Friday, January 09, 2009

An Elegy for Hair

My hair, my hair, my hair. I have always taken my hair for granted, I guess. I just always had fantastic, beautiful, thick hair. It's been a part of my identity in ways I never really thought about. I was lucky enough to not have to worry with such things as thickening or volumizing shampoos or conditioners or mousses. I still used them back in high school, but hey, it was the 80s. A friend called me Lion because of how big I would tease my hair. Ever since I was old enough to make the decision, I chose to have long hair. Or, at the least, be in the process of growing it out. And out and out and out, I did. In college, my hair was down to my waist. The first time I cut my hair of my own accord was after college when I decided I needed a change. I cut over a foot off. I only wish I had known about Locks of Love back then. And, just to emphasize how much hair I actually have, after cutting my hair off, I stopped having the headaches that would plague me from time to time back then. I would get several a year. After cutting it, I would get maybe one a year, if that. I started growing it out again almost immediately. By the time I moved to Bermuda, it was down my back again - not as long as in college, but still pretty long. Again, I was ready for a change, so I cut it shorter than it had been since kindergarten - almost a pixie cut (except it's too thick to lie that flat). That time I had heard of Locks of Love, so I donated over ten inches. Again, I started growing it out almost immediately. Last year, I decided it was time for a change again, so I gradually cut it shorter & shorter. I had been getting it highlighted (meaning I couldn't donate to Locks of Love), so there was no one big haircut that time. I had started growing it out (sans coloring) earlier this year, with the intention of getting it long enough to donate to Locks of Love again when I got my diagnosis. I guess I'm just happy that I didn't get it to that long point before it started falling out. The falling out has started, though, so I need to face facts. I'll soon be bald. I won't have my protective cover anymore. Nothing to hide behind. I cleaned my sink off, wiping the strands of hair off that are starting to fall, more and more every day. Soon there will be strands on my pillow, and more washing out with the shampoo. Down down down, swirling around the drain, falling on the counter, swept into the trash. At some point I'll have to pick up those clippers and take start cutting. Taking control of my fate, I'm sure some people would call it. Giving in to the inevitable, others might. I don't know if I'll feel if either of those are quite right. I just know I'm not ready for it. I guess nobody ever really is. And while I appreciate the various "I bet you'll be a good-looking bald lady", it doesn't help. Nothing really does. Nothing really will. Not until I'm either used to it or it starts growing back in. So in the meantime, I'll be that lady. The one with no hair. Oh, that poor woman, she must be having chemo. It must be cancer. Tut, tut, and all that rot. So adieu, cheaveux. It's been a fun ride. I'll see you on the flip side.

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