Rachael’s Story

Although I've always liked my hair and enjoyed going to the hairdressers and occasionally trying new styles etc I don't think I had fully realised what a big part of my identity it really was until I lost it all. I tried the cold cap but sadly it all began to fall out rapidly a couple of weeks after my first chemo.

Having it falling out but by bit was upsetting and, eventually after an awful lunch out where it was just all over my shoulders, I asked my husband to shave it down to a number 2 length all over. Although I cried that night as he shaved it, it felt good to take control of the hair loss as I felt like it had been taking control of me and all I could think about was it falling out and covering my shoulders.

Over the next few weeks and months it all fell out pretty much completely. I wore wigs and headcovers depending on where I was going and how well I was feeling.

Following my final chemo as my hair began to grow back I was having panicked feelings about going to the hairdressers. Although my hairdresser is lovely (as are the other customers) I couldn’t get the thought of everybody staring at me as I walked in and wondering "what has she done to her hair?" out of my head. It was then that I remembered the Hair Reborn leaflet that McMillan had given me.

I contacted Hair Reborn and Lina and Vicky were so kind and supportive straight away. They gave me great advice about caring for my sore scalp and my first few strands of hair. They put me in touch with Salon Sienna, my local Hair Reborn linked salon and I booked my first of three appointments. Although I was still nervous, it made a huge difference knowing that not only was the stylist experienced with cutting 'chemo hair' but their regulars and the other stylists were used to people coming in in my position. Lisa the hairdresser was upbeat, caring and empathetic and made me feel supported and less anxious straight away. Somehow that day she turned my short fuzz into an edgy looking pixie cut and the next day I went out into the world with my head uncovered for the first time in months.

My second appointment helped me plan what style I was working towards and my third appointment helped me feel proud of my hair again which I wasn't sure would ever happen. I feel like I've really settled into my new style now to the point where I'm actually keeping my hair short.

I am so grateful to Hair Reborn for everything they did. At the toughest time in my life they made that part of it so much easier and were part of the journey to starting to feel like myself again.