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hair loss and comment "it will grow back" really annoying me

dbhadra's picture
dbhadra
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2011

Struggling with the hair loss right now; it;s almost gone and I wore my wig to work yesterday. Will be wearing pretty much from now on, at least at work as I have a lot of bald spots. Got a lot of positive comments on how good I look !

One thing that has been annoying me, though, is when I talk about my hair loss, people tell me "it will grown back". Yes, I KNOW it will grow back but the point is that I am practically bald NOW and yes, that does bother me a bit! (and I'm sure it would bother them if they were in my shoes!)

Anyone else have this reaction to "it will grow back"? I know peeople mean well, but to me, it's like saying it doesn;t matter since it;s only temporary - so don;t complain! I find it rather dismissive, though again, I know it is not meant in that way.

Laura

nadca
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2009

I lost all pretty much at once Christmas eve... Was horrible.. But life is more important. Kinda liked no hair no worries. Hon It will grow back. My hair was to my butt before. You will feel better later on. Hang in there...

Hippiechick58's picture
Hippiechick58
Posts: 320
Joined: Feb 2011

I hate being bald! That being said, I also like my two wigs and the way they look on my bald head! What I really dislike is when someone says,"It's only hair, it will grow back!" Like you said, they mean well, but it is an invalidating comment that does not make us feel good about ourselves. Another comment I particularly dislike is " I love your wig!" Why not just shout it out to the world that I AM BALD! Yes, we both know it's a wig, but please keep your comments to yourself.

Don't let them get you down. You are more than your hair.

Be Well,
Dianne

natly15's picture
natly15
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sep 2009

Laura it is dismissive to you but not to them. People who say those things are trying to be encouraging to us and they dont have a clue. Yes you will also be told that you look great for having cancer and the many other things that are dismissive and not encouraging. I found that the only people who really understood were the people on these boards or those who have been thru this. Get your encouragement here. No one understands cancer as well unfortunately as one who has walked the walk. Hugs to you and when you get upset come here and tell us about it.

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

Got that comment all the time...they just don't know what else to say. I try to take a deep breath and say "Thank you" and try to keep my thoughts to myself.
What I dislike more is the comment "You look so good"...but again I TRY to be gracious (don't always succeed, though).
I completed chemo on 1/7/11 and my hair IS growing back and I will soon be revealing my 3/4 inch hair to all--as soon as my scalp is no longer visible. As much as I like my wig, it is annoying me now, so I'm anxious to not wear it for much longer.
Hugs,
JoAnn

Rague
Posts: 3282
Joined: Aug 2009

Never bothered me at all - it will grow back and I'm still alive for it grow back - I wouldn't be if i hadn't done my Chemo so it was a badge of honor to me.

"I love your wig" or "I like this wig better than the other" never bothered me either - I never once thought of those statements as screaming that I had cancer or that I was bald (until it grew back) - but then when I was in my 20's and 30's I had a lot of wigs/hairpieces that I wore often - so as I had waist lenght almost black hair and would come out with short green hair one day or any of the other wigs (some somewhat bizarre and some quite 'normal') and then something else later in the day or next day - pretty obvious - WIGS.

Susan

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2268
Joined: Jun 2010

but as I've posted on another thread, I'm sick and tired of what I see in the mirror and still not being able to go out without a headcover. I absolutely will not expose myself yet and I think it's obvious from my new pictures why I won't.

Sometimes those comments are dismissive and somethings they're meant to be comforting - sort of depends on who says them and how they're delivered. The comments that make me the most angry are those that do not acknowledge our fears and feelings - and all the pink ribbon gifts!

Suzanne

JuJuBeez's picture
JuJuBeez
Posts: 332
Joined: Apr 2010

'cause Girl you're amazing, just the way you are!!!"

I didn't have chemo, so I haven't had to go through the hair loss. I'm sure it is a big 'loss' and adjustment, and there is mourning period. I can only imagine what it's like at this point.

