It’s gonna be hard growing my hair back! Two reasons: 1. About three weeks into the growth, I start to look like a porcupine. A white porcupine with dark and white stubble, but I look like I’m still bald where the white hair is. Not a good look. At this point, I am shaving weekly.
When I started losing my hair and was looking at wigs, the ladies at the wig shop told me I needed to keep about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of hair, or the wigs and hats would itch. Obediently I let them cut my hair, then put my chemo hat on and went out into the world, praying I didn’t have to take that sucker off in public. I looked raggedy! And those little hats screamed ‘Cancer!’ to me. I was miserable, hot, and itchy.
The best thing to happen to me about my hair is that the wig I ordered didn’t fit. My cheekbones are high (Czech blood). I had to decide: people looking at me comfortable vs. ME feeling comfortable. We know by my profile picture who won. I put my chemo hat back on to cover my stubble and left the wig shop to consult my resident expert: my neighbor Roger. He has been shaving his head for decades and makes sure I wear a hat in the sun when he sees me (I keep a hat in the car just in case I see him first!).
He plopped me into his car and took me to the local barber shop to get clipped. There I also met Walter, the man in front of me during our wait for the barber. Walter said he comes back every three week for a buzz. I wish! My hair grows fast. My reality is that I start looking skanky at the end of every shaving week.
Through lots of conversations with bald friends and strangers, I learned that I didn’t have to pay $20 a week to get my head trimmed. My neighbor and new bald friends coached me through shaving my head myself. I tried razors geared toward men, toward women (is there really a difference other than color and the fact that anything for a woman is more expensive?), soap, shaving cream. I worried about cutting myself and having to wear a bandaid, so I couldn’t get a close enough shave. Now I’m using an electric razor. My neighbor says the best way to go is a six-bladed manual razor, but that sounds like danger to me. I’ll have to screw my courage up for that one!
The second reason is that I like the attention. No one went out of their way to talk to me like people do now. Even babies! Babies claim me as one of their own. They talk to me like they expect me to understand. Yesterday at a coffee shop with one of my friends, we met a baby. My friend is cute, friendly, and has shoulder-length hair. We both talked to the baby, but when the baby looked at my friend, nothing. When the baby looked at me, she smiled and talked and drooled. It happened several times. It’s a hoot!
People stop me to talk to me, follow me around. It’s amazing! So in addition to looking scraggly, when I grow my hair back, I’ll just have hair again. Not many people look like I do right now. Most people assume it wasn’t a choice and want to offer me support. That part’s lovely. I guess I can wait until fall and decide!