Losing my hair during chemo was one of the most traumatic and infuriating side effects. First a few strands, then several strands, then handfuls to the point where I was scared to touch my head.
Prior to being diagnosed I had long red hair. It was that way all my life. If you are a redhead (shout out to my fellow gingers!) your identity is wrapped up in your hair. I loved my long hair. It made me feel beautiful, sexy, youthful. But it was about to fall out.
I started by cutting it shorter. This way the hair loss would be less traumatic when it did happen. Started with a bob.
About 3 weeks into chemo it began (will be different depending on the type of chemo you receive). It started slowly and over the course of 5 days accelerated. First just a few strands at a time but then more. It got to the point where I was mad at my husband for running his hands through his hair. How dare he touch his hair in front of me when I can’t run my hands through mine? Ridiculously misplaced anger but real anger.
Each day became more stressful. I wanted to keep my locks as long as possible but it wasn’t worth the stress. It was completely out of my control so I took the power back. I called up my stylist and asked him to buzz it off. I was grinning ear to ear. This was the moment I was dreading. I took that power back from cancer. My hair loss was inevitable but it was going to be happening on my own time.
I’ve heard people say that it is vain to be upset over hair loss. It is no vanity. This is something that is happening to you. Something you have very little control over. In a lot of cases, if you want potentially life-saving treatment – this is going to be one of the down sides. Of course, I was going to choose life over my hair but it’s still difficult. You are allowed to mourn the loss of your hair