My insurance company has just sent me a letter to inform me that there is a “Lack of Medical Necessity” for the Kenalog (Triamcinolone Acetonid) Injections to treat my new hair loss situation.

This isn’t for my female pattern baldness, this is for the diffuse alopecia areata I got last year after an insanely stressful situation I went through – mind and body in 2022. To learn about that, please watch my recent Hair Loss/ Life Update video: https://youtu.be/_8kVx2P7PYg

The steroid injections are to hopefully assist in resolving this new hair loss and get me back to just having the one I’ve had since 1999, androgenetic alopecia. I actually didn’t expect that they were going to pay, but I did receive an approval letter. I was pleasantly surprised when I got the letter stating I was approved. I thought, this must be the first hair loss break I got… ever in 24 years, only for it to be followed by a rejection letter. Citing that I was diagnosed with hair loss (duh), and that the service requested (Steroid Injections) is being “Modified” aka Denied, because there is a “lack of medical necessity.”

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I know it has been so long since I have posted, and so much also has happened. I am still struggling to really go deeply into it all, but I have made some posts on Instagram and a YouTube video to discuss what I have been dealing with this past year.

Long story super short. My father passed away last year, and I recently was diagnosed with a NEW type of hair loss. This is of course in addition to the hair loss I have had for 24 years – female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). I now also have a variant of alopecia areata. I see it referenced as Diffuse Alopecia Areata and also Alopecia Areata Incognita, I’m truly not sure if they are the same, but they are seemingly used interchangeably online. I had no idea it was possible to have more than one type of hair loss. Well, it is.

My body went through so much last year… SO much. My health suffered tremendously, and I share in the video some snapshots of how my face was looking during this time. This full on assault to my immune system is what is to be believed to have very likely triggered this episode of alopecia areata. It does run in my family, both of my brothers experienced patches of alopecia areata on their beards (now resolved), and I have a cousin in Panama who had alopecia areata on her scalp. It was there, just waiting…

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Saw Palmetto is an herb that is often put into many hair loss products that claim to be able offer the reduction of shedding or even the regrowth of hair.  It is one of the first things I found in 1999 when I began losing my hair.  I had a vitamin book, turned to the index, searched for hair loss, and saw Saw Palmetto listed as something that can help hair loss. I consulted with no one, and went to the vitamin shop to buy that and a whole bunch of other stuff that didn’t work.. Stinging nettle, horsetail etc. You know the drill if you’ve been down that path.

Watch on YouTube

It’s been around forever. You don’t need a special hair loss product to try this, it’s sold in every vitamin shop around under a zillion different brands as a dietary supplement. 

It is usually the ingredient of a hair loss product that is sold as a “DHT Blocker.”  

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There is no universal hair loss solution or path that will work for every woman dealing with hair loss.

When I say solution, I mean finding a way to live with hair loss in whatever way that is for you, whether you choose to treat it, wear wigs, cut your hair short, shave your head or do nothing.

It’s worth mentioning that there is no cure for androgenetic alopecia, aka female pattern baldness. This is the type of hair loss I have and it is progressive hair loss. Treatments do exist, but there is no cure.

Watch on YouTube

In this video I discuss how I have made hair loss work in my life, and things I may have done different, such as starting to wear toppers years prior to when I began to wear wigs in 2012, when I feel I would have had the hair to be able to make that work for myself.

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Living Free With Hair Loss

by Y on August 6, 2021

I know that title is confusing to many, how is it possible, how could or would that even be a thing? I would have rolled my eyes or even gotten annoyed if someone had said that to me during the time I simply wasn’t ready to hear it. My mind could not allow it. I just lived in pain, that’s all I knew. 

That didn’t change till the moment it did, and not one minute before. I think all the things I did, the steps I took before that moment contributed to leading UP TO that moment, but it didn’t happen till the day it did. Until I was ready, till my mind was ready. 

I speak about acceptance a lot because to me that IS the only cure to hair loss. 

I have had hair loss for 22 years, beginning at the age of 21. I started The Women’s Hair Loss Project in 2007. For 14 years I have interacted with women and I have worn wigs for over 9 years. 

I know a lot about hair loss, treatments, and wigs… I know none of it will ever be perfect. I also know there are simply questions that can never be answered.

I know I ONLY moved forward because I accepted, I let go. I let go of my preconceived notions of what NEEDED to be. I let go of the idea I needed all my hair to come back, or I’d have no life.  

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I’ve worn wigs for 9+ years, but in that time I’ve actually never used glue or tape. The majority of my wigs are closed front, meaning they have no lace. In 2019 I got this lace front wig in anticipation of my progressively eroding hairline no longer being able to sustain me through wearing my closed front wig wearing life. I do need tiny bits, very tiny – but still needed, of my hairline to make a closed front wig work and look natural. 

I didn’t actually start to wear this lace front wig until last year.  Side note: when I got the wig in 2019, it didn’t fully work for me because I did grow up with a lower forehead with temple points dipping towards the eyebrows, and even in quite progressed hair loss and thinning hair, they had still been there to some degree over the years making it harder (near impossible) for me to wear a lace front wig successfully, since you need to have that lace in FRONT of your hair line. On me, it was very hard to achieve this since I would need that wig placed way low on my forehead, which is incredibly unnatural, but I wanted the wig anyways, I wanted it as a security blanket.

