Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hair and Wigs 101

Hair and Wigs 101

Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices. ~Shana Alexander

Well another day, another task to tick off my list of pre-chemo things to do. A rather large to do item is to deal with my impending hair loss situation. Now if you would have asked me a year ago whether I would ever wear a wig other then on Halloween, my answer would have been a swift no. I have always liked my hair and once even figured out on average how many hours a year I typically spent styling it (I know I clearly need a hobby). I think it worked out to something like 23 consecutive hours a year! Case in point - I am clearly into my hair. I have been pretty much every colour throughout my 31 years of life...blond, black, brown, red...even blue. My hair acted as an armour that protected me on days when I felt full of spots or served as an instant perk up after a spectacular blow out at the salon. Like the quote above, hair is a key and essential accessory to a women’s femininity and I think it actually holds magical power. I mean think of Rapunzel who basically found love because she had a great head of hair. Hair can draw a man in and keep him there. So would I be like Rapunzel and lose all my power when my precious locks were gone?

To shave or not shave is the next question and we ain’t talking about body hair here ladies! Now I really need to weight this out heavily because there are several opinions on this one. Some people say shaving your hair before it falls out can be empowering and puts you firmly in the driver’s seat. No shockers like waking up to clumps of hair on your pillow or being on the receiving end of an unforgiving gust of wind! Yet there are others who think maybe just maybe I will be the exception to the rule and perhaps my hair won’t fall out. And then there are the others who are just too afraid to take matters into their own hands and are happy to let nature take its course. So where do I stand on this? I think I am somewhere in between. I remember so often walking out of salons with a frown and holding in tears because they had cut it too short. How would I react now to the ultimate short cut? And there is something highly exposing about getting your head shaved in a public place. I don’t think I could do it. Instead I have decided to cut a lot of my hair off but still keep it bob-like for now. It is a toddler step to the next stage and I think I feel the most comfortable with the Dorothy Hamill look first before I venture into Sinead territory.

So with hair loss comes wig shopping. I actually walked by a wig shop a few days ago and decided to go in. I was sitting there between one woman who was clearly 90 or so years old with pencilled on eyebrows and an older man who had clearly gotten the bad end of the baldness gene. It is sufficed to say I felt very out of place. Well after trying on a few styles as inspired by Raquel Welch (she is apparently “a big wig” in the fake hair world), I have to say that it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Thankfully wigs have come a long way from what I remember of them and I just might be okay with this. And if anything it is the chance to try out any hairstyle or colour I want. I might be able to even have a little fun with this and will definitely have to get a Britney style pink bob for special occasions! Everyone loves a little Cotton Candy!

So I will make the dreaded call to my stylist and book myself in for the next step next week. And learn to channel my other superpowers while my hair takes a much needed break! I look forward to my new virgin hair when it finally grows back and how fabulous I will look!

And Cut!


  1. Kate,
    What a creative perspective to deal with C induced hair loss. I think the bob will look just fine for a while - I do recall your first bob at age 5 - was pretty cute. The baldness will be a challenge and definitely a first as you were born with a head of hair but the wig sounds stylish intriguing. Will you have highlights in it???
    Whatever happens your wonderful personality will shine! Love Mom

  2. Hello Kate! I am your mom's friend. I have signed in an hour ago and I don't know if it worked. So I am now signing in again. I just want to tell you that you will fully recover after all the necessary treatments. Given the early stage,your breast cancer is the curable one. What you need to do now is eat nutritiously and rest well, especially after your chemo treatment. Your hair loss will start only after 3 weeks of your 1st chemo. It's better you shave your hair completely and then put on a head cover(bandanna)of some shot to keep your head warm. It's going to take a while to see your beautiful hair back. Probably a year or so, it all depends on how many chemo treatments you need to receive. Usually your hair will start growing 4 weeks after your last chemo treatment, after it will take at least half a year before your hair will grow back in decent shape. So please accept it as it is and be patient. You are such a brave and amazing young woman. I am praying for you everyday and I know God will take good care of you. Love and blessing!