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  • Writer's pictureChrisCutler

Hair We Go

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

It doesn’t matter if your life is

perfect as long as your hair color is.

~Stacy Snapp Killian

I know I mentioned this before, but my hair and I have had a contentious relationship since the day I was born. It has always enjoyed teasing me in to thinking that it was going to keep a certain style only to fall flat the minute I walked out of the door.

Yet, losing it last June was difficult. I felt exposed. Naked. Afraid. I wore wigs and caps when I left the house. I let no one but Mike and Riley see me without my shields. Yes, those caps and wigs were more protection than anything else.

My hair started growing back around the time we moved to St. Pete in October. It started out, as one would expect, as little pinpoints, "pings" as my husband called them. For months, I still refused to leave the house without some sort of covering on my head. Why? Embarrassment. I hated how I looked. I felt naked. Afraid. Alone.

Let's be honest here. It was difficult to wake up every morning for six months and look at some strange bald person staring back at me from the mirror. As my hair started to grow, it was/is still difficult because it is coming in dark...a color I have never had in my life. Even before I started highlighting my hair to lighten it, the color was dishwater blonde...not blonde, but not brunette.

Everyone told me that once my hair started growing back after chemo, it would probably be a different color. I was hoping for red. My hair does have a bit of red in it, thanks to my grandfather's genes, but I remembered enough from biology class to know that the red would not show through without a little help from chemicals.

A few weeks ago, Mike encouraged me to stop wearing the wigs and caps when we went out. "No one knows you," he said. "Your hair is looking good."

Let me insert here that before my cancer journey started last year, I was thinking about letting my hair go back to its normal color. I was tired of slathering chemicals on my head, so I toyed with the idea of going natural. Perhaps, I thought, someone above made the decision for me.

Back to present time, I decided Mike was right, and for about two weeks, I have not worn anything on my head. My hair is currently a little over an inch long, a little curly, and dark. Darker than it has ever been. Yes, yes. I'm thrilled it did not come in grey, but brunette? Is it reminding me that I'm Italian? (Note that light is shining on my head in the photo, so it looks a little lighter than it is in person.)

"I don't think I would have recognized you on the street," my cousin Marge said to me yesterday when she came to visit for a bit. "Your hair has never been that dark." She's right. I hardly recognize myself.

I don't know what I'm going to do with it. I'm liking the pixie look now, although I think about another half inch length would be good. I think I'll let it go for a few more months. Maybe by then, I'll know who that person in the mirror is and let her decide what to do.

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