A lot of hairdressers can relate to how it feels emotionally to have to shave a cancer patients hair off. I included a few scenarios regarding this particular subject in my novel because I felt the general public doesn’t have a clue what a hairdresser is enduring as well as the client. Here is one of those scenarios in my novel, Towel Dry and a Good Cry. Josie, the main character, and hairdresser, goes to pick up her best friend Sadie, also a hairdresser, for an evening out.
It was a nippy evening. The wind was blowing so ferociously it could blow you across the street. As I rang Sadie’s doorbell, a gust came up and pushed me. I had plastered my hair so much with hairspray it moved in the wind in one piece, like a wig. It was leather weather. This was fine with me because I could wear my favorite leather, a white midi. Sadie answered the door. Her makeup-less face was chalky, and at first glance there was darkness behind her eyes. I felt an instant lump in my stomach because I was sure she was going to tell me something bad.
“What’s wrong?” I said. “Have you been crying?”
“I have. I let it all get to me today.”
“What? What do you mean?”
“CANCER! That’s what I mean. Come upstairs.” She kicked the door shut.
Sadie took the stairs two at a time, and I followed. She sat Indian-style on the chenille-covered bed. I sat next to her.
“What the hell is going on, man? You’re scaring me.”
“I thought I could handle it, I really did, Josie.” Tears spilled from her lower eyelids. “At first, working at the Cancer Institute wasn’t bad. I just had to get over the initial shock of people actually going through chemo and losing their hair. But it’s still a total mind-blower to shave someone’s head. One lady that hadn’t even started chemo yet wanted me to shave her head so it would be her choice, not the chemo’s. Day in and day out, I listen to these sad stories, and it’s killing me. Doesn’t anyone see it’s hard for me, too? I’m the one who has to shave their head and make them feel good, while they are bawling their eyes out, and I’m doing it as their dignity drops to the floor, section by section. I can’t take it anymore.”
I tried to comfort her. I realized then this was a completely new torture of the trade. When a woman suffered the trauma of hair loss, the first place she turned to was her salon—her trusted hairdresser.
I’m not going to tell you anymore because the next part is so heart wrenching I think the reader needs to read it themselves.
I have an excerpt from this scene in my video book trailer.
Next week I’m going to post another excerpt, this time it will be funny, I promise!
LIKE my page and follow me on facebook.