Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Help

My hair at least, seems to be something of a medical marvel. I'm not sure how it happened but after the early reappearance it's been a hot source of hairy intrigue for more than a few people. Not many more mind...

First off the shape of my head is a gift apparently. It's a funny compliment that isn't quite up there with a bum one or a shoe one even, but, 'You're lucky, you've got a lovely shaped head' has been offered up more regularly than Gillian McKeith's bowel movements. Although an infinitely nicer compliment than those, I can't really take any credit.

There usually follows a feel to determine that yes, the tactile reality does match up to visual expectation, and then another compliment in close succession; it's so soft! Apparently this isn't so common with post chemo regrowth. Now all my hairstylist friends are coming out of the woodwork with relieved confessions that they were expecting it to be patchy, wiry, grey, sporadic or all of the above. In fact it is well, really nice, if a little mousy for my liking. I think super short will look better a little darker so I'm investigating vegetable hair dyes - nothing chemical at this stage - and nothing too dark or red or anything statement, the 'do itself is enough of one of those!

Then there's the rate of acceleration. My hair is the McLaren of the oncology world according to Val from Look Good...Feel Better, who told me she'd never seen such fast and thick regrowth. Now this I think I can take credit for, or at least bestow it onto Nioxin, the hair boosting system I blogged about a couple of months ago. Maybe my hair would have grown like this had I used the Johnson's Baby Shampoo I started out with, but I feel like I'm treating it to a Berocca-esque boost every time I use it, so even if its just sheer will making it sprout at a faster rate, Nioxin works on a mental level at least, so I'll stick at it.

Saying that, I'm not shampoo-conditioning my legs, but they seem to be getting the same benefits annoyingly. I'm so used to ignoring that side of my beauty routine that I keep finding myself on the way to something fun, in a skirt or city shorts, noticing too late my neglected fluffy knees. I'm pretty sure they weren't that hairy to begin with, maybe the Nioxin is infusing my knees in foamy globs en route from my head to shower drain. Whatever the reason, I've cracked out the trusty epilator and am back to square one of the lifelong pain V's smooth battle. And very happily so!

The self consciousness of the super short hair is still there, but its more because it's such a drastic change that EVERYONE comments, and I've never been good at accepting attention at the best of times. If I'm not awkwardly tugging at the sides or saying 'I don't like it' as a reflex (I secretly do), I'm re-introducing myself to people I've known or worked with for years who aren't expecting this much edgier version of my former girly self sitting at my desk. Yes post man, I am Sophie Beresiner. It's quite funny to see the recognition seep back in, mixed with their toe curling cringe and/or nervous over explanation of how I look so different. erm, I know.

I'm a bit sad to discard the wigs - I still prefer how they look with certain outfits and they're just more 'me' - but I don't think I thought it through properly. Now that I've presented my normal self back to the world, I'd feel really weird in long hair every so often, like I'm cheating. So my maxi skirts and high necked shirts will be relegated to the sidelines until I coax a bit more length out of my hair.

Last week, at the height of my side-tugging habit, lovely hairstylist Louis sat me down mid shoot and gave me a TRIM! Yes people, I necessitated a hair cut. It felt weird to let someone go at my strenuously acquired measly length with scissors, but it looked so so much better. I highly recommend this approach, it takes you from fluffy post-cancer person to ooh, I've been styled this way, and suddenly all my outfits don't look so middle aged anymore, such is the power of about 3 millimetres of hair.

And the proof is in the wolf whistling. I haven't quite got that far, but after a lovely lady chased me off the RV1 to tell me short hair really suited me I started to believe it. When a lovely man passed me outside my house and told me I looked very 1930's and lovely I walked (OK, skipped) straight back in to, in the nicest way possible, rub it in Dadjokes' face. Yes, you must muster up some jealousy at once, I am officially attractive to other men. Although he was really happy for me, which didn't happen so much in the old days. Thank you man in the street, for a milestone compliment. I'm taken though...

Radiotherapy starts tomorrow, just to remind me that yes, I am still a cancer patient and hospitals are my way of life, so I'm stocking up on aqueous cream and choosing a suitable 'gown' to wear from changing room to X-ray machine. Always about the fashion and beauty, me...


  1. What you don't know is that I ran after him to get his number and begged him to take you off me......

  2. NO NO tis not true, not true I tell thee ! Don't go !!! Who will change the cat litter :-S

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  4. Ha! When my neighbor's house mate asked him what was going on with my hair he told him he hadn't noticed cos he was always looking at my bum! Total lie but I'm taking compliments wherever I can get 'em! Good luck with radiotherapy- you'll be finishing as I start! Keep blogging about short hairstyles please- I need all the advice I can get! Xx

  5. "What you don't know is that I ran after him to get his number and begged him to take you off me......"

    Ahahaha. Mean!

    It really does suit your pretty elfin features, you lucky thing. Good luck with the radiotherapy, though i'm sure you're a pro by now. xx

  6. Hi Sophie
    I read your journey in the Look magazine. Im 38 and have also gone through a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. You look fantastic, one pretty lady. Keep going Sophie your nearly there xx

  7. Thank you again all my regular and new commenters, a lovely lot (with one obvious 'hilarious' exception...x