October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Bustle celebrated by featuring four black women talking about their journey during their treatments for breast cancer. These stories show courage, are transparent, and bring forward and up many things that majority of us have probably have not even thought of. Check out some of the accounts when it came to hair and skin when it comes to breast cancer below.
“I was convinced I would beat the odds and not lose my hair. I remember the first chemo treatment, they tell you you’ll probably lose it [about two weeks] after you’ve started chemo. After the first treatment, I was like ‘Didn’t lose my hair, so this is fine,’ but it hadn’t been 15 days yet.
On day 15, I literally started losing chunks of my hair.
I remember sitting and [my husband and I] were watching Netflix, and I put my hand in my hair and scratched my head — I barely touched it — and it came out with a chunk in my hand. I freaked out as I was looking at it, and I put it on the night table. My husband didn’t notice, and I’m just sitting there crying in silence, and he looks over like ‘Oh my God, what happened?’ And I was like ‘I’m losing my hair!’
It was very traumatizing. It literally feels like it’s tearing out of your head. It’s like this tingling — it’s a horrible, horrible feeling.
I would just randomly cut chunks out, put my bonnet back on and go about my business. And then when my hairdresser came over, I had this feeling of embarrassment, because she’s been taking care of my hair for six years. And we’ve done everything with my hair — dye it, and mohawk it, and went natural, and permed it — we’ve done so much to my hair. My hair was my crown. And I was like, ‘She’s going to come over here and have to shave this off and see me sick. I don’t want anyone to see me sick.’ But she came over and I invited my family to come over and we blasted the music, had some tunes and she shaved my head.
Once it was gone, I remember my brother looking at me and he was like ‘You know what, sis, I was worried, I was worried for you. But you’ve got a nice shaped head.’
I really felt a lot of freedom. As black women we’ve always got to wear a shower cap. You know when you keep your head a little bit away from the water because it’s going to ruin whatever’s happening? I even sometimes forget that I don’t need to do that anymore, cause I never grew my hair back, I just shave it. There was so much freedom in not having to do my hair. No product, no nothing. Just like water. I was free.”