Fun With Breast Cancer: The First Haircut (And #NYFW)


Well.  Two things I never thought I'd be discussing together:  Cancer…and NY Fashion Week.  But there it is.

First up…hair.  After a long (mostly internal) debate…I decided to cut my hair in stages.  It's coming out anyway, in a matter of weeks.  In fact, by the time most of you are reading this, I'm probably down at Penn getting my first chemo treatment.  Gulp.  I was originally planning to cut it all off and donate my hair….but….

I'm not ready.  


In my defense, I think my little guys need to see it go gradually – hopefully it'll help ease the transition.  One of my good friends traumatized her young daughter by cutting her hair into a much shorter (and super chic) bob – the nerve!    

So with the help of my insanely amazing stylist Shannon (ask for her at Salon Ziza), I have a few haircuts I'll be trying out on my way to bald.  ("Honey, it's so liberating!"  says my Mom.  F-THAT says me.)  If you want to peek (or help – please help!!) I'm pinning some ideas onto this Pinterest board.

And now…haircut ONE (and also what I wore to NYFW):



I wanted to go shorter, but I didn't want that perfectly smooth, bell-shaped bob.  That look is waaay too polished, and totally not my thing.  Happily, Shannon got it.  As I yattered at her about avoiding the smooth bell, she stopped me:  "Shana, I'm going to make it look like you need a haircut before I let you walk out of here so perfectly coiffed."

She gets me.  And look at that lovely chop in the back.  There are no smooth lines anywhere.  Lovelovelove.



Now get this:  Shannon doesn't want me to blow dry it.  I can do a quick "rough dry" of the roots, but that's it.  She wants me to pull through some curling cream, schrunch, and let it air dry.  Add some salt spray or whatever.  "Basically," says Shannon, "the dirtier this hairstyle gets, the better."

Wait – WHAT?  Why didn't I do this before?  Cause that sounds like genius to me.  And genius is good, since NYFW overlaps with my pesky little chemo treatment.


(wearing: Rag and Bone Tent TankXS hereM here, L here, or black here….Pencey lace top – similar vibe here or here… Mark and Graham leather zip pouchBloom jewelry ringnecklace)


This was my first attempt at styling the new 'do.  I didn't have time to wash it – I just rinsed, schrunched, added some product and ran for the train.  Mike came with me, and we had a ball.  More on that later.  But do you want to see what I wore to Fashion Week?  (Besides my new hair?)


(wearing: Most outfit deets in pic above…BP cardigansimilar…A&F shorts – similar…Guess shoes – similar)


A baseball sweater and cut-offs!  You can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out…

Anyway.  Send me some good vibes, Mamas.  Fashion week was a nice distraction, but it's about to get all too real around here. 





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Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and shorts known as denim-underwear, always.

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  1. Your hair looks fabulous Shana! Thank you for sharing along this journey – you are so brave, it’s inspiring. You are beautiful with or without hair, I already know that!

  2. Love the new hair! Seconding on the request for the details for the hair products you’re using. Sending positive thoughts your way. You are handling this with such immense strength.

  3. How can it be that in the middle of a terrible time in your life you can make me laugh…every time?! I hope things go better than expected in the chemo department and that it kicks the cancers butt. I know you’ll rock the hair (or lack of). Much love from this mama in Canada.

  4. I only had a couple of meltdowns when I had cancer, and one of them was when it came time to shave my head, but you know what? Your mom is right (of course!); it is the most liberating feeling ever. After just a couple of weeks I ditched the wig, ditched the hat, and went au naturel, and made the most of it. I’m 3 years out and my hair is back and then some. It might actually start growing while you’re still dealing with that annoying little chemo stuff. Stay strong-stay positive-try, try try to keep laughing!

  5. The hair looks fantastic, and will continue to do so πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this next step with all of us.
    And I bought a pair of skinny camo pants, thanks to you! I’m a terrible shopper (as in, I don’t shop).

  6. Oh man, I just got jealous reading your comment Jenny. I have been dying for the blue camo pants from Zara forever now! They were tops on my list and then I got pregnant! I just had my girl and I’m on my way to a more stable body weight, hopefully, then I’m getting mine!

  7. I didn’t have cancer, but I have had few brain tumors removed. It’s when I got in to hats. One of the brain surgeries left me with a permanent facial paralysis and hearing impaired. I love to play with makeup and look the best I can even though my face is, um, unconventional. I think it great u r making the most of situation and having little fun where u can. My many experiences with major medical issues have taught me attitude is everything. I don’t know you, but you seem to be winning the fight. Love, light and healthy thoughts to you and yours. Ps. Love the cut.

  8. Melissa, isn't it funny how we talk about major life-changing events so casually? "…I have had a few brain tumors removed."  Yikes!!!  That would be terrifying.   But I love your attitude – it's so very inspiring.  Thanks for taking the time to leave a message of support, and a fabulous reminder of what is actually important in life:  being here, and enjoying it.  Xoxo
    Sent from my iPhone

  9. love the the attitude…and love the fashion….you will beat this..
    wish I could help some..
    Ps…are you wearing a size small in tent tank?