Last year, I pulled it out to try it…and I’m not gonna lie, I had a meltdown. Why? Because NOW the lace front that didn’t work the year prior for the reasons stated above…. worked.  It was an in your face reminder of what had progressed in a year, or the 20 before that, but the measurement I was using was simply the year prior. In one year, my hairline, temples eroded to where now this wig could work. I sat on my floor crying. I actually made a video and sent it to Sophie, there is a clip of that moment in a video I previously posted on instagram. The part you see my tears, that was last year when I put this wig on for the first time since the year prior. This video below:

Hair loss is a journey, I hope everyone really keeps that in mind. I started wearing wigs close to a decade ago, I cut my hair off, I moved forward, but guess what, that’s not the end. It’s not like period, over and out, nail it ! Peace.  Of course not, least not for me. I have most definitely accepted my hair loss, but there can also be moments that smack me upside the head as that did. So I had a pity party for myself, party of one, for that day…. And the next day I decided this was a new phase of my journey, and well now I COULD wear lace fronts, so umm silver lining. Yea.

Follow me on Instagram: @whlpnetwork

Back to my wig…. So this wig has always had a lifting issue since day one, since 2019, but it definitely got progressed to the point of being unwearable with the lace curling and lifting and having a wave in it (as seen in video on mannequin) making it look unnatural – Less last year, much more this year. So that occurred with some wash and wear. In hindsight I should have sent it back immediately for repair, but that’s the past. 

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Hair Loss Judgement

by Y on July 23, 2021

You can never be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to yourself. That is a goal worth striving for. Still to this day I am judged in matters of hair, not in my real life, but online.

Judged for not showing my hair loss.

Judged for not having enough hair loss (in another person’s eyes) if I show parts of my shaved head (to my comfort level), and then being told I have a lot of hair – when in reality, I very much don’t. I’ve had hair loss for 22 years, and the pain I have gone through is literally documented on my site. This was not an easy road for me.

I still don’t understand how women (with hair loss) don’t realize those type of comments ( to me or anyone else) are completely dismissive of another woman’s reality, experience, pain and journey.

No one chooses to wear the hair cut I have because it is an ACTUAL choice by virtue of having tons of hair. It is only a choice in that I choose to not suffer from my hair loss anymore, so I cut it/shaved it, the way I have in order to be able to live my life, and wear my wigs, since many of my wigs require using some bits of hairline and the hair around my ears to integrate.

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I woke one day and I was 43. Just like that. My hair loss began at 21, and I painfully existed for 13 years. Existed. Not lived.

I am so incredibly grateful, I am writing the number 13 to you and not 22.

I am so grateful, I was able to shift my mindset, able to learn to live with hair loss, able to get off the hamster wheel.

I didn’t get want I wanted and prayed for, for 13 years. I didn’t get ALL my hair back, my loss is going to be progressive. That is the nature of androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness).

My hair is removable.

My bio hair is so short, I haven’t been able to make a ponytail in 9 years.

And it’s OK. To me, this is OK, I’m at peace with that.

This wasn’t my dream scenario, but I could not be more grateful to have peace in my life with hair loss, something I never thought possible. Hair loss does not own me…. anymore.

This is hope, to me this IS hope. It may not be for everyone.

I was asked what is the hope I speak of – The hope is knowing there is life after hair loss, the ability to live a fulfilling life, and not be a slave to the loss. The ability to find true acceptance.

This exists, it’s real. A cure does not.

For me, the ultimate cure to hair loss has been acceptance.

Sending Much Love To All!
XOXO
~Y

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Healing With Hair Loss

by Y on June 30, 2021

Dealing with hair loss is hard. I don’t personally know anyone that was able to wave it off as though they got a paper cut and went on with their life the next day. 

I think we are all unique and deal with, and process things differently. 

Over the last 13+ years I have been able to observe that some people are able to rapidly move forward through their hair loss acceptance journey, whether or not that included wearing hair, treatment, shaving their head, or nothing at all.

Others, move slower, much slower. 

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First Do No Harm, To Yourself

by Y on June 9, 2021

Be careful when making decisions in the manner in which you decide you would like to treat your hair loss. I am not against treating hair loss, but I think because hair loss is such an emotional thing, many women make snap decisions in an effort to help themselves, only to find sometimes they are now in a worse position than they were prior.

Hair loss treatments do have risks, and worth noting, most are just flat out bogus and don’t don’t carry any medical or scientific possibility to even remotely help hair to regrow or stop shedding, and some could do more harm than good.

Desperation often sends logic sailing out the window.

I am not a doctor, but doctors are not necessarily going to be honest with you and tell you the truth and the reality of all the repercussions that can happen from doing XYZ. You need to advocate for yourself, you need to do your own research and make truly informed decisions and go into anything with eyes wide open and knowing all the potential downsides that can occur. Once you have the facts you are better equipped to make the right choice for yourself.

Just some thoughts for your consideration.

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