When my hair first started to grow back in May last year after finishing chemo, I started to have dreams where my blonde hair had already grown down to my shoulders. I was distressed in my dreams as I wasn’t ready for my hair to grow back. I didn’t want to blend into the crowd just yet and I still wanted to keep my bald identity.
Intrigued with my new hair growth but still not wanting to leave go of my baldness, I grew it into a mohawk from July onwards with the sides shaved as a compromise. I just loved that shaved feeling too much to leave it go. Come September I was pining for my bald head. It was calling me like a little lost child wanting to be loved so while giving my #Chemospiration speech on stage at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival, I got an audience member to come up and shave my head. Looking in the handheld mirror, I was ecstatic. I was Totes Amazebald again. I couldn’t wait to have more fun with my Chemo Queen look and I had missed the feeling of running my hand over my head.
My brother Niall had kindly gifted me his Remington shaving clippers so I had the freedom and independence to shave my head whenever I wanted. I absolutely adored the sound of the clippers as I mowed all over my head with precision and ease. I would shave it myself to 0.5 blade every third or fourth day as by then it was already too long for me! I loved the super tight and sharp look so much as I felt it changed the shape of my face for the better. It elongated my forehead, heightened my cheekbones and made my eyes look bigger. With my eyebrows and eyelashes back, my shaved head gave my face an edgy doll-like look. It’s probably strange to hear that a Chemo Queen had chosen to keep her head shaved even when her hair had grown back, but I loved the inner strength my shaved look gave me. I felt powerful. I felt proud. Whenever I walked into a room or down the street, my head commanded respect. I felt that my true identity had been hidden by my hair all these years and it had been set free.
As the months passed, there were only a few downsides to being bald. If I ever went jogging or to the gym, my topless visor looked really odd on a bald head so I had to wear a full cap instead. A natural make-up look just didn’t look right with a shaved head so it had to be either strong eyes or lips, or both. The one thing that did start to annoy me a little bit was having to always contour my face and bronze my temples. With no hair to faff about with, my extra time would be spent on doing my make-up instead. All very minor issues indeed.
Heading towards December 2015, I could hear my husband begin to gently plead in the background: “Can you start growing your hair back now? You’ve had your fun now, but come on, it’s time”. I ignored his pleas for a while, thinking to myself “It’s my head, I can do what I want with it” but I limited my shaving to once every two weeks to keep him happy, though I didn’t like the extra centimetre length on me. The minute he left to go back home to Sicily for Christmas holidays, I shaved my head again every few days with delirious delight.
At the beginning of January 2016 I started to have dreams where I was whooshing my long hair around my shoulders with pride and flicking my hair. I would wake up in the morning confused thinking “that’s weird, I love my bald head!”. But that’s the thing with dreams. It’s your sub-consciousness’ way of communicating a feeling to you that your consciousness hasn’t realised yet. Like a bubble rising to the surface, slowly over the coming weeks I gradually realised that I was indeed ready to grow my hair again and I could sense those around me wanted me to grow it back too. My head was first shaved on 14 January 2015 while undergoing chemo and my last shave was 25 January 2016, meaning I had a bald head more or less for a year. Perhaps my husband was right after all. I had my fun with it and it was time for me to grow it back. It was time to become a Blade Runner, and to run away from the blade.
Trivia: The Blade Runner movie, released in 1982, is set in the futuristic time of 2019….only three years away!
You might also like to read my Mad Max post!
5 Comments Add yours
Thanks. Will do.
Excellent post. Well-written. I’m surprised I actually enjoyed reading about a woman shaving her head. I think the short-bob, ‘after’ look is stunning BTW. And Blade Runner is one of my all time favorite sci-fi flicks. I’ve had a BR quote tucked wayyyy at the bottom-right margin of my blog for some time: “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.” –Bladerunner, from the scene in the rain where Ruger Hauer rescues Harrison Ford from the precipice of the building. (The character names escape me at the moment.) Poignant and pertinent IMO. I intend to keep filling my data banks best I can but when it’s over, the lights turned out, the electricity shut off, it will all go away.
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Hi John, thank you so much for your comment and continued support. I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed my post! That means a lot. And thank you re: my hair. I’m going through a tricky hair transition which requires fighting daily with my hair each morning as it decides to stick out each which way, it was much much easier being bald!! That’s very interesting that Blade Runner is one of your favourite films, i seen it as a kid and can’t remember it, but i looked at the trailer when writing this blog to refresh my memory on it, and was very surprised at how advanced the customs / effect ideas were. Reminded me a bit of Fifth Element. I’m going to watch Blade Runner again when i have time, and to see what 2019 was supposed to look like! That “moments will be lost” quote is beautiful too. Once i watch it again, I’ll come back to you better informed!
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I’ve seen Fifth Element so many times on the telly that I won’t watch it anymore. The story is a bit hokey but I like the effects and depiction of futuristic dystopia. I think the compartment apartments already exist in some form in Japan which is I think is why a lot of sci-fi has the asian dystopia theme. It’s crowded over there! Also I don’t know if Mila Jovovich has acted any Shakespeare but she is definitely in her element, 🙂 , in this film and the Resident Evil series. She wasn’t bad in Joan of Arc either.
Thanks for liking and reading my most recent blog post. You know I watched an AWESOME film the other night and you came into my head to tell you as they say it’s kinda similar to Blade Runner. It’s called The Machine (filmed in 2013 or 2014 I think), about artificial intelligence. It blew my mind! And the acting was superb. You’ll love it it I’d say. Watch it and let me know!
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