Welcome and thank you for visiting The Bald Project. I’m the creator of this project and am excited to help other survivors get their stories out into the world so that current patients can find tangible experiences to connect with.
Here are a few photos of me in 2015, when I was going through treatment. This ranges from the time I shaved my head before chemo, to just after I finished treatment; I suffered complete hair loss in the end.
You can listen to the introduction of my podcast where I tell you a little about my story and why this project is so important to me:
As an avid hair donator, it was important for me to donate my hair before it started to fall out. This was the morning after I shaved my head.
I often was complimented on my head.
Red is the New Pink
Some of the best advice I received during chemo was from a fellow survivor, who told me that she too rocked the bald look during treatment, and that all I needed to complete my look was to “go buy yourself some red lipstick sweetie and you own the hell out of this look”. So I did!!!
At the end of chemo, I lost 100% of my hair. To be honest, losing my brows and lashes was harder than losing the hair on my head.
(Triple Negative Breast Cancer)
Marina was 31 when she lost her hair to chemotherapy.
“It’s ok to feel everything you’re feeling. It’s ok to have anxiety. It’s ok to acknowledge that losing your hair is going to be emotional. And it’s ok to to people about it….” ~Marina
Her positive attitude was and still is such a huge part of her story. During our interview, she talks about her wilting flower, dating during diagnosis and having too many wigs.
It’s not talked about in the Podcast, but Marina shared that she did a photo shoot with a professional photographer that focused on her raw beauty. This is one of many powerful photos in her series.
Short Hair, Don't Care
Marina eased her way into hair loss by cutting her hair into a cute bob.
When her hair started to fall out, she decided to shave it for both practically and comfort.
This is Marina “today'“. (Photo was taken the day of her interview)
Patrice, Interview 2
(Hodgkin’s Lymphoma & Radiation Induced Sarcoma)
Patrice was 24 when she lost her hair the first time to chemotherapy, and has lost her hair 3 more times since then.
“It was dramatic to see my self looking normal, then going to the mirror and seeing no hair at all . . . I was kind of devastated. I don’t know if anyone can prepare you for your hair and face to look different.” ~Patrice
Patrice’s story never ceases to amaze me. She had to think long and hard about her hair loss time line, because she started her battle in 2002. She’s fought Hodgkins Lymphoma more than once and most recently is battling Radiation Induced Sarcoma of the Bones.
Through chemo, radiation and bone marrow transplants, she keeps going forward with grace and strength.
To hear Patrice’s podcast episode, click the link below:
This was Patrice the day of our interview and her most recently growing hair.
Megan, Interview 3
Megan was 33 when she lost her hair to chemotherapy.
During her interview, Megan shares feelings and experiences that are so representative of what many women who go through during chemotherapy, and hits so many nails on the head, while telling her story.
One of my favorite pearls of wisdom she drops:
“I think it’s kind of cool in a way that I’m going through this with my hair…. Because change is good...”
Cathy’s family was a big part of her support and included them in everything. On the day she decided to shave her head, her husband started the cutting and her son was there to assist.
Smiles Everyone.... SMILES!!!
A Shining Light of Positivity
Cathy along side her biggest supporter, her husband
Marissa, Interview 5
(Chronic Myeloid Leukemia)
Marissa lost her hair at the age of 17 to chemotherapy.
“Every new chapter of your life requires a different version of yourself. And if you want to make change, and if you want to make progress, and if you want to move forward, then you’re going to have to have a different version of yourself to do that…” ~Marissa
At 17 Marissa says she was a selfish brat. During our interview, she reflects on how much this experience changed her for the better and what she has been able to give back because of the perspective she gained at such a young age.
Right after high school graduation, Marissa spent the summer in the hospital going through chemotherapy and battling her cancer
"I found a way to be confident and comfortable through it all" ~Marissa
Kim, Interview 6
Kim lost her hair 35 to chemotherapy
““You can tell yourself it’s temporary all you want, but knowing that it’s here right now, and next week it may not be, is a terrible feeling… I wish I could go back and tell my self that once it’s gone, you’re gonna be ok.” ~Kim
“Once it was gone, it was better, because I didn’t have the anxiety anymore.” ~Kim
Kim was relieved to have surgery first because it gave her a little more time to not lose her hair. Her fear of looking sick and looking different was overwhelming. Kim’s reflection on the experience is really profound and shines some light on the stress this experience causes many women.
Kim’s mom used to take her wig to get professionally cleaned and restyled. It made her feel great, like a fresh new haircut.
Breast Friends Forever
Getting through cancer is always easier when you have someone with you who truly understands.
Rebecca, Interview 7 (Cold Capper)
(Triple Positive Breast Cancer)
Becca Jean was 29 when she went through chemotherapy and used cold caps during treatment to retain some of her hair.
”You just really have to stand up for yourself; you have to advocate for what you want; you have to be able to be presented with all the information you need to advocate for yourself and stand up for yourself, because I think that there’s a lot of people ready to just knock down what you want to try, or say or do because it’s not the norm… it’s all about choice.”
Rebecca’s story is one of learning to be your own advocate. She received push back from your original oncology team and struggled to find proper information. Post treatment, her experience lead her to start Chemotherapy Cold Cappers support group. The group provides newly diagnosed women with information they need to make a decision thatâ€™s right for them, and supports current cold cap users through their experiences.
When Becca Jean chose to use cold caps, she was met with judgement, resistance and lack of support from her first medical team. Because of this, she searched for the right team and the right facility to meet her needs. So glad she found a place that was right for her.
S U R V I V O R ! ! !
Hair Hack #1: The Cover Up
During treatment, her cap slipped a little too far back and she lost some of her hairline. To compensate, she just cut herself some cute bangs.
Becca Jean took a photo before each of her treatments to show her progress.
This was the area with the most loss.
A survivor, a student, an advocate, and all around bad a$$