I am Not My Hair, It’s Just an Accessory

Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2024 and she is sharing her story of survival at DietsInReview.com. Check out her website, OptimumBodySculpting.com.

In 2006, Grammy Award-winning recording artist India.Arie released I Am Not My Hair as a type of ode to women, especially women of color, to our hair and the many ways we wear it and fret over it. I am certain that most women fret over their hair and agonize over what it will and won’t do, even when it looks the most beautiful. So, I’m sure that you can imagine the uncertainty that I felt when my doctor informed me that I would definitely lose my hair as a result of my chemo treatments.

I waited until I was certain that my hair was actually coming out. When I could feel the clumps in my hand, I knew it was time! My sweet soulmate and husband actually cut and shaved it off for me. There was actually no better, more sweeter or honest and intimate thing for him to do than that. I felt so close to him for sharing that moment with me. I will never forget it and always remember that special time.

So afterwards, I got to play with, try on, and wear my new best girlfriend, “Pearl.” Why they name wigs I can’t understand, but I just went along with the flow. I mean why not? “She” is beautiful and looks so natural. Even my oncologist’s nurse, Jaimie, was floored when I walked in for my appointment and saw me. I knew Pearl was the right one for me from the moment I laid eyes on her.

So now Pearl and I are best-est friends, we go everywhere together. My plan is to invite other friends to my party; short, long, blonde, spikey, you name it, but as for now it’s just Pearl and me.

I found that losing my hair was just a process and I’m good with it. It’s just something to go through. I have also felt more freedom in these past few weeks regarding my hair than I ever have. No bad hair days, no “how will I style it?”, and best of all when I come back home, I simply take her off and put her on her wig stand, where she remains until I need her again.

I’m not advocating for you to cut off your hair and experience what I have, there are certainly easier ways to go about it, but my challenge to you is to step outside of your comfort zone. Do something totally UN-YOU with your hair or someone else’s hair on you! You never know what you will discover.

Also Read:

Carol’s first post: Reflections on My Fight with Breast Cancer

The Surgeon General Warns Black Women Not to Sacrifice Their Health for Their Hair

Breast Cancer Surgery Recovery Aided by Lifting Weights


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