female pattern hair loss

A few weeks ago I put up a few photos of my new wig and then a short while after that I took them down for various reasons, one of which a family member had emailed me a link to my own site (this one) discussing an article I had written years ago and that “I” should check it out. I felt panicked that with the photos of myself on the site that this person would for sure, instantly, make the connection and realize this was my site, so I quickly pulled the pictures down offline. A lot of women where emailing me because they wanted to see the photos that everyone was referring to so I then put together a private gallery and emailed the link out to several women. Well, I’ve since come clean to the family member who I was concerned about and I want to share some more photos and video with everyone so that women can get a better idea of how the wig sits on my head and also those photos that where once in the private gallery are included in the video as well. So my apologies to those who have already seen them, that part will be a repeat for you. [click to continue…]

{ 14 comments }

I love my wig, I think we’ve established that. But, now comes the rainbow of wonder. I wonder if… you know that rainbow.

As anyone who reads this blog knows I have always pointed towards wearing bonded hair as my personal end-all-be-all solution towards moving past this wretched hair loss nightmare. Many women are able to boldly make that leap, arms wide open and flinging themselves into the air only to find they have wings, and they fly with brave beauty and grace onto the other side and into bluer horizons. Others, like myself, stare off the cliff and look for the ladder, the rope, the bridge.. anything else. So I got a rope, no shame in that and am inching my way towards emotional freedom.

Wearing a wig is a process. Period. You have super highs and you have those “sometime” moments at the end of the day after wearing it for 10+ hours when you are thinking, “Get this off my head STAT.” Moments of realization that this hair beauty has to come off at the end of the night, and you are bummed that this hair isn’t more “part of you.” Then come the soaring highs, the ability to leave the house WITH hair, not just any hair but amazing hair. The ability to “do” my hair in 2 minutes flat, no longer a slave to furiously trying to battle with the blow dryer to make my crappy hair looks less crappy. I have peace of mind. [click to continue…]

{ 7 comments }

Twitter, Boobs, Wigs and Weight Gain

by admin on June 24, 2012

So after much hemming and hawing I decided in a very non decisive way to start a Twitter account for The Women’s Hair Loss Project. While I never started one before for various reasons, recently I have found myself out and about having funny and/ or interesting ( I think ) thoughts that would be great to share on a platform like Twitter. I also often run across interesting articles related to hair loss that I don’t have time to blog about, but would make for a perfect quick “tweet.”  I’m a private person, like an uber private person, so that has always kept me away from social networks, that, along with the thought of wondering how many women dealing with hair loss would want to “follow” a hair loss twitter page. I have no idea, and I understand completely if no one does. I did try and make the page as nondescript as possible making sure not to include anything “hair loss” in the name, website, icon or background. It is possible that the WHLP could be broadened by Twitter and perhaps more women needing help and support could find us. This is really more of a Twitter test run, because who knows, I could delete it next week, so don’t be surprised if go to the link one day and it says, “Page Not Found.” Here it is, with my lonely first tweet LOL: https://twitter.com/whlpnetwork

Now on to the fun stuff… boobs and wigs. Now how the heck did I tie these together? I’ve recently been thinking about why there is such a stigma associated with wigs, or any hair that is worn that isn’t the universally accepted, “extensions.” Women can proudly can get breast implants and even be commended for doing something for themselves, but talk about wearing hair out of necessity and you get looked at like you have 3 heads. “Why ever would you want to WEAR a WIG?” hummmm…. thinking of a reply, ” Oh it’s just something I’ve always dreamed about, ever since I was a little girl. I had hoped and prayed my hair would just started falling out when I was 21 and then I knew that perfect moment would come at 34 years of age when I would have so little hair I HAD to wear a wig.” How’s that for an answer? [click to continue…]

{ 8 comments }

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. [click to continue…]

{ 18 comments }

I’ve seen enough fabulous hair pieces and wigs to know that it remains a very realistic, viable option for women who deal with hair loss. But the question always remains, where do you go? I know I’d definitely want to go somewhere that was caring, compassionate, patient, and a place that wasn’t pushy and truly had my best interest at heart. After all we aren’t buying iphones, we are buying something so intimately personal, I think a little TLC and hand holding is in order.

