Trends come and go. This girl sticks to sheath dresses, pointy toe pumps and pearls. Every once in a while, trendy swings back around and finds me. Generally, I appear to be trapped in the early sixties and I like it that way. If I could master a beehive, I would so rock that.
Imagine my shock and surprise to see that the “undercut” is the latest and greatest in women’s hair. What is an undercut? It’s when the underside of the hair is shaved and the top is long. Not exactly what this throwback girl would call “complimentary.”
But I have one. Suddenly I’m trendy.
Mine is a gift from radiation. When the jaw and lower portion of the head and neck are radiated, all in the path is assaulted. Any hair on that side of the face, head or neck comes out. Seems hair follicles don’t take kindly to chemical warfare, or being burned to death.
My hair is long and layered. Meet me on the street you’d have no clue I’m sporting a trend. And Lord knows I won’t show you. I do have some pride left, despite all that cancer has done to my dignity. Can you say barf in public? Nevertheless, if I lift my hair, the lower back of my head is bald. No lie.
It’s a shocking sight. When it first started to come out, I thought, “Well at least it’s underneath so no one can see it.” As radiation progresses and builds in the system, it’s ravaging capabilities become super powers. The hair came out in clumps, clogging the shower drain and blanketing the bathroom floor in a carpet of human tresses. Hairbrushes became the enemy as each stroke created another bare patch.
I ask the radiologist how long before it grows back. He assures me it will but it is last in the long line of radiation’s damage to make a new debut. It will come after taste buds, swollen tongue and speech indignities. Perhaps in nine months or so it will start to grow back. Whaaa?
My hairdresser, the Magical Ms. V tends to my coif, never acting like anything’s out of the ordinary. She never calls me “Baldy.” Instead, she primps and fluffs the hair above it and each and every time says, “You can’t even tell.”
If I’m going anywhere I do a double take of my back view. I used to be checking to see if my ass looked big. Now I’m checking to see if my bald patch is visible, it’s blaring whiteness threatening to block out the sun.
Advice for all those sweet young things thinking they’re crating a craze. Think again girls. Us old ladies with cancer got this trend all wrapped up.