You know in horror movies when someone goes into the attic and pulls an ancient doll from a dusty trunk…the doll has a missing eye and about seventeen crazy looking hairs on its head. Well, I don’t look exactly like the doll. I still have both eyes. Sure, almost no eyebrows, but I have eyes.

My hair is going and it’s disappearing fast, all of a sudden. When the chemo plan was initially explained to me I was told there was a chance I could lose my hair and weirdly, back then, that didn’t phase me too much. Of course, given the depth and range of the shitshow in which I found myself, hair loss was probably the least of my concerns. Weird how things change.

I have never thought of myself as particularly vain but my hair falling out has honestly been one of the most emotional, upsetting phases of this whole cancer thing. For months it looked like it was just thinning and I might get away with a slightly less bulky ponytail. Right now I’m covering my ever increasing bald patches with the world’s smallest high bun. Imagine a pimple on a pumpkin and you’ve got the ratio about right.

My hair falls out all the time but those times when I am washing my hair in the shower are the most confronting. A few weeks ago I pulled my hands down after rinsing the conditioner and my hands looked like something out of Teen Wolf. I couldn’t even see the skin on my hands for the amount of hair. It was shattering and pretty soon I found myself slumped on the tiles, sobbing. It took me about ten minutes to gather myself and get out of the shower where I was promptly confronted by the sight of my scalp in the bathroom mirror. And I lost it once more.

I like to share as you probably now know. It has become my regular practice to force loved ones to witness the hair loss. Poor Mel and Magro have each been called into the bathroom to view the post-wash pile of hair which increasingly resembles the roadkill of a medium-sized marsupial. I stand there semi-naked, pointing at the base of the shower and saying, “Look at it! It’s a lot!” to which they have no choice but to reply with, “Yep. It’s a lot.” This awkward exchange is somehow helpful to me. A load shared etc…

So it’s only fair that I share with you, loyal readers, as well. Look. It’s a lot of baldness, isn’t it?!


More dignified people would keep this image to themselves. Dignified has never been my thing. Instead, I choose public acknowledgement. It’s a FUCKING LOT OF BALD HEAD!!! And you can’t even see what’s under that comb-over.

“Why not just shave it off and get it over with?” I hear you (quite reasonably) ask. Well, here’s the thing. I’m not finishing chemo any time soon. As far as I am aware, the plan is for me to continue with treatment for the foreseeable future. In which case, this shit ain’t growing back. And believe me when I say this…I am not one of those Sinead O’Connor types who is going to be rocking the bald head. My ‘natural beauty’ isn’t going to be outshining the large, pale walnut that is my naked cranium. I imagine my future to be akin to dressing up every day as a six-foot-something, praying mantis and just casually going about one’s day.

And not just that. Most strangers on the street don’t know I have a chronic illness and I quite like it that way. Even you lot seem surprised when you bump into me that I look pretty normal and surprisingly unsick. Once I lose my hair I will adopt that much more recognisable image of the cancer patient. And while it might help me to jump the odd queue, it’s not ideal.

Sure, I’ve been stocking up on head scarves and I will consider wigs. But it’s not the same.

Some of you reading this have already been through this whole hair loss due to chemo shit. And having seen your photos, I think you pulled/pull it off beautifully. I’m going to take all the leaves out of your books and try to style it up as best I can, then just grit my teeth and walk out the door. In the meantime, if you see me walking down the street with strands (chunks) of hair falling behind me, just smile and wave and let me pretend it isn’t happening for a little bit longer. ‘kay, thanks!

PS. I kept getting a red line under my typing of the word ‘shitshow’. I have since added this word to my laptop’s dictionary and I suggest you all do the same. 2022 is already requiring its most regular use.

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0 thoughts on “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

  1. Losing hair must be tough, especially when you have such a lovely dark mane. I don’t think I would cope well, good to know that you can at least articulate your feelings around this on-going shitshow (red line!). I guess you will ultimately find a wig/cap/hat that feels relatively OK, not easy but I think you will look pretty good. You probably want to tell me to fuck off!!! Sending you much love. xxx Lizzie

  2. Yes I see the balding patches in this photo, but to be honest with you…. what I see most are two magnificently strong shoulders baring the heaviest weight through the toughest of times!!!! Hang in there. We are all here to support you through the shitshow and beyond. Big love to you!!!!!!

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