“Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough”. – Larry David
Social acceptance rules the modern world, with a positive reflection of our identity for most being paramount to personal fulfillment.
With far reaching demographics, brands, trends and idealistic beliefs on how people should look, act, feel and talk, it would be little to say many of us are conditioned entities.
So where does our hair play a role in this little party.
Take five minutes to do a few googles or research online and you will find various outlets, websites and companies promoting that “other than physical fitness, your hair is the most important controllable aspect of your physical attractiveness”.
Although other than just a social response, then comes the deep personal relationship a lot of us have with our hair. Being a symbol of individuality, the links between hair and self-esteem is evident throughout history, philosophy and even religion.
Having been diagnosed with retinablastoma (cancer of the retina) at the age of two and having various bouts of chemotherapy for in excess of 18months both Systematic chemo, and Intrathecal chemo (spinal cord) I was well into kindergarten before my hair started to return.
Losing my left eye from cancer as I moved into my younger years of primary school I became very self-conscious of my left prosthesis (glass eye) and as such my response was to grow my hair longer over that side of my face.
It gave the best degree of comfort I could get and became an important aspect of my life, helping me to move through a difficult time.
Waking from this accident I realized 75% of my head had been shaven leaving only my fringe and I could feel the prickly texture, stitches and scar tissue starting to form as I ran my hands over my head almost daily in disbelief.
It was a huge adjustment, but it didn’t come without its humorous side.
Having memory issues and a shaved/scarred head can be a real problem…
I couldn’t count on one hand the amount of girly screams I let out every time I hopped out of the shower, went to the toilet or walked past pretty much any reflective surface for the first few weeks.
5 days awake and I had my first Britney moment deciding to shave the rest of it off myself.
Grabbing the face shaver from my personal care bag and locking myself in the hospital bathroom, I exited 15 minutes later to a patchy, down to the bone bald mess.
The ward nurse laughed as he said “you look like the air bender from avatar”, I laughed back as I agreed to let him give me a hand and do it properly with a pair of clippers so it was at least even.
Okay… Somewhat even haha.
I layed down that night in the hospital, watching movies on my brothers MacBook, watching the movie Jarhead, it got me thinking.
That image of strict, disciplined conformity that came from a shaven head was exactly what I needed to get through this.
I realized that night that we all have our own wars to fight whether it be physical, mental or emotional and although I lay battered and scarred, I knew at that moment that my fight was internal.
So to my fellow Scar-heads, whatever period of pain, turmoil or anguish you may be going through… keep going.
The only fights lost are the ones not fought.
For any of you who have seen the movie, Welcome to the suck.