What to Wear on Your Beautiful Bald Head
The other day I connected with a friend about to go through chemo. I love talking with this woman. On one hand, I felt bummed for her diagnosis. On the other, if my experience going through breast cancer treatment helped her, GREAT.
One of her burning questions, “What did you wear on your head?”
“Short answer, toboggins.”
“What?” she asked. Then, I remembered that’s Southern talk for “beanies” or woolies or knit hats or ski hats.
“Oooooohhhhh, that’s what I’m thinking about wearing too.”
That’s what to wear on your beautiful bald head.
Hair or No Hair, That is the Question
This is a hot topic for breast cancer patients. I found everyone had an opinion. Even if they never had cancer, they knew someone who’d gone through it. People said,
“Get a wig,” and “make it pink!” “Make it Blue!”
“Wear expensive scarves. You deserve it.”
“You don’t need anything. You’re beautiful as you are.”
I found I needed to experiment. But first, what to do with my hair before chemo? I chopped it off. I went with a chin length bob. I had this notion if I cut my hair before chemo, my balding wouldn’t seem so drastic to my daughter.
Turns out I was the one who needed the transition. Not her. She was nonplussed by the whole thing. My how my ego can make up a story.
After chemo started, my thick hair started to let go. Not in chunks. But if I ran my fingers through it, streams and streams came out. Gobs of it lay on the pillow when I woke. Bunches collected near the shower drain. It was too much to see the hair carnage. And, it was too messy. I’m a little OCD when it comes to cleanliness. This wasn’t working for me.
Time to Shave My Head
It happened on a Sunday. I remember because all the salons were closed. Very southern. I woke, looked at my husband and said, “I can’t take this.” He called around (thank you david) and found an open salon. Here’s my post from Facebook:
…And that’s what I did. Sat in the chair. Took a deep breath and closed my eyes tight. Then, it was over. Out of the mouth of babes…
Thank you so much Mina’s Studio in Chapel Hill. They had no appt when David called, but called back with their last spot of the day. We had our privacy. When we went to pay, they said, “Oh no. We have this.” We both cried at the sheer kindness. When my hair comes back, Mina’s Salon and Enrique will be my go to place! Love and kindness is all around, really.
My husband filmed it. Before I post this blog, I’ll watch the video for the first time.
I needed distance before I saw it. Because it’s not just hair being cut. For me, it was a marker, a demarcation in my life. I’m still understanding it. But basically, there was a me before this diagnosis. Now, there is a new me with a different point of view on life. The hair was my first step dissolving into goo. Like a caterpillar before it finds butterfly wings. Dissolving is no fun. But necessary to wake up and find a new place.
Now, where the heck was I? Oh yes, what to wear on your beautiful bald head.
What to Wear on Your Beautiful Bald Head
As I said, I experimented. I tried the wigs on at the hospital resource center, they were free! I grabbed styles my normal hair would never do. My favorite was a Bieber type short cut with long bangs. Super straight. Blond, red, ash blonde. I had fun with the wigs.
The only thing is when I wore it, my head felt itchy. I also felt like a fraud. That’s just me. I know some women love their wig. Mine mostly became something my daughter played with.
Then when I was out, I wore scarves. My grandmother gave me Hermes scarves when I was a teen. Totally random, but I saved them all. The red one looked great with my favorite gingham shirt.
But my go to head covering was a toboggan or beanie. My favs were REI – the Co-op Power Wool Beanie. It’s made with Polartec Power Stretch. Kept my head warm. Never felt tight. Super soft. And if it was cold, I had chemo in the winter, I layered another hat on top. Looked great with a flannel.
Later finishing chemo, my hair came back quickly. Was it the green juice? Maybe. It probably has more to do with my genetic makeup. Remarkably, it’s not white although I would’ve been fine with that.
All this a practice to experiment and find what worked for me. I tried to have fun with it. As Eckhart Tolle wisely reminds me, “This, too, will pass.”
Hope this helps you or someone you love.
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[Images sourced at Pixabay if not my own.]