The first shower is usually the real test

How to put me completely at ease about trusting you 100% with those scissors in your hand:

  1. The first thing you do: finger my hair approvingly and say, "Oh, you have very good hair!" I will want to tackle you with a hug because at this point, it’s the last thing I would ever expect anyone to say to me, let alone a hair professional.
  2. Listen attentively as I explain what’s been going on and why I’m here.
  3. Nod as you examine my head and relay that, yes, you can tell there’s been massive thinning going on. (Not a happy announcement, no, but it’s validation that I’m not just paranoid, which = good.)
  4. Before leading me over to the sink stations, nod again and observe that it’s definitely a shedding problem since you can see the hairs have been leaving by the root, not breaking off. Talk, as you wash my hair, about hormones and medical this-and-that, possible causes, things I ought to be sure to have checked out by the dermatologist I’m scheduled to see on Wednesday. There will be comfort found in the familiarity of all your terminology. Nothing prompts trust like someone who sounds like she knows her shit.
  5. Mention, as you comb out my hair, another client of yours who had the same problem, whose hair just kept falling out in huge sheds. Pause for a moment to fiddle with the comb, unintentionally leaving me suffocating in suspense. Resume the story– how a year-and-a-half later, it all came back. Her hair returned to its natural fullness. She got her hair back.

That being established ("that" meaning my trust in and absolute adoration and respect for this woman):

I kind of feel like I’m ought to be named Flo now. Flo, the art teacher down at the junior high who wears a smock covered with paints and smudges of red clay with dangly cat-shaped earrings and periwinkle cotton-polyester blend slacks, with that loud, deep-but-slightly-nasal voice and a booming, hearty laugh and who sometimes gets that faraway look in her eyes, usually when she’s talking about her late husband David, bless his soul, who lost his battle to prostate cancer 12 years ago this July.

Or maybe Bea, with a big, wide, shiny white headband that matches my big, wide, shiny white earrings that go with my tall, tight, shiny white boots.

I always give a haircut three days to get used to me, though, so no remorse– yet. This, though– I feel like now I actually have to go and develop a goddamn personality for this hair. And, WHOA. I looked down halfway through the process and WHOA. Did not realize I had that much hair left to lose.

Whatever, though. Now I have an excuse to go buy some cute newsboy hats, and I only have to wait until Wednesday morning till I can talk to a derm about all this, and I’ve got hope renewed already. A year-and-a-half is a fucking LONG-ASS time for me, mind you, but at least it’s quantifiable.

Fuck, I’m tired. I keep forgetting I only slept from 6-8 a.m.

Yay for freshly laundered bedsheets!

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5 thoughts on “The first shower is usually the real test

  1. I stumbled across your site from another bloglist. I wanted to let you know that a friend of mine went through a drastic hair loss about four years ago. She wore hats, handkerchiefs and eventually a wig while she was losing it (and looked great all the while), but about a year later, it started growing back in and now it looks just like it used to. Hang in there. I’m sure this will pass.

  2. i feel for you. i was shedding an inordinate amount of hair in the shower and on my pillow last year. i found it was attributable to a series of vaccine shots that spanned six months. in the interim, my doc suggested prenatal vitamins and eating better. i also increased my milk intake. i can’t prove it with any hard metrics but i think they lessened the shedding and now i’m back to normal. like the previous poster, hang in there.

  3. Thanks for the words of encouragement– as easy as it is to tell myself, “It’s only hair” (and as easy as it is for other people to tell me), the losses (first shedding, now the cut) have hit me pretty hard. Which sounds super shallow, but… I don’t know. It’s not easy to explain.
    And the shower was hot and steamy. And wet. Really, really wet.

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