Losing Locks, with Love
“Oh, Jo, how could you? Your one beauty.” ― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
It’s a well-known line, a famous scene from the novel—and, of course, the movie—forever immortalizing the loss of tomboyish Jo’s lovely locks, beautiful hair that she sold out of love to support her family. For many women, how we feel about our hair is incredibly tied to our self-image, as though it’s our one source of beauty, something that gives us our femininity or even our individuality.
But what happens when we lose that?
That’s a reality for countless women undergoing chemo, women who, already dealing with so much, have to face the indignity of losing their hair. It’s an incredibly emotional loss, and one that can only be fully understood by others who have been through it. Recently, salon owner Rachel Eggie sacrificed her own hair in an act of solidarity and support of the many women who sit in her chair, battling cancer and the subsequent loss of hair or finally looking out from the other side, rejoicing in the return of their hair and celebrating their first haircut as true survivors.
But how she got there—to that place of shorn hair and shaved head—is a story in itself.