My hair is thinning at the top though since rads and starting Tamoxifen. I don't know which, if either cause thinning, but I can see a lot more of my scalp through my part. I've often thought of getting a wig, but I was told by someone, 'Why would you want to do that if you haven't lost all your hair?' Or, 'you didn't get chemo, you don't need a wig'. What if I just want nice full hair again, even if it's for an afternoon or a special event? Why do we have to justify our decisions? I feel like I'm under a microscope with what I eat or don't eat, if and when I exercise, how much I sleep I need or want, how much time I need to take off from work. It's just too much sometimes. I try to be so patient with people, knowing they mean well. But sometimes I want to scream. 'I want to sleep ALL day today.!' 'I want to be grouchy today' 'I want to feel pretty today!' Whatever the statement is... I want it- I earned it! ha ha!

Sorry, I went off the deep end for a minute. Guess I'm having one those days now. "It'll grow back" is like the "Well, if you're gonna get cancer, this is the one to get" comment.

Grr

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2018
Joined: Dec 2010

Here is one! I wore my new wig for the first time last Tuesday to go to the bank. When I left the house, I thought I looked pretty good (this was my trial run, first time around did baseball caps). Went to the bank and thought this is cool, no one even looked at me. Mind you it was windy and cold out. When I got back in the car, I was feeling pretty good!
Then I looked in my rear view and noticed that the reason that no one looked at me was they were probably too embarrased to! The wig was so crooked on my head, the wind had almost blown it off! I sat and laughed so hard! Up til this point, I was feeling pretty sad about the baldness!
Now I am looking for more fun wigs!

The one that bothers me is all the pink ribbons! I support all of it, but am not the poster child! I have received so much of this stuff....... maybe I will wear it all at once with a pink wig!

sea60's picture
sea60
Posts: 2601
Joined: May 2010

It's just one of those universal answers people feel compelled to say. I think we all felt pretty bummed about losing our hair. I guess for me personally, I wanted to hear that my hair would grow back so it didn't bother me too much...but I do see what you're saying.
It's about what you're feeling here and now.

I think for me, what bothered me more were comments about how strong and brave I was...uh...no, I didn't voluntarily join this war with cancer. If I had the chance, I would have gone AWOL upon being drafted! LOL!

No one really understand what a cancer patient is going through except another cancer patient...

Hugs,

Sylvia

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

unless you've walked in our shoes. The other day my sister, after complaining for about 30 minutes about all the things wrong in her life (by the way, it's a pretty darn good life--college professor, own home, relatively healthy, thin, pretty, financially secure) she makes the statement "Life Sucks!" Well, to me, that's another phrase you don't say to a survivor who has just fought like hell for her life over the past year. I simply said, "No, actually life is beautiful!" That shut her up!

Hugs, Renee

Kimberlyry
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

I love you! Can you call my sister? She once told me that she felt her mother-in-law gave herself breast cancer. I don't talk to her much about my condition. Her life is also a charm bracelet. bless you Renee!!

cindycflynn's picture
cindycflynn
Posts: 1133
Joined: Oct 2009

I know that sometimes we really just want to be comforted, and there really is nothing anyone can say that will just make us feel like we have no worries.

I tried to just take everyone's comments as an expression that they cared and were thinking about me, even if I knew they could have no real idea of what I was actually going through. If someone told me that my hair would grow back I assumed they were trying to reassure me that at least this part of the battle would be temporary and there would be better times ahead.

If you find the same people in your life making those kind of comments that really annoy rather than comfort you, you may have to resort to telling them ahead of time: Hey- I just need to vent to you, OK? Please don't try to "fix" it, just listen to me because I need to get this off my chest (so to speak!).

Take care,
Cindy

sweetvickid's picture
sweetvickid
Posts: 441
Joined: Nov 2009

After hearing the comment once to many I responded with a shocked look and said, "Do you really think so?"

