How to Handle Hair Loss During the Holidays
The holidays represent a time to celebrate, a time to dress up, and a time to be generous with the ones we love. But when you are entering the holidays as a cancer patient, it can be challenging to fuse the things you love about this season with processing all the changes you are going through. So we asked women from our community who have faced hair loss and treatment to share some words of encouragement to help you through this time and to remind you that you are not alone. Read on for some of our favorite mantras and self-care tips from the community that we’ll be practicing this holiday season!
1. Self-Gratitude is Self-Care
“Hair doesn’t define you. I saw my soul for the first time during hair loss. I saw this internal self that was strong and ready to conquer. I learned to embrace characteristics that use to be shadowed by a tame mane. They say you can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself. That has never proved more true. I hope you meet that internal self. You will learn a gratitude unlike before.”
- Sydney Rozycki, Self-Breast Exam and BRCA Genetic Mutation Advocate, and Young Breast Cancer Survivor
As you face cancer and hair loss, remember that you are your closest and fiercest ally. Give yourself praise because you are showing up every day, even when it’s not easy and you don’t feel like it. While you are practicing gratitude toward all the things in your world you are thankful for, don’t leave yourself off that list. Be grateful for all that you have accomplished and for all that you will conquer in the time to come.
2. Get Pampered
“Get yourself some beautiful wraps. Put makeup on when you can, and pamper yourself.”
- Irina Brooke, Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate
Lean on the items that bring joy to your everyday routine even more during the holidays. Pay extra care to your mindset as you get dressed. Find special pieces, like a glamorous accessory or a chic and comfortable jumpsuit, that get you in the festive mood. These should be different from what you would wear in your daily life. Because treating yourself to wearing new and different items is like treating yourself to a new perspective on you. It reminds you that you are more than meets the eye and that the new you deserves new, positive experiences. To get inspired while getting dressed, check out this chemo makeover!
And remember, pampering isn’t just for getting ready. Create private clean beauty rituals with yourself, like soaking in indulgent bath salts (use code STYLEESTEEM for 10% off SaltyGirl Beauty), or creating warmness in your environment with candles that give back or a Himalayan salt lamp. Pampering is really anything that brings peace and joy into your life.
3. Be Free
“Don't feel like you need to wear a wig or a head covering every day. Wear what makes you comfortable and confident. And enjoy that showering and getting ready in the morning are much easier!”
- Maggie Kudirka, Founder of Bald Ballerina and Stage IV Breast Cancer Thriver, Advocate for Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Pink Agenda, Dancers Care Foundation, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, METAvivor and Tigerlily Foundation
Between virtual and at-home gatherings, give your scalp space to breath. Maintaining oxygen flow to the scalp has many health and hygiene benefits. This can help minimize skin irritations caused by heat and sweat. Hair follicles also love oxygen exposure because oxygen nourishes the follicles and promotes the growth of strong and healthy hair.
One of our favorite healthy hair rituals is doing a scalp massage with natural oils. Massaging your scalp in gentle circles with oil not only encourages oxygen flow to the skin but also keeps your scalp moisturized and hydrated as the temperatures outside get cooler. Just remember, your scalp is your canvas for hair regrowth, so keep it healthy and happy during treatment.
4. Talk About It
“Take comfort knowing that your loss is temporary. Take time to really process what you are going through, seek professional help if needed. I really enjoy my 1 hour a week with my life coach. It’s ok to cry and to be upset too!”
- Rifka Coleman, Mom and Breast Cancer Survivor
Sometimes it may not be enough to check in with yourself. And that’s okay. Therapy is an excellent way to help understand, process and cope with everything you are going through from a guided perspective. If you are not sure about enlisting the help of a professional, lean on a fellow cancer survivor or a loved one who you can speak to freely and without fear of judgment. Just as you would attend therapy regularly, create a plan to check in and make sure you both stick to it. This will give you both an outlet to look forward to as you go through the holidays. Lastly, journaling regularly is also a great way to work through your feelings in a private space, and a great way to start your reflection journey. Remember, whichever way you are checking in, try to end with a focus on something you are grateful for. Assigning gratitude to the good things in your life will expand those good things and help you forward in your path.
5. Express Yourself
“Having cancer isn't fun, so it's okay to allow yourself to have some fun with choosing head wraps that reflect your personality, the way your hair once did. It's really about perspective. Don't forget that we are not our hair and we are so much stronger than we can even imagine.”
- Sandra Roldan, Cancer Survivor
This is the time to acknowledge how fluid your beauty is. It is not defined by any single physical attribute. It is made of the amazing qualities that lay inside you. Embrace style that expresses your inner beauty. Whether it’s how you’re slaying cancer or the way you’re showing up for yourself. Each turban in our collection is named after you and the beauty you carry within you. So get creative, try something new, and wear your best qualities in your wardrobe. After all, fashion during hair loss should celebrate who you are in this very moment – brave, powerful and fierce.