Breast cancer is selfish: it takes your health, your strength, sometimes your breasts, and almost always, your hair. It might seem like losing your hair would be small potatoes in light of facing a potentially terminal illness, but hair loss is a big deal. Our hair is a part of who we are—perhaps even more so than breasts—because it represents our personal style. Hair can make us feel sassy, classy, casual, or whatever the day calls for. Losing that avenue of self-expression is painful.
Christina is a breast cancer survivor who has committed her YouTube channel to encouraging people to stay positive during cancer treatment. She lost her dad, her biggest supporter, just four days before starting chemo, and she says that she knew she had to pull up her big-girl panties and fight because that’s what her dad would have wanted. See her story here. The authenticity and kindness in her videos is encouraging and heartwarming.
After starting chemo, Christina had hoped — though she knew it wasn’t likely — that she wouldn’t lose her hair. But just over two weeks after starting chemo, the chunks started falling out. As soon as it started coming out en masse, she decided to shave it so that losing her hair would be “less horrendous.”
She found that thinking about losing her hair and actually losing it were two very different things. She shares, “I remember being one of those people that before I was told I had cancer I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, how horrible would that be to lose your hair. Oh I just couldn’t even imagine it.'” And after her diagnosis she worried that she would end up being “an ugly broad with a bald head.”
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Luckily Christina has a tireless positive attitude and supportive friends. On her last day with her hair, she enjoyed a blackberry festival with one of her best friends, and then they went home to shave her head. She found that losing her hair wasn’t as horrendous as she had imagined.
“I just made the most of it trying to find cute hats or cute wigs or just running around bald. I mean, who really cares?”
Christina made her head-shaving an event! She had her young niece do some of the shaving, and then her husband shaved her head “like a hillbilly” before shaving the whole thing. She wanted to make a memory!
But she gets practical too—Christina has some advice for caring for a newly-shaved head. She shares her favorite products and tips for getting your head, which likely hasn’t seen much sun, to match the color of your face. She also has some recommendations for keeping your dome moisturized. Please note that though she does share her favorite supplements, The Breast Cancer Site recommends making any supplementation choices with the help of your doctor.
Her video is quite long. The whole story is enjoyable, but here are the highlights:
- 3:15: Christina’s hopes for her head-shaving experience
- 5:24: Tips and advice on how to care for the skin on your newly-shaved head
- 11:37: The hair comes off! Definitely check out the funny picture of her with her head shaved down the middle and a tooth blacked out!
Once the hair was off, Christina said that it was actually quite freeing. She shoved all her hair products into a drawer and ignored them for months. She ends with a heartfelt encouragement for anyone facing the loss of their hair to embrace the journey and have as much fun with it as possible. Losing your hair is difficult, but Christina reminds us that we are not alone. Keep fighting, friends!