This might seem like a bizarre post but I feel strangely empowered (if that’s the right word) so I thought I’d write about my haircut! I don’t look the same as I used to before I got diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency. I’ve put on lots of weight partly because of the steroids I have to take which have that as a side effect, partly because I was undermedicated for a year so had to eat a lot more to stop myself from passing out which made me put on weight, and partly because I have an endocrine condition so random bits of my body swell up and retain water for no reason at all (like pregnant ladies sometimes have). I have a lot of skin irritations/sensitivities which means I have to buy clothes in certain fabrics to help manage pain and to stop the ‘I want to pull my skin off’ feeling. I sweat a lot and change temperature rapidly so my clothes have to be specific colours and in lots of layers to help that. I have lots of aches and pains so go for comfort over style every time because it’s not worth it. I still wear makeup sometimes but it depends on if my face can handle it that day or if I have enough energy to put it on. Jewellery can be tricky because of the random swelling- I can’t wear my wedding rings for example. That’s before you add in other practicalities like it’s really hard for me to buy clothes because that in itself is exhausting, I find it hard to work out what to wear somedays so I just revert to things I know work and the fact I spend most of my time in my pjs because showering is too much effort for me to manage. So really, how I look is entirely governed by what I can physically managed. Which, at the moment, isn’t a lot!
My hair has been annoying me for a while. I like it but it’s thick and curly and if you don’t wash it regularly (I used to do it every day) you end up looking like a yeti. And I can’t brush it because it just breaks bits of the brush off in my hair. So the longer it goes unwashed the more conditioner it takes in the shower to get it unknotted which makes having a shower a bit of an ordeal. My husband has been washing my hair for me recently because I just can’t do it. I really, really didn’t want to get it cut super short because I feel like I’ve compromised everything about me for this illness as it is.
So I asked for some people’s ideas on Facebook and someone suggested an undercut. I thought I wasn’t cool enough to have a partly shaved head so dismissed it, but after a bit of googling thought it sounded like a good idea. Basically, I could shave the underneath part of my head and get rid of a lot of hair but it still looks the same.
I asked my hairdresser when I went yesterday and she agreed, got a pair of scissors and a razor and we got rid of a lot there and then. I thought I’d be a bit more scared but I was excited. I realised it was the first decision about the way I look that I’d made for about 2 years that wasn’t 100% based on what I *need* to do but what I *wanted* to do; I wanted to keep my curly hair and this was a way I could.
My hairdresser was great. I recently switched from a trendy salon to a one a friend recommended, mostly because I don’t have a job now so needed to economise. That was also another good move. I had explained to my last hairdresser my issues with showering and my hair but she just looked like I was mad because a) I don’t look sick and b) beauty trumps health in her world. This hairdresser listened to what I said about temperature issues and needing to keep cool in relation to the undercut and then made sure that the water wasn’t too hot and got me water when I started to get hot, all off her own back. That also felt pretty good.
It’s already a lot cooler temperature wise. I can still tie it back, but when it’s down now I don’t feel like a sheep with a thick coat of wool anymore. And when I tie it back, it’s even cooler. It’s easier to wash and comb. I might not be able to do it every day still, but it means I don’t have to allocate an entire day to recovering after having a shower now. It shouldn’t frizz out as much on days I don’t wash it. And I feel like I made a positive choice for me and what I wanted to choose, not what I had to choose. Which gave me a big boost for my confidence and mentally!
Here’s what it looks like: