Saturday, September 18, 2010

On Hair

One week from right-now-this-second, I will be bald.

It would be disingenuous to act like this hasn't affected me at all. Okay ... it would be a big fat whopping lie. I would love to be one of those cool-as-a-cucumber types, "Eh, it's just hair," giving no more thought to it, and instead focusing my brain energy on the best way to provide nutritional supplementation to starving children or how to build vertical gardens to save land.

But it's taken up a sizable beanbag in my brain, popping up every now and then to say, "You do know you won't be able to wear pigtails, if you got a yen."  And then I remind myself that in the last 15 years of having long hair, I've never once had a yen to wear pigtails.

I have a seminary friend -- male -- who cut off his waist-length dreads last year.  He did so because he felt he needed to look more conservative.  Kind of funny, we agreed, that me doing the same thing will mean that I look more liberal.

Being a mom-in-tennis-shoes with long hair, usually clamped up in a bun, has given me a fair amount of anonymity.  I'm a mom.  I look like a mom.  A conservative one, at that.

But now ...


It will be interesting seeing the reactions to a bald woman.  Already, the reactions to my impending shave have been quite interesting.  One woman from my church said she thinks I'm the bravest woman she's ever met.  She said it with sincerity.  And she was talking exclusively about me shaving my head.

Okay, so at that point, I do become the "It's just hair!" person.  I mean, really.  It's not like I'm removing something that won't regenerate.  Bravest?  No.  Not even a little.  I know people who are brave.  Volunteer firefighters and people who do work in the inner city and my sister-in-law, who travels by herself into Mexico for her environmental work.  And trains as a mountain guide in Ecuador.  That's brave.

Hair?  Not so much.

I'm a little scared, but not so much about not having hair.  My life has so much going on right now, 4 kids, three schools, 1 seminary, traveling husband ... a little simplicity, even if it's just in the shower, sounds great. 

I'm a little scared ... oh, I hate to admit this ...

I'm a little scared of what I don't know.  My head.  I have no idea what my head looks like -- do you, yours?  I blame Shel Silverstein and reading Where the Sidewalk Ends at an impressionable age.
I thought that I had wavy hair
Until I shaved. Instead,
I find that I have straight hair
And a very wavy head. 
So, a week from now, I'll know.  Bumpy head, birthmarks, moles, all will be revealed.

Still taking donations, and thank you!  DONATE TO ST. BALDRICKS


Anonymous said...

One word: sunscreen.


ms. kitty said...

Of course, we're gonna want pix!

John A Arkansawyer said...

The simplicity depends on whether you let it grow out from the start or (as I do) keep it shaved.

hysteric cleric said...


Tattoo a flaming chalice on your scalp.


Anonymous said...

you are brave, and it will grow back. what a testimony to your beliefs and acting on them!

Death Becomes Her said...

Ummm, sugar pants, have you considered that you are not 100% certain what color the fuzz will be? Just saying. A teacher at the kid's school just shaved his head this weekend. He has fuzz today. Bald goes quick. It's the fuzz you gotta' think about.

Lizard Eater said...

@HC ... I believe we have someone coming who will do henna tattoos on any baldies that want it.

@DBH: I imagine there'll be a whole lotta grey fuzz. I'm looking forward to the buzz cut look. Outlaw preacher! Next up: sleeve tattoos and several piercings.

labelleizzy said...

@ hysteric cleric: YES!!

LE, I wonder if your fundraiser is the same as the one my friend @magnificent_mndi participated in...? (I will check.)

and, random fact: the comic _True Story, Swear to God_ has a main character who shaves her head to learn about her attachment to her looks... there's been good food for thought there.

Thanks for having the courage to be bald. Cancer research is important, I've lost 2 uncles, a grandmother, and my little brother to cancer, so. Thank you.