Thursday, July 31, 2014
Stronger and better
Like a lot of new mamas, I am losing a lot of hair. Like, each time I wash my hair, I come out with a ball of hair the size of a ball of wool spilling out of my palm.
I didn't wash my hair all that often to begin with (I usually average twice a week). But I find myself even less keen now.
It's just "something that happens".
But it's unnerving.
Up until last week, I had big white patches on my scalp above my temples, more obvious because my hair is so dark. This week, I have short new growth so the patches aren't quite so glaring.
But I do still look like I have a receding hairline.
(All of my blood work has come in and it's within the "normal" range for everything.)
(It's unnerving nonetheless.)
I have also taken to wearing hats and headbands and scarves. Which is kinda fun, seeing as it's so cold anyway and they do add a bit of colour on a Wintry day.
I also find myself complaining about it to friends who are other mamas, who can empathise. "It's scary just how much falls out, isn't it?" commiserated a lovely lass whose bambino is three months older than mine.
Then one day, a school mama said something different. "It's good!" She exclaimed in her thick Beijing accent, "It will grow back stronger! Better!"
I hadn't thought of it like that before.
But I liked it.
Like a lot of new mamas, I decided to have my hair cut. The hairdresser was a recommendation from another friend, and she was lovely. She was a little taken aback by just how much hair I had lost, although reassured me that "everyone is different". She cut my hair as short as she thought would be appropriate and then blow-waved it (as I never do).
As she cut my hair, I read the July edition of Australian Vogue and stumbled across an article about -- you guessed it -- hair loss in women, particularly after childbirth. It explained how hair loss could be a signifier of physical or psychological trauma, discussed how to enable healing and regrowth, and recommended blood work if there were serious concerns.
When I got home, my daughter looked at me, puzzled. "Mummy, you look like you're a different girl!" She whined, "I don't like it!"
My parents, on the other hand, liked it so much my mum offered to give me her hairdryer. I declined on the grounds that I already have a hairdryer, what I don't have is the time to wash and blowdry my hair every few days.
But that wasn't the whole truth. I don't really have the inclination to wash and blowdry my hair every few days. I'd much rather spend that time doing other things.
And pondering what it means to be stronger, better.