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Hair Loss – Wigs – Reflections

by Y on September 14, 2018

reflectionsReflected. Reflect. Reflections.
Evolved. Evolve. Evolving.

Words. Just words.

My own hair loss situation, has evolved greatly over the years. Mostly, in how I dealt with it.

Adapted. Accepted. From cutting off most of my hair over time, to finding a short style to work to provide optimal hair wearing results for myself ( since I pull out pieces of my front hair line), to also accepting the progressive decline, but ultimately learning to live with my situation to where it no longer controlled me. That included being honest about my hair loss, and wig wearing with those around me.

I am 40, and started losing my hair at 21. My entire 20’s and some of my 30’s were lost to tears of hopelessness. It’s the whole reason I started the Women’s Hair Loss Project in 2007. It was the bottom of my bottom and there just wasn’t anyone out there online at the time for women, speaking about women’s hair loss, or at least no one I found that spoke to me and my situation, or at least could relate to (and definitely not in 1999 at the beginning of my hair loss) and I just felt alone, utterly alone. [click to continue…]

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Have you ever witnessed the moment of change, the moment where you watched a person’s pain be washed away with the hope of the future? I have. Incredibly moving and felt to my core, as I related on every level possible, I understood every tear and felt the impact of what each drop held as it fell — silent suffering, a loss of self held within for years. Fear. Sadness. All of it. I know all of it. I saw hope follow tears, and a smile and excitement of a self renewed. I was incredibly honored to be a part of my friend’s journey to finding her hair loss solution, and watching her moment of renewal is something that will stay with me always.

Everyone knows I love my Follea hair babies. I’m good in my wig wearing world, I pass my wigs in the bathroom and give them a high five and a double snap for their super sassy swishtastic magic powers, but while wigs allowed me to take back my life and rock my world, wigs simply aren’t for everyone. No one thing is ever for everyone, in the hair world or otherwise. We all have to explore our options (the pros and cons) and find what works best for us in our life, and if you try something that doesn’t work, it just means that, THAT didn’t work — not necessarily that nothing will ever work.

Last Wednesday I went with my friend to Lucinda Ellery in Beverly Hills, she was having an Intralace hair replacement system done and I got to watch as she got her new hair. It was an all day process, I think approximately 8 hours. The final result looked quite amazing and my friend was actually in tears after it was completed. Happy tears, tears of relief, tears that were washing away her pain. I waited to hear from my friend today to get her thoughts almost a week in before jumping on telling everyone about this option, because I wanted to hear her honest opinion on what she thought of the piece. She’s adjusting to it incredibly well, and told me that she really feels this is life changing for her and that this will be her solution. [click to continue…]

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Rubber ducky you’re the one…

Hi everyone! So this past Tuesday, I purchased the Aero-2 glueless lace front wig from Follea. My longer “Lifestyle” wig is on order, I’m not sure when it will be here and I was seriously chomping at the bit to be in possession of a long wig. I mean seriously, if I’m going to be wearing a wig full time, as I am now, I need to have OPTIONS and I can’t even remember when the last time was I really got to “enjoy” long hair.  Also, in addition I’ve been dying to get my hands on a glueless lace front. Everyone is always talking about lace fronts, I’m frequently asked about them and I wanted to see how I could get this type of a wig to work for myself. Lace front wigs are generally meant to go at or slightly in front of your hairline, it’s meant to replace your hairline with a very natural look. However, I have a wonky hairline, it’s kind of hard to explain it, but I really need to place the wigs slightly behind my hairline in order for them to blend and work perfectly. This is not the easiest task with a lace front, it took me 4 days to get it to work for me. I don’t attribute this to be a fault of the wig, rather more of a result of how I’m choosing to wear it, my head etc.

