Nancy, a 16-year-old teenager, faced a challenging decision when she was diagnosed with stage 2 neuroblastoma. In her journey to fight this disease, she encountered a dilemma that left her questioning if she had acted insensitively.
A Courageous Decision
Nancy had just started her first chemotherapy session. Like many others who undergo this treatment, she anticipated hair loss as a side effect.
Seeking Advice From Her Cousin
She turned to her cousin, who had faced a similar battle with cancer, for advice.
Shaving Her Head Amid Cancer Battle
Her cousin had suggested that shaving her hair before it fell out might be a practical solution, sparing her from the distress of watching it fall out in clumps.
Despite having long curls that reached down to her thighs, Nancy decided that her hair was a small sacrifice. She knew she was going to beat this and grow her hair back anyway.
Nancy’s Salon Visit Takes an Unexpected Turn
Nancy was a regular customer at a local hair salon, often visiting for trims every few months. She had a specific stylist who knew how she liked her hair. But this time was different.
Nancy walked into the salon determined to have her head shaved, a drastic change from her previous visits.
The Stylist’s Initial Hesitation
When Nancy told her stylist about her decision, the stylist hesitated. It was a drastic change from her usual trims, and she wanted to be sure that she had thought it through thoroughly.
Nancy insisted that she cut her hair and said, “I’m sure I want this. Due to some life problems, this is the best option for now.”
Tensions Rise as Nancy Pushes for the Haircut
But the stylist, still uncomfortable with the situation, suggested that Nancy come back on another day. Stressed, Nancy spoke up, “That won’t work, please just shave it.”
But this annoyed the stylist. She looked down at Nancy and, with a voice dripping with pretension, “As your hair stylist, I won’t cut your hair until you’ve entirely thought it through.”
Nancy’s Heartfelt Confession
Frustrated and aware that she needed to take this step immediately, Nancy decided to reveal the true reason behind her decision. She didn’t want to – her cancer made her feel insecure – but she was getting nowhere with this conversation.
In a moment of distress and desperation, she exclaimed loudly, “I’ve got cancer, and I would rather get this over and done with now! Can you please just shave my head and let me pay and leave?”
The eyes of everyone in the salon turned towards them. The stylist, embarrassed out of her mind, sunk her head down, grabbed her clippers, and shaved Nancy’s hair off.
Nancy couldn’t ignore that she was shaking for the rest of the appointment.
Her Dad’s Advice
After the salon visit, Nancy turned to her dad for advice. He said that she should have handled the situation more discreetly and avoided embarrassing her stylist. But Nancy wasn’t sure. She took to Reddit to see what they thought about the situation.
Not Asking For Permission
Redditors chimed in with their thoughts, and the consensus seemed to be that Nancy was not in the wrong. Many believed that Nancy had every right to decide how to style her hair, with one user remarking, “You were not asking her permission to shave your head.
You were paying for a service of your choosing. I hope she learned her lesson.” They felt that the stylist should have respected Nancy’s decision and not questioned it.
A Mishandled Situation
While some acknowledged that a hairstylist might hesitate when faced with such a drastic change, they believed that the stylist mishandled the situation.
They thought that if the stylist had approached it with more thoughtfulness and consideration, Nancy wouldn’t have had to resort to publicly revealing her diagnosis.
Bigger Things to Worry About
One person added, “Girl, you have bigger things to be focusing on. Could you have said it quieter? Yeah, but i think you reacted the way anybody would have given the situation. Maybe she will be more respectful next time..”
Understanding Both Perspectives
However, there were also Redditors who saw both sides of the situation. They believed that neither Nancy nor the stylist were in the wrong. They pointed out that the stylist, like others in service industries, might have encountered customers who made impulsive decisions and later regretted them.
The stylist “may have been concerned about you since you go to her so often. She may have been worried about your mental health i.e. if you were self harming since it was extreme.”
Could the Situation Have Been Handled Differently?
One user, sticking up for the stylist, said, “I understand that you don’t owe anyone an explanation of what you’re going through, but upon realizing her expectation, it would’ve been significantly easier to quietly tell her, “Look, I am starting chemo and I’d rather shave it than watch it fall out.”
Was Nancy Right or Wrong?
But what do you think? Was Nancy too harsh, or should the stylist have just shaved her head, like she wanted? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / 9nong. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.