“You haven’t had a headache until you’ve sunburned the top of your head.”

I have a neighbor who’s going through a round of chemo. She started losing her (beautiful long) hair, and so decided to beat chemistry to the punch by buzzing it down to the scalp like I do.

This had both positive and negative unintended consequences, on the hottest week of the year so far. It’s easy to cool yourself off with a wet washcloth, for one. The other can sneak up on you and make you suffer for days. She didn’t want to wear the stereotypical ‘cancer patient’ scarf and I didn’t blame her; actually I think she has a very handsomely-shaped skull*. But speaking from long experience with male pattern baldness I strongly suggested she keep it covered in the sun except for very brief exposures, because see the post title.

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*She expected me to be shocked this morning by the change in her appearance. I told her I’d been around the block more than that, and anyway I found the effect kind of attractive on her.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to “You haven’t had a headache until you’ve sunburned the top of your head.”

  1. Cederq says:

    I dated a gal years ago the buzzed her hair shorter then I did back then1/4″. I had no issue with it, but it did get some attention. I cut it closer now and have always liked a buzz cut even when younger, easier to wash your hair and never had to worry it getting tangled up in machinery. I suffer then same as you, Male Pattern Baldness. A stone cold fact of life…

  2. Matt says:

    I shaved mine once myself. Mistake. I missed some in the back and looked like a French collaborator in 1945. I also found my skull is not even, but lumpy and somewhat oddly shaped. So I’ll keep a bit of hair on the top for the time being.

  3. Fred Horn says:

    My wife was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in spring 2019. She started very aggressive chemo, and her hair started falling out, so she had it all cut off. Then she got a rather nice looking straw sunhat and wore that. Never wore a scarf. Baldness is okay, just take safety precautions.

  4. Jeff Tracy says:

    Yeah. I learned somewhat early about that.

    My old Daddy was a Tail-Gunner on a B24 in CBI in WWII. He swore up and down that the flight helmet he had to wear when he was 18 or so caused his hair to fall out, and totally refused to wear a hat unless he was in uniform and had to. (AF Lifer, Retired as an E-7)

    By the time he was in his middle 50’s, he was having a batch of skin cancers burned off his head every year or 18 months, and wore some kind of gauze cap for two weeks and had to sleep in his recliner so he didn’t knock it off his head. This went on for the rest of his life, and only got worse as he got older.

    I learned from that.

    Item 1 was that when I was 19, and refused to wear a hat, i could run my hand over my head and lose a whole handful of hair. It’s genetic, and I realized that right then. Soon after, I quit going out in the sun without a hat.

    So far, at 68, I haven’t had a big skin cancer problem, so I guess I got to the hat in time.

    One should always wear a hat. Your head doesn’t need any particular great dosage of Vitamin D as opposed to the rest of you.

    And that’s the name of that Tune.

  5. mattexian says:

    I wore a plain ball cap growing up, got a lot of sunburnt ears, then in my senior year of school started wearing a hat; first a hunting camo fedora, then army surplus boonies. The latter is still my preference, since they’re cheap and readily available. Didn’t help when the hair fell out starting at 21. Went thru losing the rest from chemo treatments 5 and 3 years ago, to fight off Hodgkins lymphoma.

To the stake with the heretic!