There are two ways to regard treatment: you can run, or you can face it. This cancer survivor found five ways to look at her hair loss as an opportunity and a challenge to love herself more.
Bald is powerful. Bald is beautiful. Bald is bold. Bald is stylish. Bald is bald.
You may or may not agree with these. You may have had a change of heart as to how you see bald after your treatments. Maybe you don't. How do you see bald?
For me, I saw bald very quickly. I had thinning hair on my first chemo treatment plan, but once I was switched over to an aggressive five agent chemotherapy regimen known as ema/co, my hair went very quickly. I had placental cancer called choriocarcinoma from a complete twin molar pregnancy, which resulted from my newborn’s undeveloped twin. I was concerned with my newborn's recognition response so I decided to shave my hair before beginning treatment.
I was intimidated to face myself in the mirror. What would I see?
I saw myself, my raw self. I have to admit, it was a shock. All flaws and all beauty were revealed to me. I used it to check out a spot that I've felt for years to find out it was a small mole. I inspected my scalp. Sure, it wasn't pretty, but I learned to accept that it is what it is--me. And everyone else probably looks the same bald, too. I learned to love myself bald
, without even brows or lashes.
Most women see their hair as their pride, their glory, and to see it gone would almost break them. How can one deal with this?
Here are a few tips:
1. See this loss as a gain.
You may lose your hair but it's just another step to getting your health back. Don't look at this with a frown and if you need to cry, cry it out-- then move on. This is only a temporary stage. It will pass.
2. Remember that it will grow back one way or another.
In time, you'll begin to see peach fuzz and the miracle regrowth. You'll begin to appreciate how the body is working to reheal itself. It's truly amazing how powerful our bodies are. Use this time to journal it with pictures.
3. Embrace it.
This helped me to love myself no matter what. Scarves, hats, wigs, bandanas, Henna paintings, stickers from my kids, even! Use this time to find your own fashion or use others that you may encounter. I got compliments all the time about my style. I only wore a cover when I felt like it. Other times I went solo and was proud.
4. Use this opportunity to find yourself.
Check out your bald head! It's not everyday you'll experience this, so grab a double mirror and have fun. Look for hidden, unknown birth marks, freckles and moles. Check out the shape of your head. I found out that I have a flat dent on the back of mine! Try to find the maze of your hidden hairline. You'll find that your hairline is lower or higher than thought.
5. Use it for a cool down.
No hair? No problem! During those awful chemo hot flashes or hot weather, a bald head is best. You'll stay cooler than normal. Just be sure to cover up in the sun to avoid sunburn.
6. Appreciate the short prep time.
Think of all the time saved in combing, curling, styling, even drying. A bald head is so fast and easy. Apply this free time to other desired areas such as pairing an outfit for your head scarf or taking a nap.
Being bald isn't always easy. Being bald isn't always preferable. Being bald isn't always a choice. But you do have a choice with how you approach your treatment
. Personally, I've found that these practices condone healthy self-reflection and have brought me closer to myself in ways that I may not have ever had the opportunity to explore.
Yes, it can be emotional at times, but this is my past. This is me. Make it yours in a positive way. Enjoy the regrowth stages. I was proud because I was a warrior fighting for my life and had built my self esteem to empower bald. Others will feel your positive energy as well, so pass it on!
No matter how you may feel about bald, bald is the new and temporary you. Bald is just a style for your treatment. Draw in only positiveness of it. Be proud because you
are a true warrior.
What are some of the perks you learned about losing your hair during treatment? Share them in the comments below!
Photo credit to Mara Chaben and Sierra Stone