Diva Haircut

This entry was written by Jackie Roth, PhD student at Thomas Jefferson University. Jackie was diagnosed with Stage III A breast cancer at the age of 28. Every other Friday, throughout the entire year of 2011, Jackie will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.

To read Jackie’s previous entries, enter “ Jackie Roth” in the search box on this site.

This past week I went and did something that I have not done in about one year…I got a hair cut!  It was a special hair cut because it was my first one since my hair has grown back in after chemotherapy.  It was also special because I got to share the experience with my friend Dale, who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She treated me to a special day at the salon! 

I lost my hair last summer when I started chemotherapy.  I knew I was going to lose my hair and I was OK with that, but I didn’t want to watch it fall out.  So I went with my friend Kristen and got all of my hair cut off.  I didn’t really miss my hair, I just had too many other things to deal with so being bald was just easier.  Before chemo I had long brown ringlet curls, which took about half an hour to wash and condition.  I needed to set aside a few hours if I wanted to straighten my hair for the day.  But with treatments and everything else going on I just didn’t have the time for that. 

So I cleared off a place on my dresser to keep my scarves and wigs handy.  My favorite wig, that I named Cleo, got me through the first few months of being bald when I was not sure that I wanted to leave the house in a scarf.  But as time went on, I became more comfortable with scarves and they kept me warm through the winter months. 

My hair started to grow back in at the end of the winter, about 6 weeks after my last chemotherapy.  Once it passed that awkward peach fuzz sort of stage, I started to leave the house without any type of hat.  It was a strange feeling because for the first time I felt like people could not tell that I was someone who had cancer.  My scarves were sort of a give away, but now I just fit right in as a woman with a short hair cut.  And to be honest, I’ve never gotten more compliments about my hair.  The best one was a few months ago when I was working at a fundraising event.  Another young woman came up to me and said “I don’t know if you chose to have that hair cut, but you look stunning!”  She was a complete stranger who took the time to go out of her way to complement me.  She made my night.

So I packed up my scarves and wigs and tucked them neatly into the back of my closet.  As I walked through the city to get my hair cut, it was the first time that I could feel the wind in my hair again.  What a great feeling!  My hair stylist Heather, who cut my hair off last year, gave me my first hair cut this year.  I even got my hair dyed too, just a natural brown color to hide some of the gray that has come in! Next time I think I will be a little more adventurous, this short stylish hair cut seems just right for some bleach-blonde highlights or some other fun color! 

We are looking forward to seeing you with the bleach-blonde highlights, Jackie!

To read Jackie’s previous entries, enter “ Jackie Roth” in the search box on this site.

How did your new haircut make your breast cancer experience more liberating? We want to hear from you! Comment here or on our Facebook page.

6 thoughts on “Diva Haircut

  1. Jackie, you always manage to bring the tears to my eyes … your haircut looks awesome! love you!

  2. I’m jealous of the faux hawk Jack, I could never rock it quite right.

    Someday though, someday . . .

    Woohoooo aahahahahah doop doop doop!!!

  3. As I read your story re hair loss /wigs/scarves and then the wonderful freedom which came when I decided enough of hats /scarves , etc . My aunt had passed away and I wore my wig to her ” visitation ” . However the next day I just couldn’t face wearing it …or even a scarf …so didn’t ! Some people who saw me the night before did a double take . My very supportive family said my aunt would have been proud of me ! Never wore the wig /hats or scarves again . By the way , although I was told my hair would likely come in curly ….it didn’t , lol !

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