When Your Head Has Been Completely Shaved…

A woman’s guide to coping with temporary baldness (dedicated with love to my friend J, who has complained less about her brain surgery than I did the last time my IUD was changed out)



1. Get a temporary tattoo on your scalp.

Please! When do you suppose this opportunity is going to come along again? Never, that’s when. Your hair is growing back quickly, so there is no time to waste. Get a rub-on tat. Something tough.


2. Guilt your mother into buying you a Hermès scarf.

Ask her outright or, if you’re like me and enjoy a little razzle-dazzle, work in a good, histrionic crying jag. Tell her you need the scarf as a head wrap and that, given the indignity you’re suffering, you are entitled to the very best. A few months from now when the hair is back, you can wear the scarf around your neck.


3. Sleep in.

That 45-minute block of time you’ve traditionally reserved for shampooing, conditioning, combing, blow-drying, curling and flat ironing you hair – you can just sleep right on through it. Sweet dreams, beautiful.


4. Cut in line.

You know as well as I do that you’re not sick. The head shaving was part of the procedure that ensures you stay well. Here’s the thing, though – strangers may not know that. Prey upon their pity. Cut in line. What are they going to say?


5. Sing “Nothing Compares to You” in public.

o connor

How awesome would that be?! Go to a karaoke bar and impersonate Sinéad O Connor to the best of your ability. I guarantee it will bring down the house.

6. Get a cool wig.

After a lifetime of making do with the hair you were given, you now have a chance to wear the hair you always wish you’d had – any color, length or texture you please.


7. Have fun with your make up.

You have a beautiful face and a skilled hand with cosmetics. This is the perfect time to get a makeover at the mall or watch a few instructional YouTube videos concerning new techniques for make-up applications.

8. Get into a fight.

hair pulling

If there is one thing I learned from going to public school in South Georgia, it’s that hand-to-hand combat between women involves a lot of hair pulling. You would totally dominate your opponent.

9. Ask me to cover your weekend and holiday shifts at work for the next twenty years.

‘Cause I will. With pleasure.

10. Hold your head up high.

You have handled this whole mess with inspiring grace and dignity, and it is over. There are about eleventy-hundred people praising God for this, your remarkable recovery. If you do nothing else on this list, I pray you hold your pretty little shaved head high.



15 Comments on “When Your Head Has Been Completely Shaved…”

  1. I love this one —- send it to American Cancer Society for publication PLEASE! Give it to your hospital’s cancer dept.

    • Thanks, Gay. It’s a thought, though I have to say (and say with gratitude) that my friend did not and does not have cancer. It was benign.

  2. Funny. I wonder if old bald men can claim these benefits.
    Nice to be shopping at Gingers Grocery again. Welcome back.

    • If an old bald man tries any of these stunts, I feel like he will be followed closely by a security guard. Thanks for the kind words, and have a happy Easter.

  3. This was a great read. I’ve known several women over the years that had shaved head or had their hair fall out from cancer treatment. The chrome dome is very distinguished. I would love to see it become a thing.

    • Distinguished, yes. You’re spot-on. (I went to visit this friend today, and it turns out she scheduled a portrait session with a photographer.)

  4. Here is a blog post from my cousin, Ginger. I love her sense of humor which is very unusual in my mom’s family.

    See you in a few.

    102 Stone Tower Lane Wilmington, Delaware 19803 ph: (302) 654.2556 cell: (302) 345.9899 e-mail: ggajm@me.com


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