After six weeks of baldness, I still can’t get used to the sight of Dr Evil in the mirror. No matter how much I rationalise the baldness I can neither bring myself to like it nor disassociate it with cancer.
I am using a variety of ways disguising it – mostly scarves and hats (thanks H and R ) depending on what I’m wearing, what I’m doing and my mood.
Yesterday I plucked up the courage to go down the “wig route”. After my unsuccessful attempt in November J’s sister had done a reconnoitre of wig suppliers in Bangkok. She came back with a suggested store and some very reasonable prices. My previous foray had resulted in a grand total of two possible wigs which were both very expensive and very dark for my skin colour. Only one of the two was vaguely wearable and for a shrewd (ie stingy) Scot it was not a sensible outlay for one wig that was not, in my view, totally fit for purpose.
So yesterday we headed straight to the store. I had brought my camera and had a vague notion of a fun session, trying on outrageous and different hair colours and styles before settling on a wig which transformed me to a young glamorous version of myself.
Indeed, there were a few more choices this time, with lighter colours and various lengths. The assistant was really helpful and as I worked my way through most of the wigs, she spent time brushing them carefully before I was allowed to look in the mirror. The first one I tried was similar to my own style, but just a bit longer. But on my head it somehow transformed into “Big Hair”! The thing is I realised is that your own, natural hair grows straight out of your scalp. Even though my hair is fairly thick, it fell smoothly around my face – thanks, gravity! Wig hair, however, has to be fixed something and this felt a bit like carpet backing. On the shop stands the wig hair falls sleekly but those heads must be deceptively narrow. So when the wig goes on a real head it adopts a kind of bushy look! Or it certainly did on mine.
I tried long and short and they all gave me the big hair look. The assistant suggested that I took one of the longer wigs and took it to the hair dresser to cut it to the right length. A very sensible suggestion. Except for the memory of too many visits to hair dressers when you come out unhappy with the results, and the thought that makes it bearable? That you can go home, wash your hair and re-style it, and you know it will grow back soon enough. You have none of those options with a wig – if you get it cut and don’t like it, you are stuck with the result!!
So I finally settled on the shortest wig, even with its sticking out sides. The assistant, bless her, sensing my discomfort on exposing my shiny white scalp, snipped off the price tag and said I could keep the wig on (just like a new pair of shoes). She had clearly guessed from the lightning changes from wig to wig. (This had also sabotaged any desire to take any photographs).
Once paid for, I was let loose on the streets of Bangkok. No more Dr Evil or Queen of Scarves! It’s amazing how a “not-quite-perfect” wig made me feel much less of a freak and less visible. Even if it did make me feel as if I had a baby grizzly bear on my head!
And last night I took Grizzly out for a test drive as I was meeting a good friend for dinner. Grizzly behaved, didn’t fall off and although a touch scratchy and warm, definitely made me feel much more comfortable.
I do recognise and accept that it is not possible to recreate my original look but I am so glad to have another option to keep Dr Evil at bay ;).