The Aero-2 lace front is a less expensive wig than my Natalia, as such there are some key differences. The back is a machine wefted closed cap. It has a lace top, lace front and a hand-tied top. Natalia is ALL hand-tied. Both are comfortable, but I think the hand-tied wig feels a tiny bit better. The hair is also European hair, but has been processed, so it isn’t virgin hair. And no, virgin hair doesn’t mean that the the girl who grew out the hair was a virgin (haha)  it means it has had no chemical processing, like hair coloring, perms etc. It is hair in it’s most natural and luscious state.  The hair quality of the Aero is still amazing though. Can you feel the difference if you put both wigs together and touch each? Yes, you can. One is uber yummy silky sweetness, and one is OMG WTF, this is insane, spank me crazy and call me Santa Claus, I think I’ve died and done to heaven. How’s that for painting a picture? Where this wig shines in my view, is that is lays pretty flat (in a good way)  on top of your head, and that makes it look extremely real and natural. That is a result of the lace top, with the lace there is less space between the hair of the wig and your head, less material (?) I don’t know what the technical way is to represent that in words.

A lace front has.. wait for it… lace. I found this to be a tricky situation for myself when I was working to put it behind my hairline because it is sitting on top of my hair and it seemed to lift the lace up from my scalp at the very front of the wig hairline in one spot, ever so microscopically. I also had suspicions that the WiGrip was creating an extra “lift” to the lace that wouldn’t be present if you didn’t use the WiGrip on this type of wig, but since I can only wear a wig with a WiGrip the point was a bit moot to try and  make it work without it. To me this “lift” I was seeing made that section of the wig noticeable.  If it was on direct scalp I would imagine this issue wouldn’t be present. This was an issue I was having when trying to style it with a parted hairline straight down, it wasn’t an issue to clip the hair up in the style you’ll see at the end of  the video below.  So on Wednesday I got frustrated with the lace wig and made her sit in the corner facing the wall on her styrofoam head. Bad girl!   Natalia was waiting for me, like the trusted bestie she is, I thew her on and went on with my day.

I returned to visit the Aero wig the next day, she looked at me and I looked at her and believe there was that wild west music from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly movie playing in my head, you know the dueling music…. “How is this going to go down little missy?”  Uh, not good. Same thing as the day prior. I felt that yet again I could see a tiny bit of the lace lifting as a result of it being on top of my hair behind my hairline and being used with the WiGrip. Also, to the girl who asked me if you can see the WiGrip though a lace wig, the answer is yes… it isn’t really bad, but you can see it though. I have no problem with how it looks,  it sort of looks like you got a bit of hair dye in that area of your scalp. As someone who used to religiously dye my hair red in college, I can attest to the fact that sometimes dye gets on your scalp and does give your scalp a bit of color, it’s not a big deal. But yes you CAN see it. [click to continue…]

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Synthroid & Hair Loss - Leah's Hair Loss StoryFirst let me say, you are in my thoughts and prayers and I am so sorry you are feeling so sad about your recent shed. I really do understand and I know how much sorrow hair loss causes. I just wanted to share my experience regarding synthroid and tell you that you might consider synthroid as the cause of your hair loss. I have been experiencing hair loss now for about 5 years; it has been one of the hardest things that I have ever had to deal with. My hair loss started immediately after I began yasmin (yes, I know it’s supposed to be low androgenetic but for some reason it caused my hormones to go crazy). Immediately after taking it, I started loosing my hair, my back became overrun with cystic acne and I started growing excess hair on my back. Up to then, I had never experience any kind of acne or imbalance in my system. I got off the pill, but my hair loss never stopped, my scalp started burning and my hair steadily thinned. Of course I went to the Dermatologist who suggested Rogaine, my doctor said I could start spiro (I wasn’t there yet), I read Geoffrey Redmonds book “The Hormonally Vulnerable Women“. At the time, I was trying to get pregnant, but I decided I would try to go back on the pill when the time came. Fast forward a few years later, after stopping breastfeeding, my hair shed started up again. I decided to go on Yaz this time and I have to say, a week later my hair loss stopped and had been stable for 6 months.

