It’s just hair, right?

Except it’s not, and anyone who’s been through cancer or alopecia knows that. 

Mine is falling out, rapidly thinning enough that I have to twist the ponytail wrap four or five times instead of three, and that my hands come away covered with hair when I shampoo.  I’m not balding, it won’t go all the way away, because I’m not on chemo right now, but it’s undeniably freaking me out because of the association.

And the construction guys are working TODAY on my little therapy pool in my backyard, and I want to have it shorter anyway so I can hop IN at any given moment without worrying about blowdrying it out afterwards. 

Susan Niebur LPSCMy hair is slightly longer now than it was in this picture in March (aren’t these BEAUTIFUL flowers?  Someone (I assume my friends from Women in Planetary Science?) sent them to me at my planetary science conference in March, with the words “Thank you for all you do — from Planetary Scientists everywhere.) HOW SWEET.).

So, the question of the day is, HOW SHORT SHOULD I GO?

What’s in style for short hair?  What would you tell the salon? 

Let’s have some fun with this!


25 Responses to Hair

  1. sallysmart says:

    I’m a huge fan of the pixie cut, sort of wear one myself. Going that short is not for everyone and I can’t claim that it is the best look for me, but it is sooooo easy. There is also no replacement for the suggestion of a quality hair stylist whose opinion you respect.

    Good luck with your choice!

    • I loved my pixie when it was growing out – I’d never had one before because my hair used to grow too fast (over an inch a month!) to keep up with the haircuts. Maybe it’s time again — I just don’t know!

  2. jodifur says:

    I left this comment on FB but I think a chin length bob would look awesome on you! And if you are looking for a new hairdresser I love mine.

    I cried when my hair started falling out from Lupus. I know it is not the same and I’m not comparing but when everything was so bad that year and every test was coming back positive, the thing that got me the most was the hair. There is just something about hair.

    • Isn’t that funny? It’s true. So much of society’s self-esteem is wrapped up in beautiful hair.

      And have you seen the latest anti-smoking ad for teens? “Smoking has been linked to breast cancer,” and they show a picture of a bald woman. “So I don’t smoke.”. Cheers and shivers all at once! (Don’t smoke.)

  3. Catherine says:

    Susan, that’s a lovely photo of you – the flowers are nice too – but it’s you I saw first and foremost!

    I hope you find someone who has a great cut and can refer you to a stylist nearby – in my experience the person’s skill with the scissors is crucial. I’ve had good and bad haircuts, all at the same place, same instructions, different stylists. You’d think I would have learned – part of my problem is that I wait until the last minute and then just go get it cut by whoever is on duty. You’re inspiring me to take the plunge and try again – I’ll have to look for the business card I saved from someone who gave me a good cut (this is in Virginia, if it were close to you I’d offer the contact info).

    Good luck! I’m looking forward to seeing an “after” photo.

  4. Jackie says:

    I recommend this: (fifth image down on the page)

    I think it is super cute, and allows you to have right out of the pool/shower cuteness without having to blowdry and even style that much 🙂

  5. I have seen you with a very wide range of haircuts since meeting you in early 2008, and I have loved you in all of them.

    I know you love bobs, so maybe a chin-length one, as Jodi suggested, done by a professional who can emphasize the best areas for thickness would be cool? My friend Jillian at Headlines in Silver Spring is really great with cuts and bobs AND has experience with helping women find the right haircuts during hairloss. Jillian is also cool with if you have to bring your kids during appointments, as she’s a mom to a son herself!

    LOVE YOU, and modifying my prayers that you keep all those beautiful strands. God loves us so much that he counts the hairs on our heads, so I’m telling him to keep all yours right where they are!!!

  6. nancyspoint says:

    Oh my it is so much more than just hair istn’t it? I posted a couple of times about the hair dilemma. I never shaved mine off til I was done with chemo. My rebellious side kicked in… Since ending chemo and finally shaving it off, it is growing back sooooo slowly. Now it is at the pixie stage I guess, but my colics are still making their presence very well known. ugh. I do kinda like the short and easy care of it right now, so I’d say pixie short is good. But you should do whatever feels right for you!

  7. I know what you mean about hair. ‘before cancer’ I had long brown ‘ringletty’ hair for all my adult life, and thought my identity was tied up with my hair. I have kept my hair very short since then as you know from my fb pics and have found a short style that really suits me. So I say find a hairdresser that you or others trust and experiment with something quite short and fun! In related news, on the xeloda my hair is thinning again and the place Im noticing it most is my left eyebrow. time to bring out an eyebrow pencil I think 🙂

  8. Lindsay says:

    Lucky you, bobs are IN. I like the length of your hair in your profile pic. 🙂 Chin length and simple.

  9. Stimey says:

    I agree that you should find a hairstylist that understands face shape and thickness and tell them to have fun. You are someone whose face works with both long and short hair, so I think you could get away with most styles. Except maybe a mohawk. Don’t get a mohawk.

  10. Megan says:

    Dear Susan,

    Maybe something super short but sexy like Halle Berry?

    I didn’t know how else to share this with you, but this is an important article to read:


  11. Susan, you will always be beautiful, because you project it from your inside, and you glow on the outside! But, in terms of hair… the hair that I love most right now is gorgeous Emma Watson’s new pixie cut. I think it’s got such versatility, and would be lovely on you, even with thinner hair. I’m very tempted to go back to a super-short cut, myself!

    Much love to you, as always– CGF xoxo

  12. Stacy says:


    Gel it up all sassy-ish.

  13. Kristen says:

    I can only speak from the experience of someone with lifelong flat hair who is trendily straightening It even more (how is that possible?) with a flat iron.

    My stylist/undercover lover Andry would say (rather forcefully), “darling, conditioner only on the TIPS!” because conditioner weighs your hair down. My hair is twice as big when I do it. then he cuts my hair in a million layers.

    He’s quite the experience if you want to come with. And having seen my very thin hair, at least you know he has done it before a couple of times.

  14. Haylie says:

    The flowers are beautiful, but you are stunning. Any hair style would look great on you…your smile takes all of the attention anyway!

  15. Hey Susan, Annie Lennox has got nothin’ on you! How short? As short as you want! When my post-chemo hair was less than a half inch long but thick enough to look like hair, people told me my hair was great and “boy, you’re bold to keep it that short. I wish I could do that!” Har har. Short on the sides with a little length on top for a sassy bit of spike or mess would be fun. Get some “bedhead” paste and be wild.
    The styling is the easiest ever. Rub some goop between your hands, whoosh, and you’re done!

    Much love,

  16. Kami says:

    I really love the picture, your hair looks amazing in it. I think either a short bob or the Halle Berry thing…hows that saying go “go big or go home”…regardless you will look great! By the way I love the color of your hair also!

  17. Alice says:

    Short and sexy woman. Rock it.

  18. NoR says:


  19. Mia Farrow’s haircut in Rosemary’s Baby.

  20. Thanks, y’all! I went tonight and will post pic tomorrow! Love it!

  21. planetnomad says:

    I vote a bob. I think it’d look lovely with your hair! Please post pics of whatever you decide.

  22. Karen G says:

    Susan, The backyard pool sounds great – and just in time for summer!
    Hope you enjoy your new style, and that it’s easy to care for. 🙂

  23. […] to go out after dark, while Daddy read the kids to sleep, but I went anyway, bolstered by your encouragement, and I got an awesome haircut Thursday night.  It’s wet right now, since it’s […]

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