Waiting for Savasana

Taking Care of My New Head

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I came home from chemo on Tuesday and sat on the couch and pulled my hair out in handfuls.  I put the hair in a bowl.  It took some time.

It didn’t hurt coming out.  It just…went.

I had some fringe for a couple of days around my temples and my sideburns stayed a couple of extra days.  It was funny.

I now have this fuzz left all over my noggin.  Like duck fuzz.  It’s funny.

I was worried my head was going to be dented and bumpy and ugly.  But it’s actually quite round and smooth.  Not at all the denty mess I was expecting.  And my scalp is very white.  I do have some spots and freckles and moles and things but it isn’t unattractive.

Now I know something I never wanted to know.

I have a nice shaped bald head.

I think the best thing is that it all happened in steps.  Before the surgery, my hair was past my shoulders.  That was cut to a bob after surgery when it became apparent that brushing long hair in my new state would be difficult.  Then three weeks before chemo, I got a short pixie boy cut.  People told me I look like Ginnifer Goodwin.

My scalp began to itch a few days after chemo and I was done.  I woke up one morning and my husband and I buzzed it to about an inch all around.

I think it was good for the boys to see it go in stages.  I know it was good for me to do it that way.

How vain, right?  How vain!  It’s just hair.  Who cares?

I freaking care.  I care.  I loved my hair.  I have been obsessed with my hair.  My hair has been a full time job and it is a part of me.  A huge part of my identity and it would be an absolute charade to pretend otherwise.

I really enjoyed pulling it out.  I enjoyed taking charge of the whole thing.  And now it is gone and I am ok.

But you know, even now, a newly bald head is tricky to care for.  Because there are weird dry patches and something called sebum (ewwww!) and the skin itself is quite vulnerable.

So here is what I have been doing to take care of my poor sweet round head.

In the shower, first I exfoliate with a nice honey scrub, then I wash my whole scalp with my fancy pants Brazillian Blowout Shampoo because it feels nice and smells like oranges.  Then I condition it with the fancy pants Brazillian Blowout Conditioner for the same reason. Perhaps i should save that fancy pants stuff but the smell is really comforting so I am using it.  And after all, who doesn’t like an orange scented head?  After all that, I moisturize with Egyptian Magic, a cream that was recommended by my new friend Becky from my breast cancer support group.  I am trying to avoid moisturizers with parabens and all that bad stuff and the Egyptian Magic is olive oil and honey and beeswax and stuff.  I just rub it right in.  I sleep with a cotton cap at night to keep my head warm and comfy.  I remoisturize whenever I feel the need.

I have not gone out uncovered yet but my understanding is that I should wear a good sunscreen (which is tricky since I am allergic to most sunscreen) and just keep moisturizing.

I am hoping that eventually my fuzzy head turns into a shiny head.  We will see.  Becky also said to sit outside for 5 or 10 minutes a day without suncreen to build a base tan on my chrome dome but I’m staying out of the sun for now.

My scalp still hurts so I’m just going to baby it awhile.

And I am enjoying messing with wigs and scarves and hats and figuring out what works for me.  It’s going to be months of baldness, I might as well take charge.

I also went to a “Look Good, Feel Better” class in June.  The American Cancer Society does a nice job with this.  I received a tote full of very nice makeup that I have actually used quite regularly (my favorite is this awesome blush stick by Shiseido, I will buy one when this one runs out, it’s that good!).  I learned some make up tricks (drawing on eyebrows will be coming soon I think!  Whooppie)! I did not know and though I don’t normally wear a ton of makeup, I have found the new “Look Good, Feel Better” philosophy helps.  I may be bald and swollen from steroids, I may feel like absolute poop… but a little lipstick and eyeliner actually can brighten my entire outlook when I need it.  Maybe just a little.

I never knew what a vain person I was until I got cancer.  Or maybe it’s just that I feel so bad that I only have one way to go.  Regardless, it’s working for me.  It’s getting me through.

Makeup and a lot of moisturizer.

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One thought on “Taking Care of My New Head

  1. You know that I’m a firm believer in decorating the body and expressing the self through fashion. It is truly a form of art. Your canvas has changed, but I have no doubt that you will make yourself some gorgeous art in the months to come. Because you will be expressing your gorgeous self, and that is immutable.

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