26 July 2012

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Until recently, my new best friend was my rear view mirror. For a cheap thrill, I’d take a quick glance and admire my new eyelashes from top to bottom. I’ve had them for a few months now, and I’ve been prouder than Archie Andrews showing off his red Ford Model T Jalopy to Veronica Lodge. My mascara tubes, which I used over the winter is still abundant, as I only had one or two lashes on which I lavished attention. So seeing my eyeball fully framed with lashes filled me full of glee.

However, I saw my reflection recently and was surprised to find that there was mascara all over my face. The person looking back at me looked like they’d just woken up in the sand after a late night of doing B-52 shots at a beach party. High school all over again. But, I chalked it up to a recent heat wave and gave myself a good scrub.

Later that day, and back in my car, I took a quick look in the mirror. I looked paler than usual and a bit pasty. Of course my mascara coming off would have explained a lot of that, but something was different. And then I realized that I hardly had any lashes. My tiny, but magnificent hairs were all but gone.  

I’ve heard of that happening. Ladies I’d spoken with have reported that their lashes fell out twice. One during chemo, then, following a quick regrowth, falling out again. Though I’d heard about it – I didn’t expect it to happen to me. Grrr. My whole face had been planned around my friggin’ eyelashes. The only way I can get by with my ridiculously short bangs is to have hair in the middle of my face.  And it’s not just cosmetic (but mostly). Eyelashes are very good at keeping tiny particles out of one’s eyeballs. And they serve as radar that something is nearby the eyeball, automatically forcing the lid shut should there be some sort of peril, in the manner of a sharp pencil, or the fizz from a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.

I thought back to that morning, and how I’d applied my mascara. (Paraben free! Not tested on animals!). How could I not have noticed my sparse lashes? And how cruel that they could fall out again virtually overnight. It’s a nasty turn of events that I lost my most valuable hairs, rather than say – oh – the ones on my big toe that were a post chemo bonus.  The good news is that they’ll grow back. The bad news is that once again I look like a giant thumb with teeth and a headscarf.

But I’ll get over it, and work my way around it as I’ve managed to do for the last year. So for now, it’s back to giant sunglasses. And avoiding my rear view mirror. Unless of course, I choose to check for traffic.