Some Words About Hair

Today I had my first salon appointment since June. Well, that’s not entirely true. I had my hair cut and styled the week before chemo started (didn’t bother with color because it was all going to fall out anyway). Cortney shaved my head three weeks later. I went in twice while I was “bald” to have my neck shaved and everything evened out. But I don’t really count those as being salon appointments. That was just “bald head maintenance.”

Today my hair was not only long enough to be trimmed up and shaped around my ears and neck, but it was long enough for color!

As my hair grows back in, almost everyone–students, teachers, friends, family–have commented that it’s cute short and that the grey coming in looks sort of cute.

I disagreed on both counts.

I don’t hate the short, but I did hate the grey. Really hate it. On me, anyway. Yes, I know people pay good money to dye their hair grey (this is something I do not understand, but to each their own). And someone said the “salt and pepper” was distinguished.

No. It’s not. Not on me.

I applaud those who choose to go grey or embrace their grey or whatever. They make the choice and do it with confidence.

I was not given the choice. I have not had a choice about my hair since I chose to shave it seven months ago. And that wasn’t really my choice either since if I got to pick, I would have kept ALL my hair.

But anyway.

Before my hair fell out, I had finally found a color I absolutely loved. My stylist is a magician with color, and I was deeply in love with what she mixed up for me. And I loved my cut. For the first time in a really long time, I had hair that was my favorite part of my body.

And then cancer and chemo stole those things from me.

It was hard, I won’t lie. After everything, losing my hair still stands out as the toughest part. Because it wasn’t about passing pain or fatigue. It was something that I had to endure through all of it.

Feel like garbage? You are also bald.

Feel so tired you feel half dead? You are also bald.

Your skin is sore and itchy and you want to rip it off? You are also bald.

I can’t speak for all women, but for me, my hair was not just one of my favorite things about myself, it was a big part of my identity. People recognize you by your hair. It shows off your personality. I would do my hair one way for school and another way for going out. I could spend extra time on it when I wanted to look extra nice.

Then it was gone.

“It’s just hair,” we all say. “It will grow back.”

I used to say these things too when I would choose to get a short cut. Or choose to change my hair color.

But I didn’t choose this; it was forced on me. Which is why I have been scrutinizing my hair almost daily for when it would be long enough for a cut and color.

And today was that day!

I didn’t have much cut–it was mostly just shaped into a nicer looking pixie cut. But I did get my brown hair back! No fancy highlights or lowlights yet because it is still too short and that would look weird (also it’s not even possible…unless and I did frosted tips. HA HA HA HA…no.)

And because my stylist is the best, she put product in it, blew it dry, and showed me how to style it with product I already have at home.


pardon the hoodie…it is Saturday afternoon after all.

I would choose this short haircut if I still had long hair, but going from no hair at all, I am super happy with it.

I look better with short hair than I thought I would, and as it gets longer, I will get to experiment with all sorts of cute short cuts.

So stay tuned!

I currently have a fundraising project on Donors Choose to add some diverse titles to my classroom library. I’d love if you’d throw a couple bucks at it. I only need about $250 to make it happen. Check it out here.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Love the hair, and while my hair is not my strong point, I completely get why having all choice about it ripped away would hurt like hell.