There is no question in my mind that a lot of women close the door to wearing hair because their first attempt turned out to be an awful and traumatizing experience, or the product was subpar, and from that they probably figured there was no point in continuing to try. Unfortunately, wearing hair isn’t really SO common that you can just turn to your girlfriend and say, “Love your hair, where’d you get it?” It’s also a completely different experience when you are buying hair because you NEED it, as opposed to buying it because you just think it would look neat with an outfit. One situation has deep rooted emotions and the other is really more of an optional accessory. For that reason, it is crucial to find a place that actually deals with women losing their hair and understands the devastation and feelings that encompasses it.

I think finding a good hair replacement salon is probably tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack, so I wanted to share the names of two shops that seem to truly be helping women.

I have heard several positive stories about:

Lee Anthony
1001 W. 17th Street, Suite H
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
949-515-0631
leeanthony.com

One WHLP member stated that Lee actually told her that it was too soon for her to need to wear something, which I think definitely shows honesty and integrity.

The place I most recently heard about is:

Wigs Today
6338 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 9006
323-954-8809

If you make a visit here, make sure it’s the address I listed above. I did find another place in Los Angeles by the same name, which had horrible reviews, but I’m pretty certain this isn’t the same place. According to the listing I found on Yahoo: http://local.yahoo.com/info-20415634-wigs-today-los-angeles#overview this place was only recently established in 2009.

I am super cautious about ever recommending a product or service provider, but I feel confident that the experiences I have heard about regarding these salons are from real women who have been a part of the site for quite sometime with no ulterior motives.

As a final note, I’d also run (not walk) from any place that asked you to sign a contract, gave you a hard sell or made you feel uncomfortable in any way whatsoever.

{ 11 comments }

I’ve always been a private person, definitely more of an introverted personality. I find happiness and solace just being all by myself, never really feeling the need to have to be out and about and socializing. Well, hair loss added to that in a negative way. What once felt like a personal preference now seemed like a prerequisite to my life… solitude and isolation.

There were two monumental, emotionally catastrophic times caused by my hair loss. One was when this began in 1999, and the other crash came in 2007. I was losing my hair the whole time and having bouts of depression the whole way through, but those points mark times where I just sat constantly feeling helpless and completely without any motivation to live life. It’s definitely no coincidence that I created this site in 2007, it was an extremely sad time for me, and if you read my earlier posts you will likely feel the sadness and pain I was going through. I was withdrawn, I submerged myself into the comfort of my keyboard and I began to pour my heart out onto electronic paper. The more I typed, the more I shared, the more I started to feel better. Sharing is incredibly healing; I say it all the time.

During this time, I started to avoid my friends; I was ashamed of how much worse my hair was starting to look. It was thin before, but after having experienced a nonstop massive shedding from the 2 years prior, it was now a complete hopeless mess, and seemingly progressing each day. I didn’t want anyone to see me this way. I hid. In every sense of the word. I hid. I started avoiding phone calls, text messages and even started to skip the “reply” part of an email I would receive. It was just easier to push that part away (socializing) and focus on communicating and writing to women I met online, women who I knew understood what I was going through, that felt a whole lot safer.

As time passed I started to feel guilty for abandoning the friendships, and I started to feel empty.  I was saddened that I had pushed everyone away just so I wouldn’t have to share my secret and have them see me a way that I didn’t even want to see myself.

I wanted to reconnect, but how? So much time has passed. What do you say? Where do you pick up? “Hi, how are you… I’ve been balding for over a decade and it’s made me miserably depressed, sorry I didn’t call you back,” that just didn’t have the flow or direction I was hoping for.

I wrote emails, apologizing and explaining what has transpired in my life, or more appropriately put… what took over my life. I went out to lunch with someone else, and burst into tears over my jambalaya. I was scared, I felt vulnerable, but I was received with such love and understanding. I wasn’t judged. All that I had built up in my head of how no one would understand, was really just in my head. I also think when you share such a deeply personal part of your life with others; it can deepen and grow your friendship.

Make no mistake, this is still very much a secret of my life, but I told a few people I very much care about, and I don’t regret it. I know in writing with lots of women on this site, that others have also lost touch with their friends, and in some cases family, and I want to tell you… Your friends, your REAL friends, are still there, waiting for you to reach out. If you want to reconnect, make the choice, and decide how you feel most comfortable – phone, in person, email, telegram :) and do it.

{ 20 comments }

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog post. Now all at once I have several things I want to write about, but I’ll separate them into different posts, and play catch up that way.

Something I find myself confronted with from time to time, is balancing the things and activities in my life that I deem to be normal, with the reality of how my hair loss colors almost every situation.