A male cousin that I absolutely love was always honest with me. Told me bald was not my look. Told me, "You look like crap do you feel like crap?" Would come over and tell me I needed some Poor Babying which consisted of him holding me on his lap (real big guy) in a big bear hug patting and kissing me while saying you poor baby. Sometimes I cried but it always ended with us laughing.

Marsha Mulvey
Posts: 597
Joined: May 2010

I am one of you, BUT...I must side with those who say these things. WHY? Because until I was diagnosed, I was for the most part ignorant about cancer and probably would have said the same thing. I believe they are saying things to encourage you, not trying to trivialize your situation. Besides, in the grand scheme of things, what's more important - your hair or your life? You must be tough to face this battle, there's no time to let the little things get you down. I hate the fact that I have cancer, but I'm not ashamed of it. As strange as it seems, cancer sometimes makes us better people. With the knowledge that I have now, instead of telling someone "I like your wig" - I would probably ask if there's anything I could do for them. Just my thoughts.
Marsha

ElizabethB's picture
ElizabethB
Posts: 89
Joined: Feb 2011

I will be starting my chemo on the 21 of March and even tho people say it will grow back and i am sure it will it still scares me that for even a few months I will have-no hair it petrify s me. It really isn't making me feel any better about loosing it is this a vein thin?? or what. I try to make fun of it with my husband because he only has just a ring of hair about ear high. I laugh and tell him honey guess what enjoy you will have more hair then Me for a short time...I know all this is because i am scared and nervous. But if anything i need to laugh about it that way in the long haul it won't bother me as much at least I hope So lol......hugs and kisses xoxoxox to all you wonderful beautiful ladies with and without hair

mollyz's picture
mollyz
Posts: 737
Joined: Sep 2010

That bothered me more than anything (really) i thought it was awful but it happened and i couldn't do anything about it when it started to fall out i started to cry and thought no I'm not going to do this and i kept my head covered up in the house from my family and i showed it to them one by one (2 boys and husband) well now i have about an inch and i do wear a wig only to church i wear a hat everywhere else it's OK i wish we bald sisters could be together.I started radiation last week and that's the first time in almost a year that I've seen so many bald women we have a blast laughing and talking. your not alone i stayed on this site for all of last summer it felt like home.so hang in there where all here for you .HUGS HUGS and more HUGS to you.MOLLYZ

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov 2009

I really didn't think being bald would bother me. I wanted to have a hair shaving party, but when I started loosing it after my 2nd treatment, the thought of a party was too much. My sister and her family took care of me after my treatments so my sister cut my hair really short, then my brother in law shaved my head. When their 16 year old daughter came in and saw me for the first time she said "you look beautiful". I cried like a baby. We are all beautiful, we just have to remind ourselves of this during treatment.

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I also shaved my head when my hair was coming out in chuncks. I cried as well. I hated being bald. Loved the way my wigs looked on me , but hated wearing them. I wore scarfs a lot. People just don't know what to say to us, and you know before I was Dx I.m not sure what I would say to someone else.

NJMom10
Posts: 176
Joined: Oct 2010

The point is you are going bald and is makes you mad. Yes, you know they mean well and yes, you know this is a choice between life without hair for a while or maybe not living. But it still makes you mad! We get it. It makes us mad too!! But be encouraged too. Because as crappy as you feel about it all, it will grow back, you will feel better and you will get through this! Keep your chin up!

florida_sunshine
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2011

i had a complete color change. Never been blonde now iam one.

meena1's picture
meena1
Posts: 1005
Joined: Oct 2008

i agree with, people just do not know what to say. I know that i keep thinking "how rude!" when someone says something to me, but i have to understand that they are also affected by everythiing going on.

