In preparation of the hair loss due to chemotherapy, I decided to cut my hair short to better manage the emotions related to seeing clumps of hair fall out of your head. I heard if it’s short hair, it easier to deal with as it is thinning.
The hair that I cut today had been growing for about 7 years. It was so long that it reached my butt. The last time I cut it was probably only to remove split ends. I was always careless with it, adding and removing colour, not bothering with maintaining it at all.
Yet my hair was something that defined me. People around knew me as the girl who had crazy long hair. Some people asked if it was all real and I would even gladly tell them “of course!” My friends knew me as the one who changes hairstyles and colours, even having neon green dreadlocks at one point.
Losing my hair would mean letting go of all these ideas, which I am prepared to, except for the idea that all girls share, that their hair makes them beautiful…
I’ve cut my hair short today, and despite the first few hours of uneasiness, I grew to like the style. It’s easy to get attached to things, in this case even if a short hairstyle was meant to help me detach from my long hair easier.
I kept my long hair in a bag in case we needed for donation or anything else.
Holding it like this does feel like I’m holding on to a dead body that I once treasured so much and had a lot of attachment to.
However, I see the hair loss to chemo as an opportunity to experience baldness which I would otherwise probably never have had the bravery to do so as a choice. Considering the fact that I had thought about being a nun before, the renunciation of hair would have been one of the first few steps on the path of devotion to Buddhism.
I have yet to start chemo therapy so I cannot say if this positivity will continue when my hair does eventually fall out, but I am open to accepting that these feelings will change and then change again.