Hair stylist Allyson Lynch shares a photo diary on hair loss, body image and breast cancer for our blog and Instagram campaign, #mybodytude. A reality of breast cancer: it not only changes your body, but also your bodytude (the attitude you have toward your body and how you express your attidue to life), too! Allyson Lynch kicks off our #mybodytude Campaign with her story about hair loss as a stylist. Read Allyson's photo diary and share your bodytude about breast cancer and body image on Instagram! Use #mybodytude and you'll have the chance to win a Visa gift card! Visit LBBC.ORG to learn more about this selfie contest and campaign.
My name is Allyson and this is 26 year old me. All smiles after growing my hair long for a few years and finally mastering my own blowout. Haha. Unbeknownst to me that would all soon change. I’m here to tell a little part of my story and showing what #mybodytude was like losing your hair as a hairstylist.
My biggest fear was seeing giant clumps of hair falling out in my hands, so, instead of waiting for the inevitable I wanted to take control. I had a head shaving party right before my first treatment and some of my closest friends and family shaved their heads with me. Having that support was one of the biggest gifts I received. It was hard to see the hair go that I had just spent so much time growing out but in a weird way it was freeing, I kinda felt bad ass like G.I. Jane.
After a while I totally embraced the bare head, it was awesome and wigs were way too hot, especially when you were having a hot flash. Yea, I could have rocked that baldness 24/7 but what got me the most was all the other hair – eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair! I did what I could with makeup when I felt up to all that. Being called “fella” in public a few times did not help with #mybodytude at this point.
As my hair grew back “old man style” - pretty much there was hair on all sides and the top of my head had bald spots for so long. I still refused to wear wigs for longer than a few hours, even though I collected quite a few because my hair stylist side got really excited for the options. But until my hair started to grow in without any super visable bald spot I just continued to shave my head up until a couple months after treatment ended.
And this is me today at 28 years old, just about a year and a half post treatment. I’ve taken the weird growing back stages in stride, experimenting and having fun with my colors and cuts. I’m loving my long pixie-hawk I started to sport earlier this year although I miss the ease of not having to do a thing with it. Cancer taught me how to say “screw it” and that small philosophy helps keep #mybodytude more positive. Life’s short, its ok if your hair is too.
Share your bodytude after breast cancer on Instagram with #mybodytude! Follow these instructions for the chance to win a gift card for joining the campaign. Discover more insight and tips around body changes, dating and relationships during our free program on Thursday, July 14, Love, Sex and Relationships: Body Acceptance After Diagnosis.
Allyson Lynch is a hairstylist who lives and works in suburban Philadelphia. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014. She later learned she was a carrier of the BRCA 1 gene mutation. Follow her on Instagram at @horror_cosmic.