Oh Baby… A Hair Wearing Adventure

by Cara on October 28, 2011

Most of you know me as “KatKat” or even the “resident topper expert” as I frequently give advice on toppers and how to wear them. I developed diffuse alopecia and chronic telogen effluvim four years ago and started wearing hair in my previous career as a pharmaceutical representative where I was judged by my appearance on a regular basis. I have worn hair through dating adventures and then under a veil on my wedding day. My topper and I have been through airports and dental surgeries, in wind storms and downpours, and on a cruise. But of all of the adventures I have ever had in my “hair,” none could prepare me for the events of my life this year.

On March 7, 2011, I gave birth to my wonderful son. After nine long months, I was so excited to meet my baby! Yes, my hair grew fuller while I was pregnant. However, what grew was just more bad, miniaturized hair — not “usable” hair. I discovered that I was so comfortable in supplemental hair that I would rather continue to wear it than resort to trying to fix my old, flyaway hair. I won’t lie, it was nice to see more hair when I took my topper off each night but that was the extent of celebrating seeing my hair come back.

Throughout my pregnancy I wondered about the day my son would be born. Would I have my topper secure enough? Should I just tell my nurses about my hair since we would be up close and personal? Would I have time to wash it when I went into labor? Should I wear a headband or a ponytail? So many scenarios played through my head. Deep down I longed not to care about any of it; but I did.

So, on the Saturday night when my water broke, I did what any hair wearer would do. I quickly washed my own hair and made sure I had an old topper to wear, and then another packed just in case I had to stay a day or two. Little did I know that I would be in the hospital for six whole days because of a very long labor ending in a C–section.

I have worn toppers overnight on several occasions, but to wear it through six days of pain, joy, and everything in between was something else! I labored in it, slept in it, and covered it with a surgical bonnet as I was wheeled into surgery. As I held my beautiful new son in my arms in my hospital room, one of the nurses commented, “How on earth does your hair still look so good?”

In the months to follow I had a new hair issues. I started to wonder if my son would recognize me with and without my hair on? I could swear he initially looked at me trying to figure it out, but I can safely say he now knows his Mom with and without her hair. He looks at me with the same great love in his eyes no matter how my hair looks and that’s all that matters. I know the day will come when I will have to explain it to him and I wonder what I will tell him. I really wish I didn’t have to maintain a topper as I am adjusting to the busy pace of motherhood. I also wish I didn’t have to worry about a baby pulling my topper hair or spitting up in it, but that’s just the way it is.

Probably the most shocking thing in this pregnancy hair journey has been the postpartum shedding I have experienced. Never have I been more grateful to have supplemental hair to compensate for what I have now lost. In addition, the uncomfortable burning and tingling scalp sensations have returned. In some ways, living through all of this has re-energized my passion to continue helping women to wear hair; especially because it has been a very long time since I have had to deal with major shedding and the emotions that come with seeing handfuls of hair slide down the shower drain. At almost eight months postpartum, my hair continues to fall out. My husband is wonderfully supportive and tells me my hair (or lack thereof) does not change how he sees me. Thank God I made the decision to wear a topper so that I would never have to rely on my own hair ever again. As dramatic as it may sound, had I waited or done nothing it may have changed the course of my life. I would be lamenting my hair loss instead of enjoying each day with my precious son.

Visit Cara (aka KatKat) on The Network: http://community.womenshairlossproject.com/katkat/

Cara’s Website: http://www.pieceofmindhairdesign.com/

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeni October 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Congratulations on your new baby!!! That’s great that wearing hair doesn’t get in the way of life! With the way my hair is going, I will soon be wearing a topper too, and hope it can help me get my life back.

Esmeralda October 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

You look absolutely beautiful! No one would even suspect a topper. I would like to ask where you would recommend getting a first time topper or wig? Any online vendors? I have seen some nice one’s online but not sure what they would look like in person. The best too you, you truly are inspiring.

camille October 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Congratulations on your new son! What a lovely picture. I wish I had the confidence to try a topper…I’m so afraid that I’ll not know what I’m doing that it’ll look “fake”. You should give a seminar or two…your topper looks so natural.

malloryt November 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

You look amazing and your son is such a doll! Thanks for this post-it is continually inspiring to hear everyone’s stories.

