Hair loss can be a nightmare for women.
But what if this happens due to breast cancer and chemotherapy? No one does a great job in preparing us to live without our breasts, never mind our hair, and when we do, we often carry our scars in secret and don’t talk about it. This is one of the most traumatic parts of the whole cancer surviving journey.
But when our bodies exhibit strong visual signs of that journey, it is hard to know how to process the feelings and situations we are confronted with.
Ladies, you will most likely go bald. Yes, bald!
But here is where you should stay bold, brave and strong. It is hair and it will grow back in no time. Life is tough and if it happens, we have to be strong in order to fight it, get on with it and survive. To put it in perspective, losing a breast or your hair is better than losing your life.
The hair will grow back (for the other thing, there’s surgery). Until then what you need is patience, positivity and support from friends and family. Do not accept sympathy from anyone, losing a breast and some hair does not mean you are dead or brainless.
Humour is a good approach. I always joke with my mum and the friends who have experienced hair loss by saying, “At least now you can go wild and choose a wig in any colour and cut you have dreamt of. ”
What to expect
Hair growth in the first few months might seem rough, frizzy and dull with a change in texture. However, this is not permanent and your hair will return to its normal condition. This happens when the body is completely cleansed of the harsh chemicals from the medication. A good shampoo and a mask are essential to keep the hair moisturised. A patient can also opt for supplements such as biotin, which stimulate growth — but only do so after checking with the doctor.
I also recommend a visit to the hairdresser once your hair starts coming back. Grow your hair in style, accessorise by buying some funky headscarves and bands. After six months you will have a pixie cut, something you perhaps always wanted but never had the guts to sport.
Make the most of the experience, move to a long sweeping fringe for instance and then to a bob. However, that said, what is most important is when you wake up in the morning and before looking into the mirror, look at your loved ones
and be grateful for being alive.
— The writer is Creative Director and Master Colourist at Dubai salon Carla K powered by Claude. She's on Facebook.