Woman with long hair looks into mirror imaging a short haircut

Snip Snip, Bye-Bye Hair

Last updated: November 2020

Bye-bye hair. Well, this is the written word so you don’t necessarily know what I look like. Until 5 days ago, I had really really long hair. I’m quite emotionally attached to my hair. I think most of us are actually. And my cancer and treatment have definitely changed it. I’m lucky in that I’ve never lost it. But, it is half as thick as it used to be and I still remember how it was 13 years ago and how different it was to how it is now.

Finally time to cut my hair

I’ve been thinking for a while about getting it cut off. I used to yo-yo between growing it and then getting it cut into a jaw-length bob, or slightly shorter, for years. But recently, it’s been consistently long for the longest (HA) length (HA) of time in ages. I think it’s been five or even six years since I had a good snip. So on my 35th birthday a few days ago, I thought, it’s time.

And maybe because I had prepared myself for around a month I was totally chill about it. This is a funny time of year for me. The lead up to Christmas always reminds me of how I felt in the lead up to my diagnosis. It’s still so vivid. I wonder if it will even fade. It’s been nearly 13 years and I can still remember how I felt like it was yesterday. I had long hair when I was diagnosed and not long after, when I was a bit better after the horrific side effects of the first chemo began to wear off, my mother treated me to a very expensive haircut. As a treat and because I was getting so much chopped off because my hair wasn’t in great condition.

Small reminders of my diagnosis

I will also always remember this appointment as when the hairdresser was drying it, I clocked some grey hair and asked him about it. He got really excited and said, yes, you’ve got a streak and it’s amazing!!! He went off to get something and I started to cry. To say I was emotionally vulnerable at that time is the understatement of the year! My mother noticed I was upset and asked me why. I told her it was because I had grey hair. I was only 22, and she said, "Oh yes! You’ve had that for ages!" I then really started to cry and asked her why she hadn’t told me at home.

So when I got my hair cut this week I told the story to the hairdresser whilst laughing hysterically because it’s so ridiculous. She looked a bit concerned, more because she was worried about how I was going to react to having so much hair cut off with her. I assured her I was fine and she didn’t need to worry.

Amazing. A hair appointment and its link to cancer and my diagnosis. It’s amazing how much of my life is a constant and gentle reminder about it. It's always there, just under the surface, never really going away.

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