Ann November 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Congratulations on The birth of your sweet little boy! Thank you for sharing your story. I love your sense of positivity about wearing a topper. I too, have diffuse alopecia and I don’t know if it is chronic or not yet, but I have rapidly lost over half of my hair in the last year and there is no sign it will ever grow back. I’d love to talk to you about your advice on a topper. I have tried a few wigs on and they looked terrible. If you read this, can you email me? annk@mindspring.com. Thanks!!

Jan Cherry November 30, 2011 at 1:59 am

Congratulations Katkat, your topper looks great, didn’t realise it wasn’t your real hair when I saw the image. A great inspiring story for all women in this position, showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Joann December 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

My very first topper will be here next week. It is lowest density with thin human hair so that the top of my head does not appear thicker than my own hair which will fall a inch over my shoulder. I’m a little nervous since the price is $1300 including cutting. I hope that it looks nearly as good as it does on you. Happy Holidays!

sue December 18, 2011 at 9:02 am

Hi
How long does a custom-made human hair lace topper last? I just spent $2,800 on it and hope it will last for a few years.

Jaimie January 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

Dear Katkat- I am new at this….trying to find some better understanding on all this…I need so desperatly to find someone one on one to talk about all this. I am a terrified 35 year old going threw this whole thinning and seeing my scalp, pregnant with baby number 2…and letting all this consume my life, my sleep, my world….dermatologist after dermatoligist…and begging for answers…I live in NE…wishing i would wake up one morning and this would all be a real bad dream…is there any possible way you could email me personally so i could ask some more questions one on one and about toppers and how to go about finding one and well to get some answers …..Super congrats on your baby…wish i was at your point in life where i did not let it consume me anymore….thank you Jaimie

Melba January 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

It’s so nice to hear how well you and baby are doing :) and to see how happy you both look.
I totally understand being thankful for having topper before pregnancy. I’ve had two C-Sections and can’t imagine dealing with that, breastfeeding, and HL at the same time. I agree having your topper to take care of HL situation does allow you to enjoy your bundle of joy so much more. He is such a cute little man!
Thanks for all your blogs which have helped so many including myself. You were one of the first to make me realize there is life with HL and a topper.
Best wishes to you always.
xoxo

April White January 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

Okay, so I am new to this website. What is a hair topper? Is that a wig or a hair piece that matches your existing hair. I have lost hair throughout the last 10 years or so …..on and off. I just had my fourth baby and am again experience the insane amounts of hair loss. Last time it didn’t stop until I got pregnant again, I am not sure I will be doing that again. I don’t know what to do.

Lauren April 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Hi KatKat,

Great read, you look amazing – and congrats on the new joy. Hope we can reconnect soon !!

(Paniceee)

Kelly April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hi Cara! He is so cute! You look like a happy mommy for sure. I want to thank you for all my hair and the ones to come! I always know I can count on you and your gift of giving me so much hope on my head! I have had the most beautiful head of hair for the last two years thanks to you! I look forward to visiting with you soon. Thanks for your insperational blog.
Hugs to you! Kelly

Elizab June 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Hi Cara! I just joined your FB private group, and hope to learn more there. I can’t access it from work tho so I’m here instead alot. It makes me so happy to see you doing so well, and not letting HL ruin your life. Its so inspirational.

One HUGE question I’m sure many of us have, not just me, is how did you get through dating and telling these men about your hair, and how about the big unveil? How many times did you have to do that? And how do you feel without the topper, when you’re alone with your hubby? All these things and more I’d love to know from you and from the creator of this site, “Admin” who has an amazing story and a fiance too despite the hair situation! I’ve been told by men that I “have it all except your hair” and its devastating. I don’t know how I could ever unveil with a man…. any insight and thoughts you all have would be so welcome.

Best of luck and lots of love to you all.

Kathy June 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm

KatKat, you look absolutely beautiful. I would never know you suffer from hairloss. What kind of hairreplacement system do you wear, and where do you purchase this. You are truly an inspiration to me. I want to live my life again with hair. But I don’t know where to start. Any helpful advice you could give me on hair shopping would be so greatly appreciated.

Electra September 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Thank you. You women are aspiring and help those of us who want to move past the painful loss.

wendy January 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Kitkat what kind of topper to you wear?

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