  10. You look beautiful. I love the new haircut and I love your style. In the few months I have been reading this vibe you have given me so many great ideas. Try to hang in there. So many people are sending love and positive vibes your way!

  11. Damn it, I want your haircut! The thing I love most about your blog is that you are a beautiful person, Shana, and that shines through each post. Your boys are so lucky to have you and they will forever remember your strength and grace during this time in your life.
    All my best,

  12. Love your new do and your beautiful spirit. Will be praying for strength and healing for you, girl! P.S. You are killing those cutoffs and heels!

  13. Your haircut is making me consider heading to Pa for my next trim! It looks fabulous! And I think doing it in stages is a great idea.
    Good vibes to you always.

  14. You are just gorgeous! Love the hair. I spend way too much effort and money on my long hair so I have a sense of how stressful the hair thing must be. That said, you will look great no matter how much hair you have. Hey, cute hats are really in this season. I saw a 20-something wearing a chunky knit hat yesterday in the 80 degree heat.
    Good luck today!

  15. Wishing you a quick recovery from the chemo.
    Love your first haircut–I always have to ask for something that can be messy. I wish I could pin my lack of hair routine on having a toddler and a newborn but the truth is I haven’t used a hair dryer for years and I don’t own a hairbrush either!

  16. My favorite sweater! I’m still waiting for it to be cool enough to wear it here in TX. I might be waiting for a while yet, it’s still in the 90’s
    That cute is great; love the idea of experimenting with looks as you cut it off gradually. Thinking of you during these difficult weeks. Strength and courage to you!

  17. New to the area and still needing a stylist. Thank you for your referral, I will check out the salon. You are amazing. Good luck today, all of us mommas are thinking of you. Loved your NYFW outfit, btw!!!

  18. Hang in there, Mama. We’ve got your back a million-billion-infinity % as my 5yr old would say. Love the hair cut and you don’t have to justify ANYTHING you decide to do to us here. EFF anyone who judges, criticizes, and especially ANYONE who would have the balls to comment with such douche-baggery here. EFF THAT. You do what you need to do, Shana.
    Hugs & Prayers for all 4 of you…

  19. I love you in this haircut (and in general)! And I think it’s a great idea to try out different hairstyles on the way to bald. I mean, I’m always too intimidated to try something new and “risky” when it comes to my hair… but if it’s all going anyway, let’s DO IT!
    Wishing you love, hugs and peace! xo

  20. Sending you all the best and calming thoughts today. And good call on the haircuts in stages. When I was little my mom went from hair down the middle of her back to pretty much what Ginnifer Goodwin has (which would also look amazing on you when you’re ready for that short). My brother was 3, and he was terrified of our mom for the rest of the day and he still brings it up sometimes (25 years later!). So don’t feel bad that you’re not donating, make this one of the things that you can do to make your life easier for a moment. And you look amazing for NYFW, it looks so effortless & chic!

  21. You look FABULOUS!!! I love you and am sending you prayers and good vibes!! Stay strong. I love your choice for fashion week!!!You make the Midwest chic!!

  22. You are AWESOME momma and you can do it! If you can crawl through a tube in a mini skirt what can’t you do, right??
    Praying for you – your fellow momma

  23. Looks great! Are you doing a new one each week? (I think buzz-time is generally around 17 days.) I went super-short at the beginning, not as fun as you (but fun for this midlife mama to look a little sass-edgy… πŸ™‚ — and then my wife buzzed it all a couple of weeks in. My toddler was just a little surprised (where mama’s hair?), and my 12-year-old suggested we all go to Target so I could get used to baldness. You will ROCK this, which is the only way to do it, in my book.

  24. Shana, I can’t get you out of my mind these days! Usually it’s just when I’m shopping πŸ™‚ but now it’s all the time. This wonderful style blog has become so much more than that. Thank you for allowing us to come on this journey with you.
    You have been put on my heart so I will pray for you and your precious family and will continue to do so every time you come to mind. You have been this mama’s style angel so I will be your prayer warrior. I think you have a lot of prayer warriors out here for you. Sending you love girl

  25. We are hair yin and yang! I let my hair grow out a bit and have realized that I just don’t like it for precisely the reasons you love your new ‘do πŸ™‚ Then again, if I could get my “messy” hair to look like yours, I’d probably feel differently.
    And something tells me you’re going to look insanely chic no matter what you do with your hair.
    Love the outfit. A creative combination of elements that doesn’t look overthought–a high level of difficulty to pull off in an outfit.

  26. Love your new ‘do! It fantastic. You are such an inspiration – you have such a great attitude. I started reading your blog because I loved your interesting approach to clothes, but I’ve stayed because you have given me so much more. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this trial in your life, but I know you will prevail.
    I look forward to seeing all the other hair ‘dos you’ll be trying out! and I can’t wait to see the NYFW awesomeness.

  27. Amazing to me, that in the midst of this struggle, you can find a way to give to and inspire others. You are strong, and you will be healthy again soon. Hang in there! I’m praying for you, and for your family.

  28. i’ve never posted before, but i am sending you positive vibes! you are an inspiring & strong woman and mother. wishing you all the best. namaskar.

  29. As one of the many who have been inspired by Shana (first her style and now her grace) I stand with all who’ve sent good thoughts, prayers and a sincere wish to do something more. This post prompted a bit of research into “something more.” While I always assumed hair donations to require significant length, I found a program that accepts donations of hair as short as 8 inches in length. My appointment is made. Website follows if anyone is of like mind.

  30. Thinking of you! And can I show these pics to my hair stylist at my next appt? This last pregnancy did a number on my previously long, straight hair. Now some of it is curly, some wavy, some straight, and the post-partum hair loss/regrowth has left it uneven as well. Thinking this cut/style might really help!

  31. Good luck with the chemo. Your hair looks great! I have reall long hair but totally cut around the messy look. The dirtier it gets, the better it looks! A hair dryer and straightening irons are tools of the past! So awesome when you are a busy mummy!!!

  32. Girl, keep rockin’ those awesome gams and no one is going to notice your hair!!! Sending you good and healing thoughts from the D πŸ™‚

  33. You are so insanely beautiful, positive, fabulous, funny & inspiring. You are making this trial into a triumph. Have been streaming fashion week, can’t wait to hear your report on it. GOOD LUCK today. Hugs from MD.

  34. i’m an oncology infusion nurse, so your posts recently have really tugged at my heart strings. πŸ˜‰ you will do great. i’ll be thinking and praying for you.

  35. Love the post, adore your attitude, so enjoy your amazing writing ability and really trying to find that baseball sweater dude!?!?! It’s nowhere to be found. Xo

  36. Beautiful! Praying for you during chemo. I hope someone told you to bring sour candy. I have 2 treatments left of a different regimen, you can do it! I haven’t lost my hair yet, but they think that might be because I was pregnant when I started chemo. Anyhoo, all that to say…it might come out it might not. They kept telling me it would but it’s only thinned so far. You look like you have a ton of hair like me so what would be bald in some is just thinner than normal for others. Hang in there Mama! Praying for you!

  37. I love that hair and wish I could get the nerve to get mine cut like that soon! I am sending you healing energy, surrounding you and your loves with a sphere of Divine pink, healing light. I hope you can really feel all these good vibes people are sending you. We mean it – hugs.

  38. Like so many people that read your blog and about your life, you and I have never met, yet I think of you often, nonetheless. I send you many, many “good thoughts” and admire you greatly for your courage and honesty throughout this journey. If I could hug you, I would.
    All the best to you and your family…
    And thank you for the fashion and life lessons you have shared.

  39. Awesome haircut, awesome post! I love that you are taking something that can be all-consuming and nasty and squeeze a little pearl out of it–fun with multiple hairstyles! You are such an inspiration!!

  40. I’m another reader who survived cancer (non-Hodgkins lymphoma). I had lots of chemo and a bone marrow transplant. I won’t lie. Much of that time was hell. I lost my hair too – every last bit – and it was tough some days to see the reality of my illness in such a personal loss. But you’ll make it through and probably come out stronger and more beautiful as a result. Some days you may wonder how. Some days you may wonder why. But you’ll make it through and that’s what really matters. I’ll remember you in my prayers.

  41. Hi Shana, I love your website and read it often. I am sending you the best of wishes while you go through this difficult experience. You seem from your writing like a very strong person, and as a mother myself who is always thinking of how precious life is, it’s very inspiring. Thank you. I wanted to write in with a question — actually it’s an idea for a topic that I would love to have you cover on this blog (fashion-related of course!). I don’t know, though, if this is the place to write it out in detail. Is there a way to contact you privately with my idea? Thanks! –Jeannine

  42. Love the cut, love the outfit, and love your amazing attitude. My thoughts are with you as you and your family head into this…and I’ll still be reading when you emerge from it! You’re going to get through chemo and lots of us readers are sending healing vibes your way. xo

  43. I have never commented on the many blogs I frequent but I had to here. I hope you are doing well….as well as you can be with chemo. But I just want to know that I am rooting for you….we all are. That is all. Oh, and I have reading your blog for over a year now and I think your rad. Ok that is all.

  44. Love the hair! I cut mine off in stages too. When it was time to buzz it, it was pretty crazy looking and I was much more ready to let it go. Hope things went well today…and for the next few days while the drugs are still in your system.

  45. Hi.
    New reader here, but just wanted to say I’m another young mom who battled cancer. I was diagnosed when I was 29 and had a not quite 2 year old son. It’s been almost 3 years since my diagnosis and I’m still going strong.
    I know sometimes it can help connect with other people who have walked the path you’re about to begin. So if you want to read about my experience, I blogged about it. I’ll link to it on my name when I post.
    And if you ever just want to ask all the questions you’re not sure about (like do you lose your body hair too? Answer: you do, the “hair down there” goes first). You can email me anytime. I know I’m a complete stranger, but cancer creates a bond among strangers.
    Good luck. I’ll be cheering for you.

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