During the years that my hair had started to thin, I promised myself when I saved up the money I would go see an Endocrinologist who might be able to give me insight on my hair loss. I made an appointment with a respected Endo in Dallas and I was excited that he might be able to at least tell me why I was loosing my hair, although I suspect AA since my hairs are not coming back. He ran $2,000 worth of bloodwork and found nothing significant. My thyroid was a slightly elevated at 2.8 and I was a little anemic – my androgens were fine, probably because of the Yaz I was taking. He gave me a prescription for synthroid and spiro. Several days after I started taking synthroid my hair started falling out, several months later, it started heavily coming out and I was right back where I was four years earlier, panicked and very depressed. I went back three months after starting the synthroid and he ran $500 worth of more test to make sure he didn’t have me on too high a dose of synthroid ( I was only taking 50mg). My thyroid came back 1.7, everything seemed to be great. [click to continue…]

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I received this email and am posting the question, and my response in case it can perhaps help other women confronted with the same situation .

Hi – I just came across The Women’s Hair Loss Project. We are desperate.  My daughter’s situation sounds similar to yours. She’s been on Loestrin for 4 years – since sophomore year in college. Her hair has started thinning, and lately, it’s accelerated to where her part is very wide, her hair is very thin, the top of her hair pretty bad.  All doctors said blood work fine, it’s female pattern hair loss, start rogaine 5%. She’s so desperate that she finally agreed to listen to me and go off the Loestrin but wants to start ortho tri cyclen (sp?) because doctor [Doctor name removed] said it’s a hair protectant. So she’s planning on starting that and the Rogaine at the same time. We are so scared. Something doesn’t feel right. I’m afraid for her to do both at the same time because if something goes wrong, we won’t know which. I think she should get off BCP pills completely. Just want to hear your opinion. Please.  Look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you!!! -S

21+ years after my hair loss began – wigged up. My story is long, but this is the relevant part. I hope it helps.

Dear S – 

I should state what I think is already known… but just in case, I’m not a doctor – My experience with hair loss is living with it for 21 years and going to great lengths to find an answer to this problem, treat it a number of ways, and along the way deal with the sufferings it brought, disappointments and regrets and having it be one long ass journey to trying to find myself again. 

It has been awhile since I have answered an email as post, but yours stood out to me and I wanted to provide my thoughts as you had asked for, and in the process put this as a post so that others may be able to potentially benefit from it as well. 

This is a tough situation, as I think many situations are when dealing with hair loss and any decision seems terrifying and also we get to a place of desperation where we can allow that to cloud what may be (or not) the right judgement we need for making the best decision for ourselves. 

One thing about hair loss is there is no one size fits all, although I think most doctors just treat it that way. It is very typical for a woman with hair loss to have all blood work come back as normal, frustrating, but super common. I think it’s the one time in our life we are praying something appears on that blood work panel that we can point to, treat and get this uncontrollable situation, under control again. It is disappointing to find out we are (on paper) seemingly normal.

Who knew normal could be a disappointment, it is. 

My thoughts on treatment are based largely on what I did, but also what I wish I would have done differently – and the knowledge that in sharing my story on my site, and what I wish I would have done years ago, I know some women read my story, took the road I wish I travelled, and it worked out for them. Not in massive numbers (that I am aware of ) but a couple I can think of, and that was enough for me to wonder if I really did screw myself over and realize there is legit validity in waiting before rushing to treatment. 

I think I sighed and did an eye roll simultaneously reading that birth control pills are still being offered up as a hair protectant. Again, I’m not a doctor, but in my desperation, I fell in this trap and regretted it – big time. 

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PRP / Exosomes - Podcast &was Day 3 Update

On May 8th I posted a podcast (Episode 9) titled “My PRP Journey Update and The Power In Decision/ Action.” I also recorded video with it, which is just a video recording of the podcast, and I will post that below, along with the video I made this morning providing my Day 3 update since having my PRP & Exosome treatment here locally in Los Angeles. 

If you’ve heard the podcast, you can skip down to the second video, but if you haven’t, I do think it’s worth hearing to understand my whole thought process that went into deciding to do this, before taking the step to shave my head. This way, down the line if I ever reference 1,2,3 – we can all be on the same page as to what I am referring to as it pertains to the system I had put in place years ago for myself, that made living and accepting my hair loss situation completely manageable, doable, and removed it [hair loss] from controlling my life — dismantling the power it had formerly held over me, prior to my 1, 2, 3 system. Okay fine,  if you just want the punchline… here it is:

1) Wearing wigs (allowed me the ability to look and feel like myself again). Critical.

