No one wants to lose their hair. It is an unfortunate side effect of chemotherapy. It is one which people dread more than any other side effect because it changes how you look and it makes you look sick. It is a tell tale sign for those who want to keep their illness to themselves. It exposes people, it turns heads, it stares you in the face. When the baldness comes, there’s no escaping that alien like figure in the mirror. The dreaded cancer is looking straight back at you.
Losing my hair was not the worst part of treatment process for me. The worst part was how sick it made me feel. I initially dreaded losing my hair but when the day came, it didn’t bother me in the slightest. I know some people take it really badly and I guess that’s because the realisation that they’re sick comes with that. Most people get conventional treatment immediately but I waited 10 months until I did that. So I had a lot of time to let it sink in that I had cancer. Most people are hit with the physical change in their appearance much sooner than I was. And the impact of that can be devastating.
So why is being bald great?
- Saves time in the morning. Showers are much more enjoyable. I don’t have to spend most of my time in the shower now washing my hair, conditioning it, detangling it, rinsing it. It has cut down my shower time drastically. And there’s no drying the hair and straightening it after. A task I used to hate and one which would see me avoid washing my hair and using dry shampoo instead, I’ll get another day out of it! Who can relate girls?
- Head massages feel amazing. I was never one for a head massage because I had too much hair and it was always left greasy looking and knotty after a masseuse would give my head a little rub after a facial or a back, neck and shoulder massage. It never felt particularly pleasurable either. But now… oh baby! The pleasure centres light up like never before when my head gets a little rub. I went for a massage in the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul just before I came home in September and a head massage was part of the full body. It was the nicest feeling. I was in heaven and the experience inspired this blog post.
- I get to wear fancy head gear. Wigs, beanie hats, turbans… the possibilities of shapes, colours and styles are endless. I have made turban wearing my preferred head covering of choice. And I love them. I have a video tutorial on how to wrap scarves up to give the effect of having a big head of hair underneath. I wrapped some friends in them recently at a ‘turban party’ we had one night. It was great craic, they suit everyone.
- Save money on trips to the hairdressers. I used to get highlights a few times a year. They can be expensive and they take hours. A trip to the hairdressers for highlights can cost €100+ and can take up to 3 hours. Now I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy getting my hair done and I will again in the future but for now, I am enjoying not having roots to touch up or split ends to cut off.
- Don’t have to get the hair ‘done’ for a wedding or event. No more mornings spent in the hairdressers getting an ‘updo’ or a curly blowdry. It saves so much time when getting ready for a wedding. Hair is a big part of the day and it has to be right to go with the outfit. Now I just find a turban to suit instead.
- It makes for an easy halloween costume. Think Uncle Fester from the Addams Family, Walter White from Breaking Bad, Pinhead from Saw, an alien, any costume which requires a skull cap and if you have a little hair growing back like I have now, you can be Eleven from Stranger things, Evey in V for Vendetta or GI Jane.
There’s a certain freedom in not having hair and focusing on those aspects of baldness is so much better than dreading it. So if you’re facing the prospect of losing your hair in the near future, think of all the reasons why it’s great and get a few new scarves for yourself and book in for a head massage. You won’t be long changing your mind!