{26/12/2013}   Bald – Week Two

Tinsel head!My hair is continuing to grow … grey!

I am kind of forgetting I stand out a bit for having such short hair but I do notice a few people staring at me.  However, I haven’t had any negative experiences, which I had expected.

I don’t know how I feel about being this grey because it feels like it’s suddenly happened.

On Saturday, I’m going to San Diego, where it will be about 22 degrees.  Only one of my not very pleasant hats looks acceptable.  However, I think sun cream may be the way forward so I can get a face and scalp tan rather than merely a face tan!

I am very much looking forward to not having plane hair.  I used to get awful plane hair.  It would go really straight and full of static and look hideous.  None of that this time, hurrah!

For me, this hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I expected and I would go so far as to say that I am happy with so little hair.  However, I realise there is a big difference between how I felt with almost no hair and how I have felt since I’ve had about a grade one.  A Kojak for longer than a day or two for novelty value would be a lot harder to deal with than my merely very short hair.  However, I reiterate that not wearing a hat or head cover makes me feel a lot better than when I do wear a hat.  Wearing a hat, being someone who rarely wears hats, makes me feel like I’m trying to hide something.

I won’t write on Saturday for the two-week update but I will next write from the US to see how life with short hair is in California where the sun will be shining and it will be warm.


{22/12/2013}   Bald – Day 9

Platinum? Distinguished? Grey?!My hair is grey.  Most of it.  For now I don’t mind but I appear to have interesting stripes of my childhood brown hair … I knew it was going to end up marbled.

I have put up a photo taken today – spot the non-grey hairs?!

I am largely enjoying having short hair, though it now feels like it needs to be shaved to about a 1 because it’s now long enough that when you stroke it against the grain, it bends a bit rather than just being like a bristle.  It grows so quickly.

Today I realised that there is a big difference between no hair and stubble like mine.  I feel less of a need to be defiant now that it’s a bit longer.  It’s still a learning curve though and I’m looking forward to seeing how things go on Saturday when I go through US immigration with my long-hair passport!

{21/12/2013}   Bald – Week 1

My hair is growing so much that I contemplated shaving it again today, though to a 1 rather than another 0 and shave.

I can’t believe I had long hair a week ago.  I am much preferring having shorter hair, though I still can’t see my reflection and ignore it.  My head/stubble feels lovely today and I’m very much enjoying having my own strokeable head.

Overall, to my huge surprise, I have actually liked having a shaved head, leading to very short hair.

I do believe my “look”, such as it ever is or was, is different but that I like it.  However, it does make me feel a bit defensive with potential for feeling vulnerable.  I am not at all comfortable wearing any of the no-hair hats I bought as they make me feel like I’m trying to conceal a bald head, which in turn makes me feel I have something to hide, for example chemotherapy treatment.  But, unlike most chemotherapy patients, I do have hair growth and maybe that makes a bigger difference than I have appreciated.

In terms of care and maintenance, why would you want hair???!!  It’s easy to wash, there’s no styling or drying required and, as a head-stroking friend put it the other day, it feels like baby hair velvet.


{20/12/2013}   Bald – Day 7

Yes, yes, I missed a day!

Over today and yesterday I had a lot of hair and no hair conversations and yesterday my head was stroked loads, by me and others, which I actually kind of enjoyed!  It’s very velvety and soft now.  Oh, and very silvery.  Very.

I stood in a queue at a garden centre today and heard two separate pairs of people talking about people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy.  I’m fairly sure the sight of my almost-a-week-old hair triggered those two conversations.

Last night, I was outdoors when there was a hail storm.  I had no hat on and no umbrella.  The pellets of hail hurt my head and felt really weird.

I largely like my new look, unexpectedly.  Plus it feels great!

And, guess what, now up to £3,100 on the fundraising page and another £25 I need to post to Macmillan, totalling £3,125.

I can’t believe how different I feel today than this time last week.

{18/12/2013}   Bald – Day 5

The first photo I have ever been inclined to take of the top of my headOh the joys of a fundraising page that’s started to go up again!  Now on £3,070.  I have set the closing date for a month after the shave, which is 14th January, in the hope that at least a few more people will add to the Macmillan pot for the loss of my hair!  Thank you very much to my post-£3,000 sponsors.

As for today’s revelations, it started this morning with a tinsel-esque glimmer on my scalp along the sides of my head.  Yes, it’s definitely growing back grey in places (it was probably concealed a little better when it was longer and dyed!).  It is also growing pretty quickly!

Thanks to someone at work, I am now the proud owner of a red festive hat.  I have never had, nor would I ever have contemplated trying, a red bobble hat.  It’s a new look for me that I rather like.  Bring on the cold weather.

I had a discussion about scalp care with one of the security guards at work.  I had been wondering what to wash my scalp with (soap? Shampoo? Shower gel?).  He confirmed the drying properties of soap and recommended shower gel and moisturiser!

