Going anywhere with myalgic encephalomyelitis is a challenge but going to the hairdresser seems to be a big challenge for me. When I first improved a little, I thought getting my hair cut was a good idea, ‘looking better, feeling better’ notion and all. Oh gee. I was wiped out and my head and neck hurt for days afterwards. So I gave that idea up for a while.
Before I became ill, I wouldn’t mind spending a few hours in a beautiful salon. Reading glossy magazines, drinking coffee or sparkling wine, chatting to the hairdresser while I had colours painted on, sitting in the massage chair having my hair washed, paying lots of money for my hair style and colour.
Things have changed. I can’t handle being in the hairdressers for that many hours; the noises, the smells, moving from chair to chair to chair…
So for the last year and a half I have cut my own hair. It is curly, so it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t quite straight. I made adjustments with the scissors when it was showing.
It was the grey hairs that finally got to me. I’m in my 30’s, so it is understandable I have some, but since becoming ill with post viral chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, I have become really grey. With 18 months of grey regrowth and the rough curly haircut, I was resembling the cat lady from the Simpsons.
This haircut was much easier. Instead of a busy salon where you get passed from person to person, I went to a tiny salon with just one hairdresser who does the colouring, washing, cutting and taking payment, so I was never sitting waiting (except when the colour was on). She knows I’m unwell so it gentle with me, no vigorous scalp massages. I had a demi-permanent colour so the chemicals aren’t too harsh and it fades gradually so it is less noticable and I won’t have to go back too soon. She was also kind enough not to say anything about my home haircutting skills!
The upshot is that you shouldn’t need go to the hairdresser, I’m sure you are quite beautiful as you are. It was just my grey half-head which I couldn’t stand.
If you do need to, find a tiny salon or someone who works from home perhaps. Explain your sensitivities, if they are noise, light, chemical or just that you can’t sit still for too long or need to put your feet up. Make sure that you look after yourself, that you have had enough rest, food and water to feel your best while you are in there.