Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, Having a Voice, living with chronic illness

Getting a “Head” Start

We all know that many who go through chemotherapy will lose their hair.  It’s one of the most if not the most recognizable event especially for women.  For men the story is a bit different.  These days being bald seems to be the “in” thing.  Shaving your head is becoming a fashion statement so one of the ways men may take control of their lives is by shaving their heads before their hair starts to fall out on its own.

Being in control is important.  I’ve been told countless stories of individuals who began losing their hair and then took action.  The problem is that in some treatments hair loss is inevitable.  By determining when to cut off the hair you aren’t surprised and you may even make a ceremony or ritual over the process.

There is a song on India Arie’s third album about hair.  One stanza begins “chemotherapy took away the crowning glory”.  Hair is a big deal not only in our culture but in many cultures.  The Dagara people of West Africa believe that women’s hair is like energy receptors.  Women who naturally receive high energy often cut off their hair so they cut down on their sensitivity to the energy so they don’t become overwhelmed.

What does your hair mean to you?  What will you do to assert some control in the process?