What It’s Like To Be A Bald Woman

Last Sunday morning, I got out of bed with just a trace of a hangover, ran my fingers through my hair, and took a bunch of strands with me to the bathroom.

It got worse from there—for the rest of the day whether I was at home, bathroom, out to dinner, everywhere I went, I left a trail of hair. More tempting than the ripest of scabs, I simply couldn’t stop picking.

Anurag and I hadn’t seen so much hair in the house (on pillows, blankets,  jackets, couches) since our last days with snoopy our young lab. And as I shed, I remembered that Anurag never really liked Snoopy, and he absolutely abhored the fur all over the house. There was a slight chance, I thought, that Anurag might want to put me down.

So by Sunday night I decided that it was time to say goodbye to my hair, for just awhile. It’s supposed to be part of the whole “take charge of that cancer before it takes charge of you” thing, but I’m not sure how empowering it was…it was actually rather horrifying.

Anurag got out the scissor, the buzzer, and the electric razor. He interrupted the process with a couple of timeout kisses (aw). I sat there on a kitchen chair, completely numb, as he did the deed, and I was absolutely sure I would never be able to look in the mirror again.

“Is it red and blotchy?”


“Is it bumpy? Am I repulsive?”

“Not at all. It’s perfect. You actually have a good looking scalp. And you are still you, just without hair. I love you.”

I got up and immediately looked in the mirror. Bizarre, yet completely intriguing. I had never seen my scalp before. My first thought: I looked like an alien.

“It’s just hair,” I repeated to myself in the mirror, “it’ll grow back. This too shall pass.”

Anurag and I retreated to the den, where I curled on the leather couch in fetal position, under a blanket.

“Let me show you something,” Anurag said, as he fiddled with TV control. After about 10 minutes, Anurag found what he was looking for.

“This is the first Star Trek movie, the one right after the series,” he explained. He played the preview until Lieutenant Ilia came on.

“Look at her,” he told me.

This is what Lieutenant Ilia looks like.

Next Day attending office was a Herculean task for me, I had to explain everyone about my lost hair. I stepped in, my colleague shankar commented, Wow Radhika you look fabulous in this look. I was like, seriously ? I took my seat, opened my laptop , browsed through women who are bald or had gone bald throughout the day and was thinking do I really look good like this.

Being bald is not all bad. It creates a whole new set of retail opportunities, in the form of wonderful new hats and wigs. Many people have told me how beautiful the shape of my head is, and being bald makes me forget about my missing boob.

Now I just step out without a scarf , go shopping, dine out and with ease. I am loving my new identity and I guess once i recover from cancer i would still want to wear my bald look to support cancer .


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