Wild Hairs

close-up photograph of Kat Caverly's right eyebrow September 2013

During a time when I was expecting to lose my body hair how could I explain the explosive growth of my eyebrows? There’s lots of information about hair loss during chemotherapy, but
screenshot: SERP for chemo-induced hair growth

One thing I’ve learned in the two months with these side-effects is that you cannot be sure what’s going to happen next. But this was a delightful form of self-expression on the part of my eyebrows. You go girls!

I have had many kinds of “Wild Hairs” over the course of my “Hair I Am” lifestyle, but none has ever been so unintentional, so unexpected.

I asked Tom to shoot some macro photographs of these hairs, as much for study as for posterity. Macro is a window into a magical world, seeing something that isn’t possible with our eyes alone. Maybe this would give me an insight into the why my eyebrows were stubbornly insisting on playing the opposite game.

I had already decided that when (if?) I lost my eyebrows to this chemo-process I was going to paint in my expressions, and have some fun confusing people by the simple fact that they are generally confused when you don’t have eyebrows. As a trained clown, as well as a make-up artist, I can wax poetical when it comes to the meaning of eyebrows and their effect on others recognizing who you are and what you mean. But as an artist the opportunity to create an eyebrow art project usually means shaving them off.

When I was 16 years old I experimented with bleaching my hair, which included my eyebrows. The result was a rainbow of colors and in a fit of passion I shaved them off so they would grow back all one color faster. More than 40 years later now I not only want to protect these mutations, but I want to celebrate them.

Imagine my surprise when these special hairs not only did not start to break off, fall off, or otherwise go missing, but instead started to take on a life of their own. As agents of surprise, my eyebrows seem absolutely giddy at this development:

close-up photograph of Kat Caverly's right eyebrow no.2 September 2013


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