.)   I was feeling pretty pampered by that time, but next came the piece de resistance: the shampoo room.

Folks, I kid you not, the shampoo room exceeded any spa experience that I have ever had.  The room was dimly lit with soft music, candles, and aroma therapy.  But the best part of all was the leather, heated, massage chair, which gently massaged my back, buttocks and legs as I had my hair washed.  To say, “had my hair washed” is a gross under-statement.  Actually, a beautiful man gently and expertly massaged my head and neck for a good twenty minutes.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven, I could not stop myself from smiling.

Suddenly a thought occurred to me which completely wiped the smile off my face: wine? Complimentary hand treatment? Massage?  I was way out of my league.  I could not afford this place!  I felt myself panic as I mentally calculated how much wiggle room I had left on my VISA.

Sure enough, when I went to the check out it was confirmed: this type of treatment comes at a price.  Let’s just say, the hundreds I had saved by not having my hair done in over a year: Gone in one fell swoop.  What did I do?  Well, I smiled, added a generous tip, and walked out of there feeling like a million bucks.  Because  I am worth it!





Perk # 75: Cancer Brought Out The Family Resemblance To My Son

Ever since the day Donovan was born, I’ve been hearing the same thing over and over again, “He looks JUST like his father.”  Lately, however, people are starting to notice my resemblance to my handsome son.  Maybe it’s the eyes?  Could it be the nose?  No, it is definitely the hair!

While not all chemo drugs cause hair loss, baldness is the universal tell tale sign that a woman has cancer.  Some women are quite comfortable with their lack of locks.  I met a brave woman at the cancer clinic last week who told me that the only time she covers her head is when it is cold outside.   If people stare at her in a rude way, she will say something like, “Excuse me, do I have a hair out of place?”  That takes courage.   For some women, on the other hand, losing their hair is more emotionally traumatic than losing a breast.

I fall somewhere in between those two extremes.  I can honestly say that I did not shed a tear when my hair fell out shortly after my first chemo session.  In fact, once it started coming out by the handful, I was like someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  As one woman put it, “It was like plucking a chicken.  Once I started, I couldn’t stop.”   While I’ve never had the pleasure of plucking an actual chicken, I did give literal meaning to the expression, “I feel like pulling my hair out!”

Although I was personally comfortable with my own baldness, I was not comfortable enough to bare it to the world.  Not until now.  And that is only because I have been told that I look JUST like Demi Moore from the movie G.I. Jane.  Well, I have been told that by myself, but if you stretch your imagination just a little you might pick up on the resemblance.  Is it the eyes?  The nose?  No, it is definitely the hair.

Tip: While being bald has its perks, it is a joyous day when new hair starts to grow in.  Be patient, it WILL grow back.