BetsyJane's picture
BetsyJane
Posts: 127
Joined: Aug 2011

Some of us are more effected than others about losing our hair. I was extremely upset over my hair loss. I don't like being bald. I don't like looking like a man. I don't like having a cold head and having to wear a wig or some type of wrap or hat when I go out in the cold weather but most of all I just can't stand looking at myself in the mirror. I have gone thru chemo and my hair is slowly starting to grow back. In fact, I keep feeling the top of my head and it puts a smile on my face feeling hair again. Believe it or not, every couple of weeks I even ask my husband to measure how long my hair has grown. Yes I know it will grow back but many of us still have a very hard time losing our hair. I very much dislike the comment "don't worry, it will grow back". I look forward to the day when I can wash, curl, blow dry and style my hair again.

Hope your hair grows back soon.

Melaniedoingwell
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2011

"It will grow back"
"My (neighbor, cousin, ex-in-law's neighbor's friend's cousin) had XXX cancer and she said..."
etc., etc., etc.

They don't know. SOME of them mean well, some of them are thoughtless idiots.

And - for some relative few people, no- it will NOT grow back.

Perhaps you should consider saying - "I think you probably mean to be helpful here and you are not helping at all."

If you do, have a phrase you are willing to hear from them and tell them what it is. Suggest they say "This must be really tough and I'm sorry you are going through it."

That could help you train people to not say stupid things to you while you are at a vulnerable state.

I have had intelligent and compassionate people say some of the dumbest things imaginable to me. I imagine that all of us here have.

You will get through it. Take the bull by the horns and steer the conversations you have in the direction you are able to handle. Some of these comments really can derail you and you CANNOT let that happen. You don't want to alienate people but you are not a doormat for their ignorance or thoughtlessness or sometimes even meanness!

Protect your peace and calm and healing by coming up with a suggested phrase for them to say to you like the one above.

just saying....

inkblot
Posts: 705
Joined: Jul 2001

Fact: Folks who haven't lost their hair, haven't a clue how traumatic it can be. How could they? I hated losing my hair. Yet, it wasn't the biggie I'd expected it may be for me. We're all different. Our hair "growing back" is not the issue. The fact that it's suddenly gone, is the issue! Yes, we'd like folks to say instead: "Oh, I am so sorry you lost your hair and I know it must be very traumatic". Something along those lines, instead of stating the obvious, that it will grow back. My advice...just don't get caught up in judging what people say. Let it be. Focus instead on their intentions. Realizing that they don't understand. They can't understand and that they honestly don't know what to say. All the more important to be here, where it is understood and where people know exactly what to say.
Love, light & laughter,
Ink

tookiebird
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2012

People are so funny. I think that they don't realize that the hair loss -- at least for me-- was symbolic of the whole out of control journey that is cancer. Mostly people don't want to see the suffering and so want to minimize it (many doctors in this group). But often they are trying to be nice and don't know what to say.
So here is what I wish they would say : I am so sorry. That must be awful! I cannot imagine!
But... They don't. One woman who had turned away when she saw me during the year of my treatments ran up to me after it was all over and admired my inch- long white hair. "WHERE did you get that haircut??" she asked.. So I told her "at my oncologist!". I know that was not nice. One older lady in my support group said that all her neighbor lady friends got together and made food for another lady who had cancer but not for her. When she asked why, she was told that breast cancer is not that bad. A lot if people think that!
Maybe we could try saying "So you wouldn't worry about it, if it was you?" , asking them as we say in California to own it or disown it.

mom62
Posts: 600
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Laura,

Glad to hear you got a wig and it looks great on you. Sometimes people just don't know how to react when someone loses something permanent like their hair. I chose to shave my head when it started to fall out. I have to say it was (and I know this sounds weird) to just put on my wig and go! It saved so much time getting ready in the morning. When it does come back it is usually a little different. My hair was curly before and came back straight. The second time it came back curly again, really weird. I know you are feeling the loss of part of your identity and I think that is why it bothers you. I myself had always been a rebel with my hair so it didn't bother me as much. Maybe next time someone says it you could say "yes" but I still miss it.

((hugs))
Terry

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