Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Battles of Hair

I never let my hair define me. I embraced it.

Since shaving my head last Spring it has been a constant battle with not only what I look like but my self confidence.

From April to December in the above photos my hair started growing back before I even finished treatment. Everyday, everywhere I went, I felt like someone was looking at me like "Whoa! What happened to her hair?" Then I would tell myself  "Anna, you are battling the biggest fight of your life. Cancer. Rock that bald head like a badge of honor." And I DID! I somehow managed to keep most of my confidence and had no desire to wear a wig or cover my head. Unless I knew I was going to be in the sun for a while, I would wear a hat.

Once it was grown out enough to start looking out of control I would use wax or gel and tousle it or spike it up a little. I did the best with what I had. What hair I had. Ha! As my hair grew I hated what I looked like. I told myself as soon as it grew long enough for some hair extensions that I would get some. I have never had anything like that before but I felt like it would help me feel better about what I looked like.

So with that "big idea" for hair extensions, I went for it. I had a consultation and the stylist had to order what I would need. Then I went back for the installation. I say that like I am getting an engine upgrade or something! Yeah right! So I walked out of there not sure what just happened. Not sure if I liked it or not.

I think I was in shock for the next week. It was shorter than I thought it would have been. I felt like an old lady with a wig. That is because it was sort of like a wig. This is what we used on my short hair. It worked but I hated it. At first I thought it was too light and then it was getting loose. You can see it lifting from my scalp here:
So I called the stylist that did it and told her and asked her if she could tone it down a bit. She was fine with it and worked me in her schedule. I was greatly appreciated by that because I know she was giving up her time to help me out. I was a stylist once so I know what that is like. I went in and she helped me like it and feel better about having these extensions. I liked the darker much better!
I wore it for a few months and dealt with it but it was more work than I really wanted to do. I couldn't wash it everyday like I was used to and I knew this going into it. It was also hard to style. It was more work that I wanted to put the effort into. I guess because I am not a high maintenance kind of girl! After going four wheeling and felt like it was going to fall out at a moments notice, I was done. I made an appointment and had it removed. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders! I was relieved that I didn't have to deal with that mess any more! The stylist also offered to color my hair and gave me the suggestion to go with a reddish brown color. I was iffy at first but I LOVED it!

Left- after extensions removed. Right- Red hair don't care!

Now I have finally found a style and color that I like! I don't have to do much to it if I don't want to and I can wash it everyday! I know the professionals say not to do that but if my hair isn't washed everyday it gets greasy and no one wants to see that! And no, dry shampoo is not my friend with short hair. Am I going to keep short hair? I still plan to grow it out so that I can have a ponytail again. But I have embraced this style that I have now and actually enjoyed fixing my hair again!
Mama Mandolin said it best when she said "Even in 2015, long hair is still the standard for feminine beauty. The majority of women we see in movies and media have long hair, if they have short hair, they're usually cute little petite women. The number one thing I hear from people is that they could never cut their hair short, "I just don't have the face". So let me put this out there: IF YOU HAVE A FACE, YOU CAN HAVE SHORT HAIR. I can tell you, and I know many women who can attest to this, they never regret cutting their hair. They learned so much about themselves and how they view themselves, and it resulted in a more positive body image. Now, I'm not advocating for you to just go out and chop all of your hair off (unless you've been wanting to, then by all means get to chopping!) but what I'm trying to get across here is that beauty is what we make it. Whether your hair is long or short, whether you're curvy or stick straight, you're beautiful. You're beautiful if you have freckles, or if you're on the pale side. You're beautiful if your skin is always red, if you have birthmarks." 

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