As I said before, I noticed my hair falling out this week. The thing about long hair is that it falls out A LOT! I´m talking serious rings of a lion’s mane around my desk at school, clumps in my bathroom, strands and strands on my sweaters. I just could not get away from my own hair. And no matter how excited I am about the prospect of having a legitimate excuse to shave my hair, wear the hell out of some wigs and scarves, and seeing what I actually look like bald, I figured a more “subtle” approach was best…
I walked into salon Lina, at the end of my street with my moral support from my friend Katie in tow and told the woman at reception that I needed a short hair cut because I had cancer and was tired of it falling out….in the best Spanish I could muster. The receptionist was so sweet and the lady who eventually chopped it all off was the owner, Lina herself!
Not going to lie, when she buzzed off the animal that was my braided hair, I had a nice freak-out moment.
But in true Uruguayan fashion, Lina immediately told me that my long hair was unhealthy and I looked better already. I got a bit emotional a few minutes in. Not because my hair was short, but simply for the fact that it was being shortened because I had cancer. But Lina kept touching my cheek and telling me that I had great bones and that I looked so much better with short hair.
Chop, chop, chop, chop, chop. It kept getting shorter and shorter and shorter. Lina’s fingers were like hummingbirds around my head. At one point, I feared losing an ear. And mounds of hair continued to fall around and on me.
But, there was one thing kind of liberating about the whole experience. These hairs were falling on my command, well Lina’s command, but I was in control. They were not coming out around me without my permission. I was the one saying, let’s do this. And with that in mind, it all got a little easier. I thanked my hair Queen profusely, took the compliments from all of the salon patrons and workers, basked in my beautiful friend’s positive energy and excitement over the change, and ran down the street to my house to put some damn product on my fuzzy, freshly-cut curls.
In the end, I will probably end up braving the shave. I am weirdly looking forward to it. But for now, I´m cool with this. After all, as Katie reminded me last night, my hair tells me that this process is working. It isn´t the cancer that is making it fall out; it’s the treatment for the cancer. So every strand off my head means I am one step closer to kicking cancer’s ass! And not going to lie, this hair is a really great sassy way of saying Fuck You, Cancer!