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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Experiment with scarves, vibrant lipstick, and statement earrings to enhance your bald look.
- 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.