Today H. and I trekked an hour and a half to see the hair stylist who specializes in surgical hair design. I had no idea what to expect, but really felt as though we needed to do this. Becky turned out to be a lovely person who really knew what she was doing, plus she was great with H.
As you know, the one thing H. really, really wanted to do when she first came home was to have long hair, so that is what we have been doing. The trouble with having waist-length hair is that when you have surgery and half you head is shaved, it makes for not a great look. I had warned H. that we would probably have to trim her long hair or else the short hair would never have a chance to catch up. H. was OK with this... not thrilled, but OK. Becky did a fantastic job of showing and explaining to H. what she was doing and why. H. has ended up with shoulder-length hair (which I think suits her quite well), and even better, when she was done, H. announces, "I love it!" She even felt confident enough to leave off the headband to go home.
Here are some pictures. (I couldn't decide if the one with the flash was better or not, so I'll just put them all up.)
This last one is from the side where the majority of surgery took place. You can see the hair on top at the back which is starting to grow in, but at first glance the fact that this side of head is shaved is not terribly noticeable. The other thing Becky is doing is ordering some hair clips to add onto this side. These are strong barrettes which have 18 inch strands of hair (matched to her hair color) attached to them. We tried one out and she has enough hair grown back already that the clips stay attached. By adding this hair pieces, it will fill out this side and her surgical scars and lack of hair will be barely noticeable.
One other thing which may be of interest to anyone who has a child on seizure meds, Becky told me something interesting. (Side note, I was particularly interested to talk with her [Becky] about seizures since what started her business was when she had brain surgery to try to stop her uncontrolled seizures.) She felt and smelled H.'s hair and asked me if she was on medication. When I said she was taking seizure meds, Becky replied, "I could tell." It turns out one of the ways the medicine exits the body is through the hair. She used a specially formulated shampoo and it took the smell (which I have been aware of, but not been able to figure out) right away. Needless to say, we have ordered some of that shampoo.
But there is still one more cool thing about this visit that I need to share with you. A long-time friend, whom we hadn't seen in a while, contacted a few weeks back and offered to pay for H.'s visit to this stylist. How cool is that? We feel mighty blessed.
Was it worth driving for three hours today? In short, yes. The look on H.'s face when her hair was finished and the shaved patches barely noticeable was priceless. I would have driven twice that far to give this child who has had very few moments of really liking what she sees in the mirror that experience.
For anyone who is interested, here's a link to Becky's website: Surgical Hair Design