November 23, 2020 – Hair Loss

In my wildest dreams, I never imagined I would be so fearful of doing something that most people do without a moment’s hesitation, washing my hair. Yet here I am, it’s been four days and I still haven’t done it. Why haven’t I washed my hair? It’s simple. I’m trying to hang onto whatever’s left. Each time I wash it, half of it seems to end up going down the drain. What does the drain have to offer that I don’t? I’m even afraid to brush my hair because just as many take a ‘leave of absence’ when I do. They don’t even ask for permission. My little hairs are leaping off my head like leaves from a tree in autumn. And I do realize it’s autumn, but that’s not why my hair is falling out. My issue is related to medication that I’m required to take to live. And I’m finding myself quite upset over the matter. I never expected this. I certainly didn’t plan for this. And I can tell you, I am not ready to go full-on ‘Kojak’. Some people can and look fantastic being bald. I’m not one of them.

Up until a year ago, I was known for having a thick, healthy, full head of hair. It was the main thing I had going for me (as far as physical attributes). I kid you not, whenever I’d go to the stylist to get it cut, they would rave about it. They would run their hands through it and play with it and get quite worked up. And they’d always remark, “You’ve got A LOT of hair!” I didn’t realize having healthy hair was that unique, but apparently it is. I honestly didn’t think it was such a big deal but people remarked about it all of the time. I appreciated the compliments but I didn’t really understand why I was getting them. It’s just hair, right? I didn’t do anything exotic with it other than shampoo and condition it every other day and then dry it with a blow dryer afterward.

Now I understand! Have you heard of the saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone?” I thought that saying only applied to relationships with people, but I guess it applies to hair, too. I never realized I had a relationship with my hair until I started to notice its absence in my life. I guess I took it for granted. Maybe it’s upset with me because I neglected it for so long, so now it’s jumping ship? Maybe it resents the fact that I didn’t go the extra mile to get it colored or highlighted or permed or straightened? Maybe it was jealous whenever I’d go to the salon because it just got a ‘basic cut’ while all of the other heads of hair got the ‘full treatment’? I cannot say for sure. I mean, some people’s eyebrows got more attention than my poor little head of hair. Maybe if I apologize to my hair, it will consider returning? I’m getting desperate here. If that’s what it takes, I’m willing to do it.

I have to admit, I haven’t always done much as far as taking a lot of time or spending a lot of money on my hair. I’m a low maintenance girl, what can I say? At home, it was just some off-the-shelf shampoo purchased from the local grocery store that I used to clean it. And occasionally I’d style it by using some other off-the-shelf hair gel and hair spray, but that was really all I spent dollar-wise as far as hair products were concerned. I didn’t even bother to take it to a regular salon for a cut. I tried to go to a professional salon with people that have been in the business for years but I just couldn’t get over what they were charging for 20-30 minutes of their time. I know they usually know what they’re doing and they’ve had years of expertise, but when I have to pay them what is equivalent to what I earn in a day for 20-30 minutes of their time? I’m sorry. I cannot do it. I’m a Supercuts girl and proud of it!

I’ve always been able to rely on my hair. It was the one thing that stayed pretty consistent throughout my life, other than changing hue and texture. I just thought it’d always be there for me. It always served me well in the past. When I was little, I usually had one finger loosely coiled around several long locks and would continually play with it. It gave me comfort, like a security blanket. In later years, I could ‘dress it up’ to enhance my look. It was very versatile and easy to manage. This latest series of events has my little pink scalp quite puzzled. “Hey, ‘Hair’, where do you think are you going? You and me had an agreement. I take care of you, you take care of me. You’re supposed to stick around ’cause I’m going to get burnt if you don’t. You remember ‘Summer’, don’t you? The Sun comes out in Summer and he and I aren’t great pals. Ever heard of melanoma? Not only that, but if you ditch me altogether, I’m going to have to start getting used to wigs and/or hats. And I H-A-T-E wigs. They make me sweaty and itchy and they just never look right. And don’t get me started on hats! You cannot rely on them one bit! One good gust of wind and just like that, they’re gone! No loyalty whatsoever!”

I never thought of myself as someone that would lament such a thing. I see people in various stages of hair loss and I used to laugh at people that would try to ‘save’ what little they had left. The men that have just the ring of hair left that they grow out and ‘comb over’. Who are they kidding? It looks terrible! But I get it. They probably had a great relationship with their hair at some point, too, but they’re still grieving and cannot let it go. And I imagine it doesn’t help that possibly out of spite, the hairs in their nose, ears and eyebrows are growing exponentially. Is that the Universe’s idea of a sick joke? “Hey, you little vain humans, wreaking havoc on Mother Earth, whatever hair you lose I promise to replace. But I’m not going to say where. It’s a surprise!” The next thing you know, it’s coming out of your nose and your toes and all kinds of places you never expected. Great. Thanks a lot, Universe.

I never thought of myself as being particularly vain. Aside from bathing on a regular basis, I don’t go to great lengths as far as my appearance is concerned. I like things to be fairly easy. Let’s put it this way, no one has ever called me ‘high maintenance’ and there’s good reason for that. I don’t get my nails done or my hair ‘did’. I don’t even wear make-up. What you see is what you get. But I have to be honest, I miss my hair. Come back ‘Hair’, I miss you! We used to be good friends. In fact, you were my only friend. My eyesight’s failing me along with my hearing. My skin doesn’t ‘spring back’ any longer, it gave up a long time ago. My bones and joints creak and groan. You’re my last hope, ‘Hair’. Please return to me. I’ll do anything. Would you like me to purchase some Moroccan Oil? Ok. Sure. And some Hair Food, too? I’ve never heard of it, but ok. And you want me to have my first grandchild named after you? Hmmm…I don’t know. That might be pushing it. Geez, don’t get upset! I’ll ask if that means anything, but I cannot make any promises. Will you reconsider now? Will you return to me? It’s a ‘start’? Ok. That’s promising. In the meantime, don’t expect a lot of ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ action. I’m onto you!

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