A reflection on hair

This is a very special post and it makes me very happy that I am able to post it here on Dia de Beauté. When I was in São Paulo in June, I ran into a very dear and old friend who is fighting a breast cancer. We ended up talking for a long time, she told me many interesting things about her relationship with hair, how it was to shave her head, things she found out when she did it. A cancer treatment obviously involves a million other things, many of them so absurdly much more serious than a simple head full of hair, but on the other hand we’re women and it is almost impossible to ignore the importance of this “detail”.

I was touched by her words – and proud and admired by this incredible strength – and I asked her to share it here by writing a text. Thank you dear Cã Pestana! You are an inspiration. I hope you enjoy it:

“I shaved my hair, mercilessly. I shaved my hair and I still think I’m pretty, maybe prettier even. I shaved my hair because I’m going through a breast cancer. It’s hard for women to have the courage to shave their hair; like that, out of nothing – sometimes even men are scared. But I had to shave it and I was surprised, I felt renewed. I got to know my head, my eyes, my features, my strong soul, my femininity – that go beyond a blond hair or a hair thrown back. I thought I was gonna run away from the mirror; what do you mean with going bald? Bald for women only happens when we are born… It’s out of the question not having hair, it doesn’t even cross our mind. It didn’t cross my mind even. But it didn’t cross my mind either that one day I would have to beat cancer – especially so all of a sudden, being only 28 years old.

But when your life gains a different meaning, the hair becomes just a bunch of hair on your head and you no longer depend on it to be you. You don’t depend on it to look in the mirror and keep loving you and you don’t depend on it to assure that the ones who love you, will keep loving you. Today, for me, my hair is an accessory. “My hair”, I mean, my wig, is like a pair of earrings, that I put on when I want and take off when I feel like it. There are days when I wake up feeling like putting on any hair just to go out in the street not having to explain anything to anyone – not having all the worried looks (yes, because this disease is still too heavy for many people, but sometimes, the ones who have it realize that their lives are lighter than what they seemed to be). On other days, I go for a longer hair, sometimes just a scarf, other nights a beanie to protect me from the cold. And on other days, nothing. In the shower, of course, I wear nothing – and I’m even entitled to a new feeling with the shower directly on the head, I swear this is delicious! That’s right, I had to shave my hair for a sublime cause (my life) and today I love myself more. But you know, I think everyone should shave their hair one day. Not only men… Women, we get surprised and detach ourselves from so many things… Women, we feel free! One day, if you have the courage, try it. If you can’t shave it, cut it very short, it’s good already. Yes, I also like hair (I’m not gonna lie!) but we are much more than that, for sure.”

Camila Pestana

ca pestana
Cã in 4 moments! Beautiful

I take advantage of this subject to share an incredible story I read on the blog Ricota não Derrete, about a tattoo artist that specialized in redoing the nipples of women who went through a mastectomy – it’s worth checking it out.

And also to remind you about the beautiful project of Flavia Flores, Quimioterapia e Beleza

{Translated by Ana de Almeida}