2) Cutting my hair into a massively short cut (quite often shorter than most men’s hair cut in the back), basically buzzed at back/nape and longer in front to integrate with my wigs. That action also happened same year as I started to wear wigs (2012). Cutting most of my hair off did two things. One, shorter hair tends to look thicker and two, it allowed me to not see the majority of the shedding. Seeing the shed (to me) is ONE of the most debilitating aspects of dealing with hair loss.  My hair is so freaking short, there are no tangles… which means the fallen hair is likely gonna slide out right in the shower without my knowledge. Usually. Total Win.

3 ) Lastly, and quite important for myself… PRP therapy (started doing this in Nov 2019). PRP therapy didn’t grow all my hair back, but it reduced the shedding, and slowed the progression of my hair loss. This was important to me. I do like to utilize some of my hairline with my wigs to enable them to look more natural and I also enjoyed keeping as much hair on my head as my body would allow. So 1,2,3. That’s the system I had in place. For a longer deep dive into my mind saga please listen to the podcast. 

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PromoArtIf you don’t know who the beautiful Sophie Hafner is, then you probably don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook, because she’s in a lot of those pictures. Not only is this amazing person the only person I have entrusted with my wig wearing life ( new wig selection, color, cut, style) for the last 5 years, but she’s also become a best friend of mine.

Sophie shares my vision and passion for helping women with hair loss, and has always risen to the occasion when I’ve asked her to assist me in carrying out a concept/project to de-stigmitize women’s hair loss and show women how good wigs can really look. Including the concept we have done twice, which is hair twinning, and I mean with a person not wearing a wig (her).

This detailed project required her to actually, not only color my wigs pink, but hers as well! [View Sneak Pink Post] We later revisited it this concept with her transforming one of my wigs into a red head, to match hers. The “Whose Wearing a Wig?” Images were so amazing, that at times people guessed she was the one in a wig. Proof positive you can look and feel as amazing as everyone else while wearing hair. The hair artistry required to do this is something that I’m still blown away by.

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red

 

 

 

 

 

 

In part 1 of this 2 part episode, we discuss the consultation process as well as the technical aspects of wigs, including:

Part One

-Wigs vs. Toppers
-Adjusting to Wearing Hair by Learning To Treat It Like Your Own Hair
-Lace Front vs Closed Front (How to Choose)
-The Follea Gripper – What Type of Hair Loss Is Best Suited For This Wig?
-Sizing of Wigs
-Handtied vs. Wefted (open wefts/ closed wefts)
-French Top/ Natural Skin Top vs Lace Top
-Coloring Your Wigs
-Styling, How To Achieve Volume and Bounce in Your Wigs [click to continue…]





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I reflect back on my hair loss journey, and if you asked the 21 year old scared girl beginning to loose her hair in 1999, if she could ever imagine life with and after hair loss, she (me) would have said, “NO” and then cried uncontrollably… as I always used to do… daily. Impossible to process, and yet here I am. I’ll be 38 years old in 2 months and this affliction stole over a decade of my life. I am not making use of hyperbole when I say that. My 20’s came and went, and all I had were memories of devastation and a complete feeling of being helpless, powerless and destined to exist in a state of forever suffering. Paralyzing.

I’ve written a tremendous amount on my blog about my hair loss, finding my acceptance… removing the shackles of hair loss and taking back my life.  This change came for me in 2012 when I started wearing hair and realizing, that while not perfect in the respect that it’s not growing out of my head… it was perfect enough. I could go out and portray myself to the world, as I wanted to be seen (the way I looked before my  hair loss) and feel good about myself again. It was a process, it took time. I cut my hair super short (buzzed in back, long in front) so I didn’t have to see my hair fall out anymore and I could have a cute edgy hair cut that I could wear, one where people would think I just was just so bold to wear a style like that, not knowing I do it out absolute necessity. Since my hair loss began when I was so young I never really got the opportunity to do anything fun with my hair… cuts, colors and styles etc., was not an option. I was just praying it stopped falling out. [click to continue…]





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Where does one begin, you know, when you haven’t written for a year or so. I don’t want this post to be too all over the place, so I’ll sweep away the missed year, and bring the majority of the focus to just this year, 2015. Rather than talk about the hum drum, and the ins and outs of my life beyond hair (and the last year adrift) I’ll hone it in to what we are all here for… or I’ll try at least. 🙂  This post will bounce around a bit, just a forewarning.

