{14/01/2014}   Stubble – One Month

Exactly one month of hair growthA month ago this morning I had long hair; a month ago this afternoon, I had no hair.  Now, I have a pinchable stubble which is, without doubt, far more grey than my hair ever seemed while it was long!

Over the past month, I have spent time in the UK, the USA and Mexico.  In the US, a fair few people approached me, one to ask if I was going through what she was, to which I explained why my hair was as short as hers.  I also had lots of strangers commenting on my “cool hair”!  I was more surprised by those positive style-related comments than any to do with health, etc.  In Mexico, similarly, a fair few strangers (at least six)  made positive comments about my hair, which made me feel that it’s now at a length more likely to be a choice cut than a health cut, as it were.

I have also spent time in cold weather (the UK) and warm/hot weather (US and Mexico).  I enjoyed feeling the sun on my head, though I doubt the temperature was ever above 25c.  I used a gel-based sun screen and, fortunately, didn’t get a sunburnt scalp.  My scalp is very dry though so I’m going to have to moisturise it thoroughly.

So, what observations about the past month:

Looking back (ie I didn’t feel this at the time), the longer my hair gets, the easier it is to feel “normal” and just someone who’s made a hair style choice.  I now feel it would be kind of hard to go back to bald, though I shouldn’t feel like that as it only took a few weeks to grow to this.

I appreciate that Americans are more likely to openly ask you about your hair than Brits who (as I would) make assumptions but don’t actually seek confirmation of what they think.

I am sure that US Immigration, while I had two weeks of hair growth, let me through quicker than everyone else because they thought I might be ill and would sue them for undue stress as a result of immigration Q&A/interrogation.  I was still asked direct, brusque questions about my stay in the US, but, having waited in the passport queue for 45 minutes, I know I was one of the quickest non-US residents through.

The immigration officer who let me back into the US from Mexico (just shy of four weeks of hair growth) actually made a light hearted comment about my hair and my passport photo after I told him why I’d done it, though his comment about my photo initially was more along the lines of, “You’ve changed the colour of your hair”.  Ahem, yes, see, it’s very grey versus largely brown!

The UK immigration officer had a friendly chat to me about my hair.  I felt even more happy to be home than usual.  Nice man.

People recognise me.  I realise I stand out a lot more than ever before.  I stayed five days in a town in Mexico, Ensenada, and I can say without hesitation that everyone I encountered in shops more than once recognised me and often made reference to things I’d looked at before, things I’d said to them, etc.  It was nice but also a very unfamiliar concept to me.

I am still stroking my hair a lot.  It doesn’t feel as velvety as it did initially but I still love stroking my own hair/head.  My friend even took a photo of me walking by the sea, absent mindedly stroking my hair.Caught stroking my head absent mindedly

For ease, for travelling, for extra shower time; short hair that doesn’t need styling is so the way forward!

There is no way my hair will be made into a wig as I am undeniably more than 10% grey!

Maybe this is only my experience, from someone who didn’t have to shave their head for medical reasons, but I feel a lot more vulnerable and look-at-me-I’m-ill when I wear any kind of head cover/hat that isn’t a normal hat.  I feel a lot more confident when I just have a bare head.  I had thought I wouldn’t be brave enough to reveal my head, particularly for the first week or two, but it’s been wearing non-winter hats that has made me feel most self-conscious.  There has been one hat/cover that’s worked ok, and that is the Anna Hat from Wigs4U. I have also worn that a few times at night (it has never come off in the night, probably due to the area of elastic at the back).

Saturday, 11 January 2014 About to ride on the back of this 1350cc Harley!I wore a motorcycle helmet a few days ago and when I took it off after a couple of hours, I had distinct indentations in my hair.  I also think I felt it moving in the wind earlier today!  So I don’t think its growing straight out will last much longer.

£3,155 has been raised for Macmillan!  THANK YOU.  I still feel somewhat overwhelmed, amazed and really, really proud to be able to give that money to such a fantastic charity.  The loss of every single strand of hair was most definitely worth it.


et cetera