Examples

A Run Is Not Just a Run

Running… turns out I love to run! Over the last few months as my asthma was improving I took to the streets with my running shoes and started pounding the pavement (quite literally) and realized, hog diggity dog, I LOVE RUNNING. I’m a slow runner, and I do have asthma, but I love it just the same. What I don’t love is being outdoors with sweat pouring out of my head highlighting how thin my hair really CAN look. So my solution is wearing a nike running headband, which is excellent at absorbing sweat and hiding the hairline and top of head. I also use a wide array of different sporty adidas and nike caps. I guess hair loss has caused me to be a tad bit more stylish out of necessity. :) I’d love to run sans anything on my head from time to time, but I wouldn’t be feeling the wind blowing through my hair, it would be more of a draft penetrating my scalp. So, no thanks.

Dinner Is Not Just Dinner

I’ve danced around tables at restaurants, playing musical chairs, grabbing the one that has the least overhead lighting. I’ve nearly knocked over waiters diving for the chosen one, the one that will least likely show to others that I’m losing my hair. I’ve enlisted my fiancé in this process as well, so he’s on the hunt for picking me a good one too, always asking me if I’m okay with the seat. I’ve changed tables at restaurants several times over, looking like a nut, because each table seemingly had more overhead light than the one prior. It’s dinner, it should be dark… really dark, like I want someone to put a flashlight to my menu. Ha ha.

Buying Clothes Is An Exercise In Visual Discipline

I’ve perfected the art of trying on clothes in dressing rooms without actually looking at my face. Neck down only. Unless it’s the Gap, god bless the Gap, whoever designed their dressing rooms definitely has hair loss.
——
The list can go on and on, but I suppose my point is, in time we learn to adapt. In an effort to maintain our sanity, our minds adjust to a new “normal.” We have to adapt and learn to work with the hand we have been dealt. I know in time my hair loss cards will include glue, tape, a hair piece, and possibly a razor, but I’m not there just yet. When I am, it will take time to adjust, as every step always has, but history has taught me that we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and I’ll be okay. Make no mistake, I still get sad, I still have my down days, I shed more today than I have been lately, and it all does affect me… but the length of time it affects me is so much shorter, my turn over period is much quicker. Thank Goodness!

Several things have happened since I last wrote, including a 3rd trip to see Dr. Greco for PRP therapy, I’ll be writing about all that soon.

I wish you all a wonderful and beautiful Sunday! Get out there and live your life, don’t let your hair loss rob you of that. Make adjustments as necessary, there will always be those for sure, but after pretty much losing out on my entire 20’s I want to encourage others to not make that same mistake. Those years, I’ll never get back.

Cheers to moving forward ( I have my glass of wine, do you have yours?)

XOXO

{ 17 comments }

Hello Everyone!

Recently I ventured back to Florida to have another PRP (platelet rich plasma) hair loss treatment with Dr. Joseph Greco. I went back at the 4 month mark, which is before the time usually recommended to patients. I did so because I was quite pleased with the results I saw, and I wanted to make sure I kept my hair in that happy state it seems to be in. After 10 years of hair loss, when you find something that helps, you pretty much jump all over it… or at least I do.

So round two begins….ding ding.

I arrived at the hotel the day before my appointment, ready, excited and pumped with anticipation to have this treatment done again. I had a lot less apprehension because I pretty much knew what to except. As some of you will recall, a big point of anxiety for me during the last trip, was exactly how much pain was involved in this process. Well thankfully that anxiety didn’t exist because I had already experienced the process and knew it was not that big a deal.

I slept like a baby, no nerves whatsoever, part of that may be attributed to the wine I drank that evening. Gotta love wine! I awoke the following morning and stepped outside on the balcony with my cup of coffee and was just in awe of how beautiful it was. It was an incredibly gorgeous day so I just soaked it all in.

An hour before I was to depart, I dialed the front desk to ask for a cab to pick me up. Before I knew it I was being whisked away by some crazy driver who seriously needs to re-evaluate her profession. I’ve never in my life had a cab ride quite like that before. I found myself bracing at every turn and frantically clutching on to the seat for dear life. And to make matters worse, she didn’t take credit cards! Every cab pretty much takes credit cards nowadays, but her machine was getting serviced (uh huh). So now I had to rummage through my purse (something resembling a black hole) to pull out dollars and quarters. Shockingly I had the cash. Yay for spare change!

