…or so they say.
I fell pregnant November 2015; no words could describe how happy I was but I was also afraid, afraid of the unknown and the lack of control over my body. I was always one of those people who liked having control but that totally changes when you are growing a human life form.
My pregnancy wasn’t the easiest; from severe morning sickness for 21 weeks, pre-term labour risks and sciatica. At around 30 weeks I noticed my skin itching all over, on my stomach the most so I assumed it was because my skin was stretching. It was just after that my head started to itch. I visited my general practitioner who said it was just due to my hormones and gave me some cream.
Around 32 weeks I noticed every time I washed and brushed my hair, strands and strands filled my brush. As you do, I googled my symptoms (good ol’ Dr Google) and found that it was normal to some lose hair whilst pregnant so I didn’t worry too much. As the weeks went on more and more fell out; my brush was full, my pillow and clothes were covered and it started to feel lighter on my head. I was sitting at my parents house when I mentioned my hair loss so my mum had a look at my hair. To my horror, she discovered I had developed bald patches. I remember getting into bed that night and just bawling my eyes out. My hair was such a big part of me, it was what “defined” me. I had thick blonde wavy hair which I took great care of. “This can’t be happening to me” I thought, “why me?!”.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the week before I gave birth I washed my hair (something I grew to hate doing). I washed it as normal and went to brush it out and blow dry it, my hair wouldn’t budge. It was in two huge mats on my head. I took a deep breath and tried to calm down, “It will be ok, stop stressing” I said to myself. I tried to brush again, my heart was pounding and I was getting more and more distressed. I looked in the mirror and burst into tears, it was like I knew it was the end of my hair. I rang my mum who came over and tried to brush it out. We tried dousing it in conditioner to loosen the mats. Mum rang my hairdresser desperate for advice. I knew deep down it wouldn’t be what I wanted to hear. She said “You’re going to have to shave it”. I was in such denial that I kept brushing; you could hear each strand snap as I brushed. I don’t know what hit me but at that moment I just cracked and said “just cut it!”. Both mum and I cut the two mats off. My once long hair dropped to the floor. Now I know “it’s just hair” but that hair was my life, my identity.
The following night my hair dresser shaved what I had left. I just stared into the mirror at this “thing” with no hair. That’s not me I thought, how can I go from having thick hair to nearly nothing! No words can describe the feeling I had. I hated what I saw in that mirror, it’s still hard to look at my reflection.