I wore a kind of poly/cotton beanie type hat today while outdoors.  As soon as I wore that, particularly as I knew it didn’t suit me, I felt like I looked like I was covering a bald head and it made me feel like people felt I had lost my hair from chemo.  I felt a lot less confident wearing that hat than I feel not wearing a hat.

I have always felt a slight concern about wearing a hat then removing it and seeing people look shocked.  To an extent I overcame that today when I saw the aforementioned security guard, whom I hadn’t seen since I’d told him on Friday that I was going to be doing it.  He saw me with the hat on and asked if I’d done it, to which I pulled off my hat to reveal my stubble.  It felt oddly brave having done that, but I think largely because I’d thought of it as an issue.  But actually, I don’t really care, hurrah!

I’m currently strangely excited about seeing what my hair looks like when it’s a bit longer, ie seeing how the marbled grey and brown works out.  A month or so from now, I may be wishing I hadn’t discovered the extent and horror of the grey though.  Considering it first started appearing regularly at age 20, it’s had plenty of time to breed!

Quite a lot more head touching today.  it still feels nice, though can’t quite believe it’s my head that feels like that.


{17/12/2013}   Bald – Day 4

See how much it's grown!Still at £3,000 and still hoping to sneak a little bit over that amount …

Again, I have lost count of the number of hair/bald/sponsorship conversations I had today.  What on earth will I talk about in a month or so when the novelty of this has worn off and my hair is merely short?!

I am fairly sure more than a few people think I am undergoing treatment and are thus unwell because I seem to find myself at the front of packed-train swarms and through ticket barriers, etc, ie people are letting me through when I’m sure that normally I wouldn’t have been let through so readily!  Oh well, I should enjoy that while it lasts as it’s far better than being trampled on or stampeded to get off the train/tube or through ticket barriers.

Now that my fuzzy hair feels nice I am stroking my head a bit too much.  Where fiddling with my long hair was an absent-minded occupation, now it’s stroking my head.

Hat fluff is annoying me so I am only wearing hats when I feel I might be cold (I am not finding it cold enough to feel a need for a hat).  My friend retrieved a black piece of thread from my stubble today, which I found mildly distressing.  I mean, that’s like I’m attracting bits of debris to my head and I’m not having that!

A lot of my clothes (well, just tops) really don’t suit me now and I’m undecided about my glasses.  There is absolutely no denying that one pair of my usual glasses make me look VERY disturbingly like Heston Blumenthal.

When I put on or take off  jumpers, I keep feeling I need to be careful about my hair (as you would with a fancy “do”) as it still feels like I am wearing a swimming cap, though not such a tight one as I felt I was wearing for the first 24 hours or so of “losing” my hair.

As for my self confidence, which was something that I worried I would feel challenged about, I actually feel fine and if anything I feel more confident in a slightly defiant way.

I am finding news eyes with this bald look and I think it will be a good few weeks before the enlightenment wears thin and normality resumes.

Thank you again to all of you who have sponsored me, supported me and said and written some really touching things.



{16/12/2013}   Bald – Day 3

Today was a day of many firsts and I’ve had a really enjoyable first work day with no hair – except that my hair has grown more than I imagined  possible since Saturday afternoon!

My favourite hair-related exchange was while I was with a friend in the post office getting my hair weighed to be sent to the Little Princess Trust.  It went along these lines:

[Having placed my jiffy bag of hair on the PO scales, c 95g]

Man in PO (MPO): “Where is this going?”

Me: “Erm … Brighton?”

MPO: “What’s in it?”

Me: “My hair.”

MPO: [double take followed by a “you what?” type look]

Me: “I’m not kidding, my hair.”

MPO: [bewildered] “That’s 90p.”

(He didn’t progress with what I assume was a line of questioning to ascertain the value of the contents of the jiffy bag!)

I couldn’t begin to count how many people I’ve seen and spoken to today about my bald head.  People have been lovely and lots of positive comments about the £3,000 (which I would love to be a bit more than exactly £3,000!) for Macmillan.

Some other thoughts from today:

Walking along this morning, carrying my hair in an envelope in my un-zippable bag, it was raining and I thought, “Ooo, mustn’t get my hair wet”.  Weird!

I am not enjoying wearing hats because the ones I have are woolly and leave tufts of wool attached to my Velcrose head.

Now my hair is a bit longer (as of about 5pm today!), it actually feels quite nice.

When it rains on a bald head, nothing stops the rain from pouring down your face.

People are very subtle about staring.  I’ve spotted a few people looking intently at my head but not in a horrible way.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been invited to walk ahead of more people than I normally would though.

I am actually quite enjoying the bald head, though I think in a few weeks I will like it more.

I have a stripe along my scalp, which I think is from a vein on my head.  I rather like it.

I have more neck than I realised.

Wigs really don’t suit me but are a lot of fun!

I’m looking forward to what tomorrow will have in store and wondering how long it will be before the novelty of it all wears off.  But for now, I’m actually enjoying having no hair, particularly as it was windy today!

