During this last year, hair has been a sensitive topic and an ever-present source of frustration. Every time I looked in the mirror I was reminded of cancer because my hair was short and gray. Given all I’ve come through, I know that sounds impossibly ungrateful. I mean, really, it’s just hair. That’s what I said before. I should stand by that statement, right?
Wrong. I was so, so wrong.
Hair is important. All hair. Eyebrows. Eyelashes. Even nose hair, which I didn’t know I’d miss until I experienced a few epic nosebleeds.
Hair makes me feel normal.
But dammit, my hair sure didn’t look how I wanted it to.
It felt like a punch in the gut when I had my photo taken for my work badge. The description on the back reads, “Eyes: Blue. Hair: Gray.” I read that and wanted to scream at them, “but the color isn’t my fault!” Except what good would that have done except to elicit unwanted pity?
And I couldn’t make my hair behave. It was too short to do much with except throw on a headband and let it grow.
To add to that frustration was the lingering fear that I’d have go through treatment again only to lose what had grown back. Fear and guilt are kissing cousins and I felt awful for hating my hair. I knew better than anyone the only thing worse than having my hair was having no hair.
My hair has come a long way in a year. Yesterday I had my first real, honest to God, on-purpose hair cut since shaving my head. I keep sneaking peeks in the mirror just to smile at myself. I took an obscene number of selfies and sent them to all my friends. I even jumped in the car and drove over to my friend Veronica’s house to show her my hair.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about my hair. It feels good to like looking in the mirror again.