Monday, November 4, 2019

Comb overs

One of the unintended consequences of all that stuff buzzing through your body when you are doing chemo is loss of hair.   I've spoken with a couple of cancer patients who claimed that theirs came out quickly.  Others suggest a gradual process.  In my own case hair loss has been gradual.  Although about a week after my first infusion, I was taking a shower and washed my hair and saw a clump of my hair in my hand.   For the next couple of days my pillow looked like I was shedding.   

Then it slowed down - my hair turned a bit whiter and what I noticed was that the widows peaks I've always had grew a bit more intense AND on the sides it grew a lot thinner.   I was amazed even with that there was a lot of hair left.  According to one source the average head of hair has something in the range of 100,000 follicles and you normally lose about 100 hairs a day. So getting it all might take some time.   When it begins to look ratty I will probably shave my head.

I began to read up on the linkage of hair loss with chemo.  It turns out one company claims that if you cool your scalp down significantly you will stop the hair loss - they claim the hat (basically a gel filled hat you wear during the infusion which has been frozen) shrinks down the follicles and thus no chemo enters.   The testimonials seem to be mixed.  So I think I am not going for that solution.

At some point I suspect my hair will be gone.   That does not bother me.  Friends who have had the same problem found that  hair (mostly) recovers after the end of chemo.   But there is an interim problem - being a former long distance runner I can testify that when running in weather below about 60 degrees, it is a good idea to keep your head warm.  So I always ran in the winter with a navy watch cap or the equivalent.   With that in mind I am looking for something to cover my head while I am WH (without hair).

The picture at the top is of a football skull cap - with an American Flag design. Patriotic, but I do not want to make a political statement - either for or against MAGA.   As you look on the Internet - these things have a wide range of options - some have ties in the back - some do not.  My oldest grandson wears one when he plays football (Named this week as one (I believe the one) of the best defensive linebackers in his league) - he seems to favor either Black or White and without the ties.   His goes under his helmet.   These things look a lot like an old fashioned DO-RAG - which is closer to the ones with the ties in the back.

I have a strange history with skull caps/do-rags  - related to the major skull cap influences in my life; George Nagy and the Pirates of the Caribbean.   George Nagy was a Hungarian mechanic who escaped his native country in 1956 and lost an eye in the uprising.  He was the guy who taught me carburation.  In college, one of my hobbies (brought on by the kind of cars I bought) was trading cars. For about 2 years I arbed cars, mostly British, with George, who had a small shop in Santa Monica.  British cars at the time had two characteristics - Lucas Electrical systems (from the guys who invented darkness) and SU carbs (which were devilish to adjust).   When I got a Morris Minor - George taught me how to adjust the SUs.  Normally you would use a vacuum gauge to check adjustment on the twin carburetors - George could do it by just listening AND instead of taking 5 minutes - which it would take me - he got it done almost instantly.    George never seemed to change clothes including his black (I think it was not originally that color) Dunlop cap.   As to the Pirates, in one of the scenes on the ride there is a guy who is wearing a do-rag while sacking New Orleans.   I am not sure why that image always comes to mind but it does.

Quinlan bought me  the LA Dodgers Watch Cap (which I honestly thought might be useful in the prep up to the WS - alas wait til next year, yet again...)when I go out in the early morning or late evening - and that keeps my ears warm too.  But during the day I think I need something different.  The ones worn while running were knitted.  Not the look I am going for.

So I am soliciting some help - for ideas - what kind of cap should I get?  Explain your choice.   If I get a really innovative suggestion I might even pop for a modest prize.


  1. These look very nice: Vmevo Wool Cuffed Plain Beanie Warm Winter Knit Hats Unisex Watch Hat Skull Cap for Men and Women - 2 Pack

  2. Obviously:

  3. Quinlan thinks a Pirate hat, perhaps a Captain's hat.

  4. I vote for a traditional Basque-style beret with headband folded in. It will look cool on you.

  5. As this is most likely a temporary condition, why not let the occasion...or the phase of the moon be your guide? It could be Hillary's Everest hat one day and Lawerence of Arabia's kepi the next? I don't recommend the Hayek wig as he wasn't that well endowed on that area. nbb