January 2015 Hair Update

Hair update as of January of this year, I’d say my bio hair, with the continued PRP treatments, the cessation of my birth control pill in 2013 and Aldactone even before that, along with the short haircut I maintain (buzzed in the back, long in the front), that my emotional and actual hair place I was in, was at it’s all time best. I felt good about my situation, balancing wearing wigs, and also feeling quite comfortable in the short hair I’ve worn for quite sometime now. I tell people freely and openly that I am wearing a wig, if they previously saw me in my short hair and then see me in long hair and also the reverse. If they see me in a wig, and then see me in short hair, I let them know the other hair is in a box at home. Hair-wise everything was working in my life.

February – PRP Party 

In February of this year, I had my 13th PRP session with Dr. Joseph Greco, but it was a bit different, I went with two very close friends whom I met through WHLP, and we made it a group girls trip PRP party. It was an amazing experience, and I did take video of the PRP being done on my girlfriends, which I do plan on posting (hopefully sooner rather than later). It was interesting for me to actually see the process being done, because my vantage point has always been quite limited before, considering I was in the chair having it done.

PRP Party :)

PRP Party 🙂

 

Blood Sisters ;)

Blood Sisters 😉

 

It’s somewhat important to take note, that I stated “hair-wise” everything was working. Oddly that was the only thing seemingly working. My experience with one psychiatrist, the one formerly mentioned in other posts, thew my life off the rails, and it all came crashing this year. The early part of this year was emotionally devastating and draining on a personal level, and while I don’t want to delve too deep, it is important to note this, for what comes next. [click to continue…]





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PRP – Is It My Miracle?

by BW on October 28, 2014

**This post is from a fellow WHLP Member, “BW.” **

As many of you may know from the last blog I posted, I had been experiencing a Hell Shed. This was far beyond my usual seasonal nerve-wracking and it sucks but it’s manageable thing. This was my body went through a major physiological change (quitting smoking was my trigger this time) and here comes the Hair Dump. I went from having my pretty awesomely normal (short) hair in early June to quitting smoking on June 16 to start a crazy messed up put me back in my little black hidey hole ka-boom see ya hair thing by about a week later and I just couldn’t get it to stop. Like holy cow. Hair explosion for months and no end in sight. Sigh….. And yeah, I wear a wig most of the time anyway, but I don’t go to the gym in my wig. I really wasn’t planning on wearing a wig for my half marathon in November and honestly, it had gotten so bad that not only was I getting seriously depressed about it. I was also using Toppik at my front hairline just to be able to blend with my wig AND I had lost enough hair that my wigs weren’t even fitting well anymore. Oh my.

Yes, ladies, I had the Ultimate What You Don’t Want to Happen When You Are Wearing a Wig Experience. My wigs had gotten loose since I had lost SO much hair and I guess I hadn’t thought too much about it because once you get used to wearing hair, you just are way more relaxed about (maybe too relaxed in my case) and when I was shaking my thang all over the dance floor on a beautiful Saturday night in August, my hair fell off. Like on the dance floor. Like under someone’s feet. Yeah. WAKE UP CALL! I had lost so much hair that my wigs weren’t even fitting anymore. Remember that hidey hole I was talking about? Step right in.

I really started feeling stuck. I had begin hitting the Toppik bottle again (hard) while wearing my wigs and also while just going to the gym and stuff, and man, that stuff is truly amazing but I even needed it in the front for blending in my now strapped as tight as possible wigs. That just seems no bueno – now I need Toppik to even wear my wigs? Big sigh….. And as all hair wearers know, you gotta always have a back up plan. Or a forward thought. And I couldn’t find one. Where am I gonna go from here? What if I couldn’t make my current situation work anymore? [click to continue…]





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