I had been putting off getting my hair cut. I knew that the best choice would be to go from long to short to none, rather than from long to none, but it was still a hard appointment to make. The thought of cutting off so much hair seemed unfair and wrong. I enlisted the help of several dear friends who searched the Internet for short hairstyles. One friend even cut out pictures from magazines! The day after Dr. D gave me a hard date to start chemo, I went in to the salon.
The girl who cuts my hair, Erica, is a true artist. She’s funny and smart and always has super trendy hair and make-up. I knew I could trust her to help me feel good about this.
I sat in the chair and took out the scrunchie that was hiding my day old curls. My long hair tumbled down and enveloped my shoulders just so. I don’t know how it happened, but right before I was about to complete this drastic change, I had an excellent, no, near perfect hair moment. I would not have been surprised if romantic music started playing and everything started moving in slow motion. We were discussing how to complete The Cut when a woman walked by.
“You’re going to cut it off?” she said, clearly incredulous. I had no answer, and I could tell that Erica was trying to get this person away before I changed my mind and ran away. Remember how I said I could trust her with my hair? This little moment showed me that I could trust her with my feelings too.
We began to get up to head to the hair-washing station, but she sat me back down and said that we should cut a little off first to relieve some of the weight. So she did. She did it fast and then it was wash time. And then it was real Cut time. She worked quickly, giving me great advice on how to style this short cut, how to buy wigs, and what to do to make my hair grow back faster after chemo. She told me not to mourn my old hair but to embrace whatever style was on my head at the time. She said that I should not be jealous or covet other hairstyles, but that I should feel confident in what I had. She also said that now was time for bravery–I would be more exposed than ever, I no longer had a mane to hide behind.
When the cut was complete, I stood up and looked at the floor, expecting to cry due to seeing all that was scissored away. I mentioned that there was less than I expected, and Erica said that yes, it wasn’t that much at all.. And then I realized that she was even smarter than I realized. She cut off some, swept it away, and then cut some more. She tricked me! Seriously, this girl is a hair artist AND a psychologist. Well-played.
And so begins my journey to less and less hair. The chemotherapy starts on December 27. Most people lose their hair 10-14 days after the first treatment.
The new hair: