Preparing For Chemotherapy Hair Loss – A Personal Experience

I just read old news about a lady battling cancer hosting a shaving party in order to take loosing hair in her own hands. It actually reminded me of the day when I took the same decision. Body image is such an important part of our psychology and social interactions that it is not easy for a cancer patient to cope up with a different look. In this article I share my personal experience of walking towards a bald head.

The Inherent Fear

For patients who have been recommended chemotherapy as a part of treatment one of the most debilitating thoughts is the fear of loosing all hair and some patients may even loose their eyebrows and eyelashes. Let me start with the bright side of having no hair, ‘You do not need to worry about a bad hair day!!’

Chemo Hair Loss

Chemo Hair Loss

My hair had always got me a whole lot of compliments. With white hair peeping out here and there (but duly colored) with the length, strength and thickness of hair that I enjoyed, I thought that I had an ideal mane.

The Mental Preparation

Taking small steps, I actually started preparing for my hair loss even before my surgery. I knew that it would be difficult for my husband to help me with head baths with long hair and howsoever softly he would do it, I would feel uncomfortable. The best thing to do was take step one and get them shortened. I created hype about supporting a short hair cut asking my sister, friends and nieces that what would suit me best.

Half Glass Full Attitude

The motive was to get myself equally excited about the same. The result of all the hype was that I supported a smart bob style with a bang. Trust me it was not easy for me to see my hair on lying on the floor like this. The stylist asked me if I would like to carry them back. I was taken by surprise for the thought of getting a hair cut was so much on my mind that I had not thought about it.  I answered ‘NO’ for I had no idea how would I feel on seeing them lying in my cupboard. Reached home and once again enjoyed all the compliments for the new hair cut. I think it actually looked good!!

The First Chemo

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The next step was to prepare myself for the ultimate expected. It was right after my first chemotherapy session that I had started to loose hair. Getting up in the mornings and finding the pillow covered with my hair, having a comb full of broken hair or the bath tub drain covered with hair is again not easy. So I decide to shave off my hair. Instead of being put to slow torture every morning, the best was to do it in a single shot.

Shaving off my hair somehow made me feel that I am in control of the whole situation rather than the disease controlling me. It was I who was deciding what was too come my way.

Alternatives For Artificial Hair

Though there are a number of options available that one can experiment with – scarves, caps and wigs. I did not opt for a wig and most of the times I moved around just as it is or experimented with scarves, caps and stoles. Of course for those of you who may not feel comfortable, there are lots of wigs and hair covers available for all ages and sizes.

Then & Now

With more than one and a half year from when I finished my chemotherapy, my hair are shoulder length today. I like them and experiment with them quite a bit. Colorful ruffles, tic tacs and other hair accessories I use them all. Enjoy and relish what you have rather than sulk and feel distressed.  Whatever the situation carry it with confidence and a positive mind set. Your hair are just a small part of you. Hair or no hair, you are still loved for what you are.

Expect Soon

I did take a few pics of myself with a bald head and hopefully someday I shall be able to post one of them on the site. It can be tomorrow itself, after a few days or it may take much longer.

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  • meetunayyar
  • A lawyer by profession, social worker and a fighter against cancer