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  • Nathira Salim

My Vanity - Part 1

I am like six more days away from my 2nd chemo cycle and my hair is finally showing signs of thinning. I have been running my fingers in my now lush and curly short hair every now and then to see if the hair fall has started for the past couple of days. And today - it has. This is definitely not something I was looking forward to, but it was something I was aware that will happen. Even with my hair I look awkward. In the future with a perfectly shiny bald head, I am afraid to look into the mirror. If I cannot love how I look, how am I going to feel every day? Will I be really tortured? Will it be painful?


I have decided on wearing a turban at home and when I get to go outside. I have tried being a hijabi for 3 years - but I don't make the cut. My neck and arms when covered give me skin problems - so that was the end of it. So to cover only my future bald head, I will try to wear a turban. I checked out a few online hijiabi stores here in Singapore and have bought one from Adlina Adis. It is quite expensive if compared to other online stores, but I have bought a few shawls from her years ago, so I am pretty confident about its quality. Let me try it out and see if it works.


The plan is to go for a hair cut and cut my hair close to the scalp. Like G.I Joe. When the hair does fall out completely it will be in small bits and I think I can handle the loss easier. I think.


I have been donning short hair style couple of times now. My most favourite look, the pixie hairstyle, suits me the best and I love it. But my hair grows out awkwardly within 3 months filling out the pixie look. And it takes another 6 months for the hair to touch base with my neck. And by the time the year is up, I would have shoulder length hair that has dried shrivelled ends.


I love my hair, I really do. It used to be in its best shape before my marriage and a while until I delivered my child. It just thinned out. It was never long till my waist or anything. The longest it ever was, was till my breasts. My hair used to be curly, and thick and there was a time I used to think that no matter how much my hair falls, I would have enough hair to avoid getting a visible hairline. Till my hair line became visible years later that is.


Every breast cancer patient who goes for chemo - will have hair loss. I was told that chemo for some other forms of cancer does not have this side effect. But for breast cancer - along with all other healthy tissues, and organs, the hair also suffers. Every blogs written by cancer patients mention about losing their hair and they all say that it grows back 6 months after the treatment. So it means I will be bald till end of next year!


I know I know. Its just hair and it will grow back. But its still my vanity, It is because of my vanity I kept my breasts. If I was so brave and courageous and fearless about how I view myself in the mirror when I am naked, I would't bat my eye lids if my breasts or my hair was taken away from me. I am still not sure if I will be able to look myself into the mirror without disgust and horror. I am not sure.



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