It may seem strange to dedicate a year to my hair, but it was both the lowlight and highlight of the year for me, and where I am with my hair now leaves me feeling really happy going into 2018. For the first time since losing my hair at the end of 2016, I can finally imagine myself having long hair again at some stage.
I’ve written a previous post about losing my hair, and I still feel that it is the hardest thing I’ve gone through. Before my hair fell out, I couldn’t imagine making a statement like that, I would have just thought I was being vain. There is something about your hair that forms your identity and when it is taken away from you, not by choice, it is really confronting and emotional.
I started this year, 2017, wearing my wig, and by that stage I had been wearing it for about 3 months and was getting pretty tired of having the exact same look every day. I was terrified of revealing my short hair and having to pull it off to my work colleagues and broader network of friends as me deciding to ‘take the plunge’ and cut my hair short – rather than the truth that chemo had caused my hair to fall out, and this was my short, curly, regrowth hair. But at the same time… I couldn’t do the wig anymore so this helped me take the leap to just go with the short hair.
The first few months were really hard, I didn’t see much change or growth and there was nothing I could do with my hair. Once it started getting a bit longer, it also turned curly. I had heard of chemo curls but never thought my hair would go curly. I’ve always had straight hair so dealing with curls has been a learning process for me!
Me, featuring chemo curls:
It was mid year that I started noticing changes and celebrating the small wins, like when I first noticed that the front of my hair had grown long enough to be a fringe again. Then around September the front of my hair started being long enough to do little braids and twists, adding a bit more fun to my look and also a good way to tame it on crazy days.
Now that I can do more with my hair, I’m embracing its length a bit more and trying out new things. I feel much more like myself again and as I said at the start, I can finally see myself with long hair. I know that I am still a few months off reaching bob length hair – but it will happen and I can’t wait!
Here’s where I started the year, and here’s where I am finishing the year. It always helps me to look at photos from a few months ago, because that makes the growth more recognisable.
I’m looking forward to 2018, that I will call the year of the bob and lob!