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Why should my hair be such an issue

TexasCharlie's picture
Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2012

I apologize once more for being negative. After all so much good has happened to me that I really feel I have no right to complain. That being said, Eleanor in another thread brought up the issue of losing hair. I know this has been discussed too many times to mention but here's my take.
Why am I so upset about losing mine? I buzzed it off at the 1st sign of losing clumps. When I did buzz it I put on a air of "I don't care, it's just hair, it'll grow back, after all, I'm a man and it isn't such a big deal!"! What a crock that was! Really, who am I kidding. I look in the mirror and I can't recognize the person staring back at me. It was hard to accept this! I try to accept all this but there are times when it just gets me down. The bottom line here is, no matter if we are male or female, our hair is a large part of who we are. At 62, i was so proud that my hair was still mostly dark. I hid a prominent scar with my facial hair, and it further defined who I was. When I lost it all, I lost a lot of my identity.
How did/are you guys handling this issue emotionally?

Lighthouse_7's picture
Posts: 1566
Joined: Jan 2010

I completely understand Charlie. Men or women have a great identity with our hair. I also didn't reconize the person in the mirror at first. I thought to myself what can I do? SO I decided to embrace it ( as best I could ) and look at it like a sign of my strength and my great fight ahead. It was almost like my badge of honor although I know that sounds weird. For me, it was the best way to deal with it.

Also you can wear some cool kerchiefs on your head like the bikers or young people wear. :) I wore big earrings and more makeup which was fun. I have my hair back now and remember how easy it was to never have a "Bad" hair day.

Best of luck Charlie and you will find a way to deal with it that's best for you.

Big Hugs,

Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2012

I know what you mean about the facial hair. My co-worker's husband had chemo and ALWAYS had facial hair and was traumetized at not having any. He did wear dew-rags though and they looked great. I took it all as a badge of courage and when I went into public with my scarves at first, and then after rads with just peach fuzz on my head (YES I DID!!!) it gave me a feeling of being a warrior. You must look at it this way. You'll get your hair back. In the meantime, you are being a warrior.

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I think that what you are feeling is very, very normal. Hair is not just a vanity issue. It is a symbol of health and, when it is gone, everyone knows that we are sick. I think that was the hardest thing of all for me to deal with--I just wanted my family aware and wanted the rest of the world to leave me alone.

We all feel so differently though and I couldn't be prouder of our brothers and sisters who go bald proudly. I never had the courage, I am ashamed to say.

And I don't even like my hair as I am the one and only woman in the family with curly hair-I always dreamed of straight hair.

I wore a wig (I thought it was hideous) and cried a lot; that is how I dealt. I am such a wimp! Being a guy, even though so many are naturally bald, is still hard, because it is not YOU!

The good news is that it really will grow back and this will all be behind you. Big (((hugs))). Hang in there!

ManWithaMission's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Sep 2008

Charlie, no one here ever needs to apologize for anything we do,feel or say on this board! That's why it's safe here. Everybody has a right to complain about something or the other even if "so much good has been happening to you".

I never really had much hair to lose when I went through chemo because I started to loose my hair in my early twenties and was half bald in my thirties. I grew a beard 15 to 20 years ago and had to shave it off for work once and I did look rather funny without it. I am 60 and on chemo again,but I am not loosing much hair this time around. But then,I don't have that much to loose anymore. (LOL)

Hope that you find your way of dealing with this issue emotionally soon. Hang in there. Like they say,"It'll grow back".


salls41's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

I am really really thankful to have my health, but with my hair growing back in now, gray and curlyish and with fuzzy tips, I STILL don't recognize myself in the mirror, I also hate that my eyebrows have not come back yet! Its ok. I think Cynthia is correct that our hair is also an indicator of our health... I don't feel completely well yet as I have not gotten back to seeing me in the mirror! Don't feel like you should not miss your hair! We all feel the same pretty much.

Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2012

My hair is super gray and Curlyish too. I used to have a long and beautiful hair. I'm reallly thankful for my good Heath as well. I look so different when I looked before.

Posts: 25
Joined: Nov 2012

Losing my hair was extremely traumatic for me. I had a very thick head full of curls and more curls which had brought many complaints over the years. The morning my husband had to shave my head for me we both sobbed. Even now that it is coming back it is still difficult because it is so short and growing very slowly because all the curls are back and it is hard to tell there is any length with it so tightly curled. I definitely was not one of the brave that could toss caution to the wind and go without anything on my head. It seems like it shouldn't be that big a deal but it is!!! Please hang in there and know that you are not the only that has had to fight the anger and embarrassment that this unpleasant stage can bring.

Posts: 25
Joined: Nov 2012

Compliments not complaints .... Good grief, I don't understand why my IPad can't think for me. :-)

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

There is no reason to apologize...you expressed your feelings and that is absolutely ok. I have always felt that I can say just about anything here, as long as I am courteous and respectful. So vent, let those feelings out. We can take it, and we can relate.

I have lost my hair 3 times...each time it was traumatic. The first time, I cut my long hair 3 times (shorter and shorter) before I finally shaved it off. I shaved it again, the second and 3rd times. This last time was with whole brain rads, I have some patches that are trying to grow in (in spite of chemo). But I've got male pattern baldness and what is growing is very fine and thin. So I'm still shaving my head. For me, shaving my own hair is a way of me taking control. That's how I've dealt with it.

I hope it helps you to hear my story, and I also hope you are able to come to terms with this part of treatment.

Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

I was not happy with the prospect of losing my hair. I know that a lot of it is that to me I felt like I no longer had control over who knew about my plight. Anyone who saw me would know -- even people I do not know.

I think that one thing which helped me work through the process was when I had my friend Becky come over, when my hair was beginning to come lose, and give me a buzz cut. I thought bristles would be easier to contend with than hair.

Then I had to decide what I was going to do when I was out in public -- hat or hair. I seemed to want to avoid my wig, although there was no reason to. I finally decided that was ridiculous, as the places I was going to regularly (church, local store, etc.) were where I was known and the "regulars" there knew I had no hair. It was me. It wasn't a vanity thing. I just was no longer in control of who knew.

When I finally listened to myself, then I was fine. Afterall, what choices did I have? With the drugs I was on, hair loss was a given. I can't tell you how many times I told myself -- even with this -- JUST DEAL WITH IT. EVENTUALLY IT WILL BE A THING OF THE PAST. BUT FOR NOW" YOU DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A CHOICE!

It was ok.

The other thing that helped me a lot was that I managed to maintain a sense of humor -- not that I laughed all the time about things or made smart remarks, but I sometimes did find myself amused at my fate.

ksf56's picture
Posts: 203
Joined: Apr 2012

When I heard I was going to have chemo and I was going to lose my hair, I felt more upset over the hair loss than almost anything else. I was the Blond girl (my true hair color was platinum blond) - it was my one feature that set me apart. I hate the dumb blond jokes to the nth degree. It was terrible knowing it was going to fall out. My hairdresser met us (my husband came with me) before salon hours and cut my hair very short when it started to come out - we all stood there crying. A few days later my husband and I took turns shaving it off. I finally had some control over something. My journey with head covers started. I hated the wig we went to all lengths (ha ha) to find so I was on the hunt for unique hats and scarves. I settled on a few that I was comfortable in. I have a huge plastic box full of them. I've been scared to get rid of them for fear then I'd need them again - kinda silly. I had a funny experience at the grocery store - I was having a horrendous hot flash and I just stood there and popped my hat off. I took the cashier off guard. I still have a chuckle over the look on her face. Somewhere, you've got to find the humor in all this. It does grow back - mine is white and gray and I'm leaving it that way. I feel it's my badge of honor. I like it short and easy too. Who knew?

I wish the best to you!

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