How many of us have had a bad hair cut, put a bad color in, or just did something awful with our hair? And everybody’s response is, “It’s just hair. It will grow back. You can change it.”
Hair is one of the ways you create your own identity. It’s something that you give your own spin to, your own uniqueness to, express your individuality. But it’s just hair, right?
A couple of weeks ago Cayla’s friend Kaylee relapsed. Just like our friend Wes, Kaylee has Neuroblastoma. This summer, Kaylee’s family and the doctors decided that Kaylee was going to have all the experiences she’d never had before. And then she relapsed.
Chemotherapy does a lot of terrible things to your body. Radiation does a lot of horrible things to your body. Kaylee has been doing this for over five years.
In three weeks both the girls were supposed to start school – second grade for Kaylee and kindergarten for Cayla.
Cayla’s hair is hot pink. I promised her when her hair came back in for good, she could do anything she wanted to. After all, it’s just hair, right?
This morning I read from Kaylee’s mom that Kaylee looked across the breakfast table and said “Mom, my hair’s falling out again. I don’t get to keep it.”
And it hit me in the gut.
I allowed Cayla to celebrate how well her treatment is going, to celebrate her life, by doing whatever she wants with her hair. And she will walk in to her first day of kindergarten with hot pink hair, and she’ll have another marking of how she’s so different from the other kids.
And Kaylee will walk into that first day of school with her hair thinning out, if not already bald. Yet again, another marking from how different she is from the other kids.
It’s just hair.
It grows back.
But that’s not helpful to an eight-year old girl who just wanted to look normal when she went back to school. Those statements are not helpful to a mom who realizes her daughter has to fight, yet again, for her very life.
So yes, tell your best friend that her bad hair cut will grow back, or that the color will fade or grow out. Tell her “it’s just hair.”
But don’t tell a cancer patient of any age, when they are losing their identity, that it’s just hair.
To help show support for our friend Kaylee during her battle against cancer, visit and like her Facebook page HERE.