Yesterday, I chopped all my hair off. Instead of falling a few inches below my shoulders, it’s now a short pixie cut. A pretty dramatic change that caused my co-workers to do a double take. It’s something I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time and a few days ago, in a moment of sheer impulse, I asked Kyle to drive me to the local hair salon.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, because to me, my long hair was more than just a hairstyle. It was a proclamation of victory. I had my last brain surgery right before I turned 16 and that included getting part of my head shaved. When you’re a high school girl, this is devastating. I think I may have cried harder when they did that than when I was told I needed another surgery.
After I was released from the hospital, a friend and amazing woman, Cindy Lampert, managed to salvage what was left of my hair. She cut it short and covered the bald spot with a well placed part. It was amazing! For the next few years, I kept it relatively short, because I was worried that if I needed to have another surgery, I’d have to get part of my head shaved again. I figured if I kept it short, it wouldn’t be a huge deal.
But around the time I turned 17, I changed my mind. I wanted my long hair back. So I started growing it out. It was my way of saying “Screw you, Hydrocephalus. I’ll have long hair if I want to.” So I grew it out until it was well past my shoulders. It even covered up the surgery scar. I loved it! ….And hated it. Long hair is a lot of work. Especially when it’s thick too. And I was tired of spending half an hour trying to dry it.
So I decided I had sufficiently made my statement and cut it off again. Why did I decide to do it this month? Because it’s Hydrocephalus Awareness Month and I thought doing away with all my hair would be dramatic enough to catch people’s attention and start conversations about Hydrocephalus. So there you have it. Why my hair is gone, in a nutshell.
Also, yesterday was the first time I looked in the mirror, saw my surgery scar…and found it beautiful.