Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Rapunzel Loses her Hair, a "Grim" Fairy Tale
About 6 months ago I noticed something disturbing: my once thick & healthy locks were lank and lackluster, ponytail skinnier than it used to be, and an obvious thinning around my hairline. First, I panicked. After all, I am known for my hair, it's how I identify myself, it's my thing. Ever since I was a little girl with a pixie haircut, I have dreamed of long hair. Once I was old enough to take care of it myself, I let it grow..and grow..and grow...It's been waist to hip length for all of my adult life. So, the thought of losing it terrified me. After the initial freak-out, turned to my family, inquired if they noticed a change. It wasn't just me, they confirmed it. Thinner, yes, and more hair in the sink, shower, sprinkled around the white tile floors. Internet research suggested several culprits: Stress, Hormones, Hypothyroidism, and/or Chemical Abuse. So, I went to my GP and had my thyroid checked. Negative. Visited the dermatologist who blamed it on age and suggested that I just accept it as a part of getting older...umm...Hell, no! Went to the health food store and bought $40 worth of vitamins. Made an appointment with my hairdresser and switched to a gentler hair color, got a really good trim. Tried to relax more, started taking better care of myself. And, the biggie: went off hormonal birth control and had a tubal. (Yeah, my hair, and health in general, is that important to me.) Through all of this I've also done some soulsearching about why my long hair is so important to me, why I am so terrified of not only losing it but of losing my very identity. I didn't find out anything I didn't already know: basically, my hair represents my sexuality. No matter how fat/thin, ugly/cute, old/young I am, my hair makes me feel sexy and beautiful. It's something different about me, my best feature, my shining glory. I guess that women who have other unique attributes must feel the same way, don't they? I can't speak for anyone else, but this is the truth about me. I don't know what would happen should I lose my hair or have to cut it, I'm sure I would manage and find a way to deal with it. After all, it's "just" hair..I am sure that I'd find a way to feel sexy and desirable..but you know what? I don't want to face that, not yet.
So, I continue to take the vitamins, de-stress as best I can, pamper what hair I have left..and still watch more strands than I'm comfortable with fall into the sink. The shedding has definitely slowed down but I'm probably 1/3 thinner overall than I used to be. *shrug* I'm still Rapunzel, my hair still defines me, but there is more to me than my tresses. No matter what, it'll be ok, I'll still be me. I know this, really I do. Right?