Julie’s Story Part 3 – RE-BORN
Julie’s Story Part 3- Re-Born
My third and final hair appointment in the Hair Reborn Programme came almost a year to the day that I had begun my cancer treatment. At that time I was still in denial, a daze and feeling like I’d been plucked from my real life and dropped into a horror movie. I couldn’t believe I was about to begin chemotherapy and radiotherapy. To be honest at that time I couldn’t believe I had cancer, it was all just too devastating to take in.
Worse news seemed to follow bad news. Being told to expect hair loss was just another horror amid the catastrophic catalogue of cancer. I hadn’t realised just how traumatic it would be to lose my long, blonde and pink tresses. Once my hair was gone there was nothing left to hide behind. For me, hair loss was the point at which it all began to feel frighteningly real. The woman who stared back at me from the mirror looked like a stereotypical cancer victim. I braced myself for pitying stares and whispers about ‘her with cancer’.
I was really looking forward to my third trip to Salon Sienna. A girly treat, a bit of much needed pampering and another step towards becoming the new me. I had lots of questions for Lisa and she gave me tons of helpful advice on caring for and colouring my delicate new locks. I took along some photos of lovely pixie cuts to show Lisa. She agreed this chic and sassy look was achievable. We were aiming for Helen Mirren meets Judi Dench with a bit of Jamie Lee Curtis thrown in.
After a heavenly shampoo and relaxing conditioning head massage it was time for Lisa to work her magic. Out came her scissors and soon an impressive amount of frizz and fluff had been trimmed. A head of neat and healthy hair was ready to be blow-dried into shape.
It is absolutely true that when hair is trimmed it flourishes. After two previous haircuts as part of The Hair Reborn Programme, there was plenty of healthy new hair for Lisa to work with. As my chic new style began to emerge, I couldn’t help reflecting on the rollercoaster year that had gone by. It hadn’t all been bad. I became a catwalk queen in a Maggie’s fundraising event and also had a poem published in a book to accompany Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry’s exhibition; “Cancer Revolution: Science, Innovation and Hope.” I’ve made lots of new friends, found my supportive cancer tribe and had tea with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Manchester.
My pixie cut was blow dried and further enhanced with some lovely products. I was advised how to take care of my chic new style and discussed colour options with Lisa.
I had long blonde and baby pink hair pre-cancer. I was grateful beyond words that my hair had returned but it was about 50 shades of grey and I’ve decided I’m too young to grow old gracefully. I’m going to follow Helen Mirren’s lead and go pixie pink!
I’d like to thank Lisa at Salon Sienna for making me feel so welcome as a Hair Reborn Guest and for giving up her time and expertise to take care of my delicate new hair. She has made me look great and feel confident about my changed appearance. Also thanks for the beautiful flowers she presented me with on completion of the programme.
Heartfelt thanks also go to Lina and Joe, founders of Hair Reborn. Your programme gave me something to look forward to when I’d hit rock bottom. Life seemed pretty grim when I was bald and I was most definitely not looking or feeling my beautiful best. At the time, the need for haircuts seemed a distant dream. I became used to dressing my head with colourful scarves, trendy bandanas and fake fringes. But time goes by surprising fast when you are having treatment and before you know it your hair has made a tentative return. I’ve experienced so much kindness and generosity which has helped me through a difficult journey. I would urge all you lovely ladies who are experiencing hair loss to reach out for support.
In addition to Hair Reborn, there is a fantastic charity called HeadWrappers. They offer fun, friendship and glamorous alternatives to wigs, for ladies suffering hair loss. My hair is not the same as it was before and probably never will be. I’m not going to waste time looking back and dwelling on what I’ve lost. All of us can hold our head up high as we graduate from Hair Reborn and transition from the horrific trauma of cancer into the fabulous new women we have become.
Let’s embrace the new looks that accompany the new us as we evolve into our new lives.
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