To Be Bald, Bold, and Beautiful at 28 Years Old

Twenty years ago, I never imagined that I would be a 28-year-old bald woman. It was a reality I struggled to accept after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, I found myself searching for ways to cover my bald head and maintain a sense of normalcy, although I'm not entirely sure what that means. Despite initially resisting chemotherapy, I eventually agreed to undergo treatment. As my oncologist had warned, my hair began to fall out after a few rounds. It was a strange sight when I looked in the mirror the day after shaving my head completely. Surprisingly, I actually liked the way my facial features stood out without distractions. Before starting chemo, I had visited a wig shop with a friend and picked out two different styles – a short black pixie and a shoulder-length auburn layered look. Strangely enough, a year before my diagnosis, I had already cut my long hair into a short pixie style. Perhaps on some subconscious level, I was already preparing myself for the eventual loss of my hair. Losing shorter strands of hair did feel easier than losing longer ones.

I mostly relied on wearing wigs during this time. However, one hot August evening, I couldn't bear the heat and chose to go outside completely bald, accessorizing only with large silver hoop earrings and fuchsia lipstick. As I walked down the street, I purposely avoided making eye contact with anyone. After a little while, a man passed by and commented on how sexy I looked as he continued walking. Without thinking, I turned around and casually told him, Thank you, I have cancer. I didn't stick around for his reaction and simply continued on my way, chuckling to myself.

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That brief encounter had a profound effect on me. It stirred something powerful within me, unleashing a newfound boldness. From that day forward, whether I wanted to wear a wig or a scarf or go completely bald, I embraced my unique beauty without apology.

Here are some tips for those embracing and managing their own baldness:

  1. Before starting chemo, consider buying a wig as a temporary option until you grow more comfortable with your appearance. Make it a special shopping day with friends who might also be interested in purchasing wigs to wear together.
  2. Explore different wig styles and colors that you've always wanted to try. Have a mix of conservative and bold options. Name each wig and treat it like a costume, changing it up daily or as often as you change your clothes.
  3. Experiment with scarves, vibrant lipstick, and statement earrings to enhance your bald look.
  4. Most importantly, embrace your baldness in your own time. Remember that there are thousands of other breast cancer warriors going through a similar journey, as well as famous women like Demi Moore and Jada Pinkett Smith who have proudly rocked the bald look.

Ultimately, how you choose to handle your baldness is a personal decision. Do what works best for you. If you're seeking connection with other breast cancer survivors, consider joining our Breast Cancer Facebook Support Group.