Losing Your Hair Sucks Worse Than My Six-Year-Old Walmart Vacuum

mama triedHere’s something I’ve learned in the past two weeks: When your body suffers through a brutal illness and you nearly die, your hair can decide, weeks later, to give up the ship, too. And while I am super-thrilled to be alive and all,* I’m a little bummed to be dealing with rapid (and I mean as rapid as a cat with its tail on fire) hair loss.

It began about two weeks ago. I woke up in the morning to find my Snoopy pillow (don’t judge) covered in strands of hair. As in hundreds of strands of hair. As in horror-movie, something-has-gone-horribly-wrong strands of hair.

After my first reaction that involved the word, “mother” followed by one that rhymes with “trucker,” I decided it was surely a one-time kind of thing. Maybe a reaction to a new shampoo? A new medication? Karma for saying that one (tiny, rarely ever happens) mean thing to my husband last week?

But sadly, by the end of that day, I was literally holding huge clumps of my hair in my hands every time I touched my head. There may have been audible whimpering.

Can I mention right now that when you hail from the Land of Big Texas Hair, this is a High-Alert Crisis Situation?

You see, my hair is the one beauty trait I could always count on. I may have been ass-ugly at times from the neck up, or fatter than a Lone Star tick on a cow dog from the neck down, but hey, I had good hair. Healthy, shiny, dark hair, just like my mama. It didn’t frizz, even in Houston in June. It didn’t need straightening or perming (at least not since the 1980s). I hadn’t even thought about coloring any gray yet. It was damn good hair, people.

But now, after only two weeks, there’s not a lot of it left. I have actual bald spots. I have a legit comb-over. (Daddy, I understand now.)

The only options I have these days, since it’s too thin to be styled in any way, shape or form, are to push it all back with a headband like I used to when I was 12 and in love with Scott Baio, or wear a ball cap or beanie ski hat. All the time.

Luckily, the ball cap/ski hat thing works well enough in Colorado; women wear them everywhere here. And by everywhere I mean Target, REI and bike trails. (Headbands work better for the office, though, since a “Mama Tried,” stained cap doesn’t go that well with black palazzo pants and a fancy blouse.**)

I’m working with my doctor to turn this hair loss thing around, but she said it could take months for things to rebound. In the meantime, I’m going to try to picture myself as I remember my Granny when she’d wear her old faded John Deere cap, out in the sun, working cattle or planting okra: One tough broad you didn’t want to mess with before she had her second cup of straight-up black coffee.

Also, at this point in time, I’d like to apologize in writing to every one of my friends who has ever had to go through chemo. Remember how I used to advise you not to worry about losing your hair? How I said it was just hair?

I was wrong and you can slap me next time you see my balding head.

 

* Thank you, Little Baby Jesus.
** Who am I kidding? I wear jeans and boots to work most days.

 

PS:  Are you offended by the word, “sucks?” Don’t be! Here’s why.

 


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6 thoughts on “Losing Your Hair Sucks Worse Than My Six-Year-Old Walmart Vacuum

  1. Your hair situation truly sucks, Kathy. I feel your pain as mine began to fall out gradually over years. In Texas, as you note, it is a big deal to have little hair.
    I have one four-letter word for you = WIGS.

    I helped one of our former colleagues at TAMU buy 3 when she underwent chemo treatment for breast cancer. We had a good time and Terri looked splendid in her new hair color. It cheered her up no end. Wasn’t terribly expensive either, and worth every penny.

    That’s what I tell myself when I shell out bigger bucks yearly for hair extensions. It IS worth it! Truly.

    • Thanks, Kay. I appreciate the encouragement, and the thought of a wig has crossed my mind. You may have to come up here and help me shop for one if it gets to that point! But actually I bet there are better ones in Houston …

  2. Just read your new post, and yes, life is precious. I’m sorry you had to be reminded so forcefully. I’m glad I got an early flu shot, as I still got sick three or four times this winter. Who knows how sick I would have been without the shots.
    I just lost a dear friend to cancer last week. Yes life can change in an instant. I am enjoying the time I have, as much as I can. Keep being the bear!

    • Thank you, Anne. And I’m so very sorry to hear about your friend. I’m sad for you and her family. 🙁

  3. Life can “dish out” some bad stuff—-believe me ,I know, but as long as you don’t give up and “fight back”, all things are fixable!!!!! Love you lots!!!

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