I just read a blog about hairstyles and it got me thinking about how much of our identity is tied up in our hair?! I know it sounds vain, but we’re only human if being honest, we all want to look good, be it for the opposite sex, others of our own sex (women) and for ourselves. The world is caught up in the attractiveness of being human, so we all fall into this category, lets face it, why else would millions, dare I say billions, be spent on making and marketing hair products per year?
If we’re attractive on the outside and we hope to catch the interest of people then they can get to know the true person on the inside.
Much time is also spent daily, besides many dollars spent on styling products, to look good, but if it makes a person feel good, why not? There is a lot of thought put into the length and style of women’s and men’s hair. It can be directly equated with sexy and femininity for a woman which I don’t think men stress over as much, but should it be and should there be pressure to keep the hair long? It is a lot of work, which men don’t understand, even though it may be the whole male fantasy, the woman with a long head of hair, and dare I say blond without alienating all the brunettes? But do they have to maintain it, have to live with the annoyance of it in the heat of the summer, etc? No, just the glamour of having their significant other throwing it over their shoulder in front of their friends and strangers as they have their woman on their arm, be able to run their fingers through it, and if really lucky live the fantasy of the long luxurious locks being run along their naked body while they are sweaty and naked in bed together. Get real…so is this why the dilemma remains for women to cut or not to cut? As usual, for the men in their lives? Hmmm, seems unfair to me again.
When I finally grew up and could make the decision for myself, I always went for long hair. My hair didn’t understand this decision. It wouldn’t cooperate and grow longer. I don’t know if it was the shock of finally be allowed free rein, as my mother always cut my hair in my youth in a “Pixie“. Oh, how cute! NOT! (No little girl wants this, mothers unite and do not do this unless your little girl expressly requests this cut). Or it could have been all of the “perms” I tortured my hair with. After all it was the 80’s and straight thin hair was not “IN”. But it seemed it didn’t matter the amount of time spent growing my hair, it was never longer than my shoulders and just that. But still, it was MY hair, it was blond and relatively long and I loved it!
So in walks breast cancer! Damn! Chemo, and we all know what that means, goodbye hair. I think I took that the hardest of all the things having to do with the cancer. I know, I know, isn’t that crazy. But I knew I would be fine, because I am an optimist, and I was not ready to go, I hadn’t started my blog yet. So when I started to lose my hair, I decided to shave it off and face the future bald. No wigs for me. A few hats but mostly bald. It was a “look”. Oh, what a look! Don’t get me wrong, not a “look” I ever want to have to do again, but like with lemons, make lemonade, I learned how to apply a lot of eye makeup again like I did in my “clubbing” days and on I went. As it started growing in, the world of hair fashion opened up to me. I started with pink hair dye with my new baby hair growth, which I loved. That was a cool look. Each week, I got to enjoy a new look as it grew in, and as the pink hair dye would fade it took on new shades that were interesting and pretty. My friends were behind me all the way. They loved everything I did, and encouraged me all through it. That’s what friends are for. It was FUN. I did short and funky with gel in it, cool. Funky sticking out all over, they all worked and were quirky. Different shades of blond and caramel, the whole gamut. But best of all, from the perspective of getting ready to go out, I could be showered and good to go in mere minutes. Just like a man. Except for the eye makeup, which didn’t take that long, it was a breeze. I could get used to this. But as my hair grows, I keep letting it, never sure where to stop. I am aiming for a bob, which I first trimmed my hair to in anticipation of the hair loss after the news of cancer and it looked so sophisticated I’ve been envisioning that picture through this whole saga to get me through. Now that I’m almost there, the final mission, the holy grail has been achieved, I may actually cut it short again, because it was pretty and easy, and I’m ME!!
Along the way I realized I was ME, not my hair. When I caught my reflection in the window once laughing and joking feeling like ME, I realized that’s who I was, the happy laughing person, not the bald sick person I saw in my reflection. That is probably what helped me survive the whole “cancer” thing. It does get better, and you will get better. There is a low, low point of cancer, when you feel terrible from the chemo, but when you survive that, you come out the other side and realize you are better for it and stronger, with a whole bunch of new hair dos. Ha, Ha. But really, stronger, deeper, and a better person able to realize what is important, how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
(C) Written by Evelyn Garone 7/2010