Losing Hair because of Illness Should be a Symbol of Awareness


The hair is dead, but I am alive.

I have scars from the battle I have faced. My body no longer resembles its former diagnosis, but by sharing my images as a bald woman, I hope to inspire and help others reinvent themselves beyond cancer. Even if it isn't easy, it's important to love oneself. Don't allow cancer to take your symbol of awareness.

My scalp hurt at first. Then the few specs of hair that were left behind after shaving began to fall out and stick to my hands. I couldn't imagine it coming out in clumps.

The thought of losing a part of my identity was saddening, but my hair was no longer a necessity. You find yourself taking control of your life and mentally preparing for the changes that cancer brings. It took me a few weeks to really build-up to the moment, and when it came to putting a razor to my long auburn locks, an unexplainable wave of emotions hit. It was not what I imagined.

For weeks my dreams were consumed with salons and scissors. You have to learn to love the reflection you see in the mirror and get mentally prepared for hair loss.

I went to a salon for the first time in nine years. I envisioned hair swept away on the shiny tile beneath my feet. As I sat in front of a small mirror in the swirling chair with a cape draped around the front of me, I wondered how the next year would be with a changed identity. The hairdresser carefully braided my hair into multiple sections with a rubber band as high as she could go and effortlessly cut each braid off. My hair went neatly into the bag, which was donated to a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for kids with cancer. It was a surreal moment because here I am sitting in this chair with cancer myself, and this stranger was about to change my life and someone else's at the same time and didn't even realize it.

Recklessly taking a razor to my head was by far the most liberating thing I've done. Four months ago, my hair was waist length, and cutting it was never a consideration. I am no longer a prisoner of society because I have a new set of bars to knock down, my health, and fighting to live. Being careless is an incredible feeling because I am in control and not allowing cancer to humiliate me.















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