{15/12/2013}   Bald- Day 2

Holding up my hair!Rain without hair is a whole different issue: it poured down my face today!

I was out and about all day and evening today.  I didn’t wear a hat at all (in part because a fair bit of wool stuck to my head when I tried my wool hat on!) so just went bald.  It turns out that some of my tops don’t look good with no hair.

I felt a bit paranoid and convinced that everyone was staring at me but, actually, I think any staring was subtle and I didn’t feel anywhere near as self conscious or vulnerable as I had expected to feel.

My hair has definitely grown a teensy bit, which I find bizarre.

It doesn’t feel particularly comfortable on the pillow.  I am still shocked when I see my reflection and shadow.  Weird mirror at the karaoke loos - look at the bizarre rings in my irises

Today, I kind of enjoyed being pretty much bald!

The donation page is still open and it’s still at £3,000:

{14/12/2013}   Bald

The bald lookLast long hair photoI now have no hair.  Well, a Velcrose stubble that is looking far more grey than I’d like to think my hair is.  It’s done now.  Phew.

By 1pm today, exactly £3,000 was raised – wow – so THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored me.  I am still overwhelmed and amazed that my scalp is worth that much money!  It even turns out my head is not as odd-shaped as I’d feared.

So how does it feel?

Yes, it does feel cold but not merely cold, more that I can feel channels of wind and cold moving over my head.  Even just turning my head generates breezes in strange places around my head.  Also, really weird, when I stand under light bulbs, my head gets hot and it’s a very, very strange and unexpected feeling.  It also only feels nice if you touch it in the right direction.  Otherwise, your hand sort of sticks on it.  So far, I have got a towel kind of stuck on it like Vecrose, got cotton wool stuck in/on it and it sticks to the back of a tall-backed chair and feels cold touching the leather.

The Hair Shave PartyI had a lovely group of friends and my mum with me when it came off and I have had a surreal but enjoyable day.  I had a short walk outside but haven’t yet encountered anyone beyond the friends who were with me today.

I don’t feel as wary of going out as I’d expected, in part because I can’t tell anything is wrong/strange/different until I am confronted with my reflection (shock) or my shadow (ears!).  But I do feel like I’m wearing a tight latex swimming hat, which is also bizarre.

Superhero wigThe tying of my hair into mini pony tails which were plaited and cut (everyone cut one off!) for the purposes of the wig charity was Just prior to cuttingprobably the most distressing phase.  It looked horrible when it was kind of butchered.  The shaved look is much better.  As for the wigs Angela brought over, they all looked dreadful (I tried on about 20) and a fair few were too small.  The general consensus was that the “boy band” wig was the best!

It’s been an exciting day and I’m going to go to bed now, see if I get cold over night and see if I “remember” straight away in the morning that I have no hair!

Thank you again for your support and sponsorship.  If anyone wants to get it OVER £3,000, that would be lovely!

I’ve always wanted to say this and mean it: hair today, gone tomorrow.   (As it happens, I suspect I’ve never thought about saying this and meaning it, but it sounds better to have said that)  In about 15 hours from now I will be stroking my head and obsessing about my much-changed appearance.

Today I got properly excited about having no hair, about a new experience.  So much so that I told a girl who works at one of my regular cafes and with our loud and excitable exchange, the ten or so people in that cafe also knew what I would be doing “tomorrow”.  It was a nice reaction.  I then told the security guards at work, who were really sweet.  One of them has a Kojak and the other has about a “3”.  He said that he’d once cut his hair from longer than mine to a “1”.  He said nothing will prepare me for how much colder I will feel once I’ve done it.  He said my ears will also get colder than usual.

I guess part of the reason I was so enthusiastic about telling people is because I would rather people knew I was doing it and why I was doing it rather than having people look at me and speculate and then probably not talk to me about it, or indeed talk to me at all, in case it seemed rude.  Maybe I’m being paranoid but I’ll find out soon enough!

I can’t believe it’s tomorrow.  AND only £130 left to raise by 1pm tomorrow.  So close!

How many hair conversations today?  So, so many I couldn’t begin to count.  I have enjoyed chatting to people I probably wouldn’t have chatted to as much if it weren’t for the fundraising and that I’m doing something a bit different and drastic.  It has been a consuming seven or so weeks but it has also been an enlightening and really, really enjoyable few weeks.

Thank you also to Tina, who is someone I’ve only known for three months but who gave me a lovely bunch of flowers at work today and made me feel a sense of achievement for doing this; good feeling.  I was touched and it added to my overall feeling of being overwhelmed by the kindness, support and all round loveliness, from friends and family and from people I don’t know hugely well in the grand scheme of things.  Thank you all.  This has been a surreal, unexpected, exciting, scary and feel-good experience and, however dreadful I may look tomorrow, I’m really glad I decided to do my first bit of sponsored fundraising and to have decided to shave my hair off rather than do something easier/more common.

I can’t get over the fact that the next time I write here, tomorrow night probably, I will be bald for the first and, I hope, last time in my life …


et cetera