On the 13th April this year, I wrote a big blog entry, it was for me a big thing, admitting that at 31 I was losing my hair.
I laughed whilst writing it, remembering taking the selfies and my pink hair over Christmas.
I also cried, the tears just rolled down my cheeks.
I remembered the times I was bullied over my hair, (and also how maybe the people didn’t realise how much their words affected me at the time!!)
When I got my hair cut short last winter, to stop me from tying it up in a pony tail, see if that helped, the memory at the front of my mind was being 16, almost 17, that summer (the one that I wrote about) had messed up my head, I fell apart internally and externalised my self hatred (which had always been there but became out of control) I got my eyebrow pierced (yes mum, you were right, the holes will look stupid when I’m older, I see that now!) And realising that my mum would go mental I stopped in boots on the way home and picked up a home hair bleaching kit and dyed my hair before mum got home from work.
When she got home she hit the roof about my hair, which was conveniently covering my eyebrow, and when she’d finished about my hair I lifted and revealed my eyebrow.
“That looks nice” was her response.
A few weeks later I got my hair permed. Then in a fit of self loathing I chopped off my curls into an almost bowl cut and bic shaved the back of my head. It looked truly awful, and summed up how I felt about myself, and how I put distance between menfolk and myself.
To ‘fix’ my hair the hairdresser did me a short spiky hairstyle that I hated, but it cut off all of the dry blondeness. The knock on of that was when I went back to college and re-started year 12 after messing it up first time round, I was with the people the year younger than me from school. And there’s one girl in particular who took great delight in telling me (daily) that I looked like a fat lesbian.
15 years later I wouldn’t be offended by that. I would probably just raise my eyebrows and do a ‘WTF?’ Kind of face and walk away.
At 17, and with an extremely insecure and messed up head I actually let it (her) be part of my reason for dropping out of college and
running moving away.
After I had my hair chopped off last year that girls words resurfaced, and they rather stupidly still affected me. Then in December whilst we were housesitting at my parents, I was taking the boys for a haircut near mums house and I walked past her. Now I’m a polite person and if I see someone I know I’ll at least smile, I didn’t. I looked away, but not embarrassed, I walked on and realised that her words had been my worst fear about my hair, and I’d just faced her and I didn’t melt away, I didn’t fall apart, I was still me.
Friends will remember me saying about 18 months ago that I should shave my hair off for charity, because Mr B was allowed to grow a dodgy tash for Movember because it was for charity I couldn’t intervene (and because after all it’s his face)
I thought about that again last week after mentioning to my friend Sam that I’d need her help to do my hair, but I realised that I had to do this for me; because I was ready. Not because I was rushing myself.
Yesterday I was ready.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am lucky, I got to make this decision myself, not because I’m going through chemo or had to have brain surgery. My hair is only falling out because it just is.
I had a long bath, and washed my hair, wanting to gauge how I felt at ‘washing my hair for the last time’ long(ish) I was fine. It was only after then that I text Sam to ask if we could do it. I warned a couple of people from weight watchers and a mum from school (who also happens to be Itchy Crochet) and their reactions were that of shock. It’s been most peoples reaction to be honest!
Sitting in the garden with Sam and Allison we talked it through some more, Allison was being the voice of concern, whilst Sam was excited because we could do a mohican!!
The 3 of us loved the Mohican, and Allison checked again just incase I wanted to stop there, but it’s the back of my head where the hair was soooo thin, it’s gotten worse since the blog post in April, last night it looked like this..
When we got to mohican stage it looked a bit better…
So even though we all
liked loved it like that I decided that when it grows back I’ll so be doing it like that for a while. I just want to give it a chance to see if it grows back any better.
So I tipped my head up to the sky, tapped the middle of my hair and said “Straight down the middle” which after she had done the middle bit she said “do you want me to keep going?”
Only Sam! <3
We then talked about Winona Ryder and Britney and I had a momentary panic and held my phone out and said "do we need to ring the mental health team?!"
We didn't, I should've back when I was 16 and went crazy on my hair!!
After we were done I was shocked, but liked it! Knowing that I was going to do it I'd done myself big eye make up so that my focus was there more than hair. Sam and Allison also liked it and were a bit jealous that I'd done it. (Or that I had the self assurance to do it!)
(Note Sam trying to strangle me with the wire!!)
I was shocked when I tidied up the mess that all of that hair we’d shaved off fit into the palm of my hand!! The other shock was, the bald patch at the back of my head…. not actually bald!!!
Yes it’s very very fine, and probably wasn’t much longer than it is now, but it isn’t actually bald!!
I’m still nervous about peoples reactions. Not because I care what random strangers/people in general think, but because I’m scared that what they say will hurt.
I’ve already brushed off one “so long as you don’t start wearing tracksuits and giant sovereign rings” without too much pain.
And the taxi man who brought me home last night said “morning fella” out of the taxi window as I closed the house door behind me, I think the whole wearing a dress and having a handbag made him realise. And that didn’t hurt.
It really is only hair. It shouldn’t define me, cutting it off hasn’t changed anything about me except the length of my hair.
And if a man can shave all his hair off because he has a bald spot why can’t I?!!
And for my mummy readers who’d be interested, it took MJ (2, almost 3)an hour to realise this morning that my hair wasn’t long. And dispite Little H being up most of the night with me (dada let me sleep and did the school run this morning) he only realised after he got in from school but it took him about 10 minutes!!
So yes, stare at women who’ve got no hair, but maybe instead of being critical we really should be behind women who’ve made this decision, or had the decision made for them through illness. Smile, why shouldn’t we have short hair?!
♡ Mrs. B xx