Friday, October 24, 2014

A turning point in my lupus hair loss: Getting a new 'do!

Hooray for change!

I took a much-anticipated trip to the hair salon last week, and I am so pleased with the results. It was as if my hair dresser found strands of hair I didn't even know I had! She gave me a brand new hair cut that left me feeling fun, fresh, and more confident about my looks. I hadn't realized how "shabby" I'd felt, until she cut my hair. I caught a glimpse of my new 'do in the mirror, and immediately thought, "There's the old me!!"

The trip wasn't uneventful, mind you. Mustering up the courage to actually let my hair dresser see the hair loss I'd been masking for months was tough. Even allowing the shampoo girl to handle my thinning locks made me a little nervous and very self-conscious. We had some tears. And then a few more. But we also had a few laughs, too. In the end, unpinning that permanent up do I've been wearing for months was actually a very cathartic experience.  I'm so glad I finally went, and kudos to my hair dresser for her patience, compassion, and sense of humor. She was so wonderful!

Because the first hair cut you get after hair loss can be so traumatic and emotional, I think the subject deserves a series of posts. I'm going to break up my most recent experience into three parts, and I'll call the series: "Before, During, and After: The First Cut after Hair Loss".

While I hope, with all my heart, that I don't have to reference these posts for my own purposes any time soon, I'll at least know I've documented the steps. If there is a next time, I won't have to waste precious time and energy trying to figure out how best to deal with it.

For me, mentally preparing for the Before, During and After is key. It gives me something to focus on and work toward while my loss is happening. It also allows me to manage my expectations once I get up the courage to actually go to the salon. And finally, it lets me embrace my new 'do, whatever the outcome. If it's great, I enjoy every minute of it. If it's a transitional cut, I remember that hair grows. And life goes on.

I will admit that this bout of hair loss, while not the worst one I've experienced by any means, left me feeling quite deflated. Maybe it was having a milestone birthday at the same time. Maybe it was seeing a few more age spots and wrinkles than the last time I had significant hair loss. Or maybe I was just more self-conscious with the girls around, secretly hoping that I wouldn't shock or disappoint them if my hair fell out to the point of no return. From wherever the fear stemmed, I write these posts to try and make that first hair cut after hair loss a little more palatable...for all of us!

Next week, look for the Before, During and After posts. I thought about video taping my trip to the salon...but reality TV star, I am not. I'm sure the tears would have been good for ratings, though!

2 comments:

Monica said...

Thank you for sharing this journey with us Sara. I got a haircut recently after experiencing hair loss, and I also felt like a new woman. I asked around to see if cutting my hair would help generate new growth. I learned the answer was no. However, I do feel like my hair is growing back more now and not falling out as much. All in my head? Perhaps, but that's okay. Looking forward to the series.

Leslie said...

So glad you ended with the fact that you will post pictures. Can't wait to see the results!