I walk into the office and am warmly greeted by the receptionist. I re-sign some forms and take my place in the waiting room chair. Not much waiting time before Dr. Greco appears and welcomes me back. I say my hellos to Val, his awesome assistant, and shortly after I’m in the chair getting my blood drawn. Like I mentioned in my first post, Val is a pro at drawing blood and there was no real discomfort there at all. [click to continue…]

{ 85 comments }

Finding Peace, Strength and Friendship

by admin on January 24, 2010

As most everyone who frequents this network knows, I started this site in 2007 during one of my darkest and loneliest times. At that point, I had already been dealing with hair loss for 8 years, but things had taken a drastic downward turn and down I fell into the hole of isolation.

That was then.

Since that time I have had the chance to interact with so many women that have touched my life in such profound ways. I have discovered just how strong women really are, and I have learned so much.

By being able to unite women with hair loss, and helping them to find support and understanding, I have found just that for myself… understanding and support, and I no longer feel alone.  I have met a few women from the network, in California and New York, and each time it has been a truly wonderful and amazing experience.

I just wanted to say Thank You to Everyone. Thank you for helping me to find some inner peace, a strength I never thought existed, and friendship that is pure and true.

You have changed my life.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life.. and I’m feeling good
~Nina Simone

{ 8 comments }

My PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy Experience

by admin on November 12, 2009

It has been quite a long time since a treatment has come along that I would entertain trying. That was until I started to hear more about PRP therapy. In my post titled “Is PRP Therapy a Viable Treatment For Women’s Hair Loss” I wrote that I was more of a “wait and see person,” but I thought… “What the heck?” I mean I really could not find a downside to trying it, and I have been reading really positive things about this treatment. I of course had concerns:  Will it hurt? Will it make my hair fall out more? Will it hurt? Will it hurt? Will it hurt? :)  I think the least of my concerns was that it would do nothing at all.  I felt it was definitely worth trying, and that the payoff would potentially greatly improve the quality of my hair and decrease the shedding. At this point of my hair loss life, that is really my goal – just to keep what I have. Early on in my hair loss, probably for the first 5 years, I prayed constantly for ALL my hair to come back. Now I think I could be happy with the hair I have left, if I knew it was going to stick around for awhile.

So the PRP Journey begins. I flew to Tampa, Florida to have this done with Dr. Joseph Greco. The night before my treatment I went out and had a few drinks, not sure that is proper night-before-treatment protocol, but hey, I needed to relax!

The morning of the treatment I awoke quite early and simply couldn’t get back to sleep. I had PRP jitters. All my nerves really centered around “pain.” How MUCH pain would be involved?

I took a cab over to the doctor’s office and waved the driver goodbye, thinking… “wait come back!” I still was having my concerns about whether or not I could go through with it. I scan the office numbers on the glass window doors of the building complex and finally happen upon 113. I walk in and am welcomed by a bubbly blond hair receptionist, soon enough I’m filling out the patient forms. It isn’t long before the doctor walks out to greet me. We go into his office where he explains what will be happening, and also how PRP works. For all I know he was explaining the rise and fall of the roman empire. I must admit I felt a little bit like one of the students in Charlie Brown listening to the teacher, and all they can hear is “Wah wah wah wah.” I was too anxious to be in a learning mode. I expressed my concerns about PAIN and he reassures me that it really wouldn’t be bad at all. I still had my doubts. But, by that time I am fully committed to having this treatment done.

I am taken into the room where the treatment will be done and introduced to Dr. Greco’s assistant Valerie. Fist step of this process is to have my blood drawn. Now THAT I knew I could deal with. I’ve had my blood drawn a zillion times. No problemo. Valerie happens to be really good at it, and finds the vein the first try, no pain. I’ve had people draw my blood where they seem to use me as a pin cushion. But Valerie is no doubt a pro at this.  The blood is drawn, and they then take it into another room where they then spin the heck out of it in a centrifuge to obtain the platelet rich plasma. I sit in the reclined dentist like chair, thinking about, you guessed it… Pain… is this going to hurt?

I’m not sure how long the spinning process took, perhaps 15 minutes. Now the numbing process begins. My head is numbed using small injections of lidocane around the perimeter of where the treatment will take place. I forgot to mention that while my hair loss is diffuse all over, the doctor only treated the top portion of my scalp because he stated that there is platelet migration downward. [click to continue…]

{ 37 comments }