I was told I would probably lose my hair when I had chemo. My biggest concern was for my husband because he always liked looonngg hair. I gave him warning and time to think about it. When it seemed like I spent longer cleaning hair out of the tub than I spent cleaning the hair on my head, I asked him to shave the head. He did, and couldn't get over how the hair didn't do anything, the head has a beauty of its own. He explored a website that showed pictures of lots of women without hair before we cut my hair. I had him do it because, with 4 sons, we have good hair clippers. At church that first Sunday, our priest did a double-take and then he was fine. I saw one little girl stare at me but when I smiled at her, she smiled back. Other than that, I had no adverse reactions. I had people ask if it was Okay for them to feel my head. My hair was short, but never totally shiny bald. After the first chemo series, the hair came back pretty much like it had always been. When I faced a second series of chemo, my hair became an incentive for my son's boy scout troop. I was doing the accounting for a fund-raiser, and I offered that if they had the money all turned in by some date, the boys would get to cut my hair. The boys thought that was funny. They met the goal, but when I took the clippers to get my hair cut, some of them were not willing to touch the clippers or work on my hair. They were funny. After the meeting, my husband still needed to trim it up a little. None of the scouts were interested in holding the ear out of the way so they could trim around it, and none of them were interested in "shaving" the neck, but finishing my haircut after the boyscouts started it only took Tom about 10 minutes (or less) compared to 45 minutes or more the first time. The hair seemed slow returning after the second chemo, but the radiation that followed may have been a factor. When I got the hair trimmed, removing the thinned hair made the thicker new growth underneath visible, so I had to laugh when people started talking about how much hair I had after I got it cut. As it has grown back this time, it actually has some curl. The color is still the same as always. Somebody I work with was telling me last week that she was asking herself who I was until she realized that my hair had finally grown in enough that I no longer look like a current cancer patient. We both had to laugh about that.
One day, my husband and I had gone out to dinner. A perfect stranger assumed from my short hair that I had cancer. She asked if I would mind telling her what kind of cancer I have, what that meant, how was I doing,... She finished by asking for a hug and offering to pray for me and my family. I never felt my hair made people upset, afraid, or unnatural. Yes, I continued to go to church regularly and I teach at a community college, so I never knew what strangers would notice my hair. I had a couple of wigs, but they were more uncomfortable than people's reactions or thoughts on my lack of hair. I also had a couple of fun hats, but those were usually not needed. I did wear some turbans, but more for temperature control because the head would easily get chilled. The hardest thing for me with the Gemzar/Cisplatin combo was that it put me into menopause. So if you think of hair as just another accessory, dress it up any way you like, have fun with it, be comfortable. A friend used her chemo as an excuse to collect scarves, and she was always finding ones for her professional wardrobe at the thrift stores. They were also welcome gifts from friends.
Once upon a time, a woman with little or no hair was pitied or ostracized. Now, as long as you are comfortable with your look, the length of hair is no more important than the length of skirt, pants, ...
Keep smiling! It makes people wonder what you're up to.