If you look in the mirror 10,000 times (okay, let’s not exaggerate, 100 times) without any hair, make-up or anything else that makes you feel prettier, then you’ll get used to your new appearance faster. After a while, you won’t just see that bald cue ball, you will also see how beautiful your eyes are and how pretty you look when you laugh. Try to look in the mirror when you look sad and then really happy, there’s a massive difference - and not just for you. If you radiate that you’re happy with yourself (even if you don’t feel that great on the inside), then others will also see how confident you are. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin and let that show, then that will get others to see you that way too. And that’s exactly the opposite of what you want, right?
The first few months, I took endless selfies: with and without makeup, with and without a wig on, with and without (thick, thin, brown, black) eyebrows and false eyelashes, with scarves, earrings, hair bands and all sorts of clothes. I tried out all the combinations and looked at the pictures thoroughly. Little by little, a 2.0 version of myself started to appear, and it kept making me happier and happier.
In the beginning, I was always thinking about what others thought of me and I always assumed it was something negative. If someone stared at me on a terrace, my first thought was this: ‘She probably thinks I’m ugly, or my wig looks stupid’. When I realized that that was something I did, I started to consciously change my thoughts into something positive: ‘He probably thinks I’m pretty, my hair looks great today, or my dress is sexy’. I don’t know what someone else is thinking, so why would I assume it’s something negative? I found out that my fear of negative reactions was much bigger than necessary, people on the street don’t care about your appearance as much as you do. By letting go of my fear and instead focusing on what I thought of myself, I was able to accept the new me more and more. (Make sure you don’t start liking yourself TOO much! Arrogance has never made anyone more attractive ;-))
After a few months of sheer misery, I decided I didn’t want to be stuck in that state anymore because that only made me even unhappier. I wanted to be happy with myself and my life again! With the help of my therapist (see tip 5), I learned how to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones. This was really a case of ‘practice makes perfect’. In the beginning I thought I’d never be able to do it - what on earth could be positive about this situation?! But at some point I started looking at things very differently. And so I discovered that there are also a lot of advantages to being bald! Showering, for example, is really nice because you can feel the water on your scalp a lot better. The shower drain is never clogged anymore. You don’t need to spend half an hour brushing and drying your hair after every shower or - even worse - go to bed with wet hair. Your hairpiece only needs to be washed every 2 or 3 weeks and even then you can just use another one. When you wake up in the morning and put on your wig, your hair looks good right away. You can have fun and experiment with other haircuts and colors. And if you’ve lost the rest of your body hair, like me, then you don’t have to shave anymore. Having such smooth skin feels really nice, I love to stroke my head, for example. Looking at this long list, why would you complain about a runny nose or teary eyes?
Because I had a really hard time the first few months, I decided to look for a therapist quite early on. Just like with a wig specialist, it’s not that easy to find one you click with, but it’s worth the effort! My therapist helped me enormously; it felt amazing to share all my insecurities, anger, confusion and experiences with someone who’s impartial. Speak up if you’re looking for help, otherwise you’re just sitting there for nothing.