hair loss thoughts

The Final Push Towards Wearing a Wig

by admin on August 8, 2012

I’m often asked what was the final push or moment that led me to make the decision to starting wearing hair. That final moment was my 34th birthday, it came to me as I laid in bed and wondered how many more years I would give away to hair loss. I was 21 years old when this started and now zip zoom, I was 34. I blinked and 13 years were behind me, many tear filled days, sadness and despair, many lost social gatherings with friends and just a loss of me in general. Gone. Gone Gone. Never to return again is the time I missed out on, I can’t change the past, but I can decide what happens from this point on. I was now 34 years old, later that day I  took the opportunity to tell my fiancé that “this year would be the year.” The year I would just do it and make the move towards my hair wearing life. “By the time I’m 35 I will be wearing hair!” I said to him only half believing it probably. Easier said than done, ya know? I didn’t know if that meant bonded hair or a wig, I probably was thinking more along the lines of bonding hair. I just knew it HAD to be something… anything. My hair loss had reached a point where I felt I could no longer hide it in the way I could in the years prior, it was beginning to really take it’s toll on me and I was tired of all of it.

I spent the next month following my birthday trying to work up the nerve to make an appointment somewhere to begin exploring my options. The more I thought about it the more I realized I wasn’t ready to bond, and I either had to wait until the day I’d be ready or start looking into wigs. I was done waiting, remember zip zoom? I didn’t want anymore time to pass. So each day I’d scour the internet for wig videos, looking at tons of websites and then sit with the phone next to me staring at phone numbers on the screen paralyzed to call, I’d dial 3 digits, then hang up the phone with my heart pounding. I was praying a beta blocker would show up at my door step! I even asked my fiancé to call for me, he stated that he felt this was something I really needed to do myself. Jerk. Just kidding… he was right. If I couldn’t make a phone call for myself to get an appointment, how was I even going to get through the appointment. I ended up doing 5 things:

1) Purchased 2 wigs online from Freeda, and ended up returning one.
2) Made an appointment with Flora (via email) in New Jersey which I later cancelled.
3) Went to the Milano wigs showroom in Los Angeles and bought 2 wigs.
4) Made an appointment at Lee Anthony in Orange County which I later cancelled as a result of already finding my hair.
5) Made an appointment at Follea in Beverly Hills

There it was, in that order 1-5. My steps to emotional freedom :) By the way, that all transpired in approximately one week, if I recall correctly. I was obsessed!!! I couldn’t do anything else, I even think I lost a few pounds that week from being engrossed in my wig searching activities. So that was a nice bonus, I’ve since added those back and a few more. Darn it. [click to continue…]

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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…]

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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…]

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

by admin on October 7, 2011

In communicating with a fellow network member today I was reminded of some thoughts which I wanted to share with all of you.

Dealing with hair loss has been hard, very hard. I’ve felt it has robbed me of many years of my life because I spent so much of my 20’s hiding, making excuses, avoiding social situations and really feeling completely uncomfortable in my own skin. I placed walls around me and rarely would let anyone in. I was a stranger to myself.

With time… a lot of time, I became more accepting of my current hair loss situation. I no longer prayed for all my hair to come back, I really prayed for strength to deal with this hand I’ve been dealt and I prayed for the courage to take the next step towards moving on. With the passing days/months it did get easier to deal with my hair loss and as the years progressed, while I’d still slip back into my own self loathing and depression, my “down times” became shorter and my recovery times much faster. Most days I can stare at a pile of hair in the sink that used to render me a sobbing mess, and just say a few curse words and send the mess down the toilet. Au Revoir. Other days, it takes the wind out of my sail, but never to the extent that it used to.

Most of the time we speak of what “such and such as done to us,” but not nearly as often do we sit and ponder what “such and such” as given us. There is no question that hair loss took a lot from me (because I allowed it to), but it also gave me things… it gave me a deeper understanding of human emotion, it afforded me a whole new perspective on things and life, it handed me appreciation for many things I previously took for granted and it taught me to be more patient – albeit not nearly as patient has I’d like to be :) It also showed me that I was stronger than I had previously given myself credit for. [click to continue…]

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When I was 23, my outlook on life was colored dramatically by my hair loss “situation.” It all seemed rather bleak, lots of doom and gloom. My coping skills dramatically improved over the years, and I have moved on from praying every single hair would grow back, to just praying for the strength to deal with the hand I’ve been dealt, but that was indeed, a hard road for me to travel.

The other day I was reading through profiles on the network and stumbled across the “About Me” of a 23 year old woman. I was so moved by what a I had read,  I emailed her and asked her permission to re-post it here.

On her profile she had written the following:

I am honest with myself. Yes, I do have hair loss. I talk about it with people instead of ignoring it. The hair loss is there and it’s not going to go away just because I’m wishing or praying. I will be open about it when I meet someone. To some people talking about someone else’s hair loss is like talking about cancer. It shouldn’t be like that. That is why I am open and honest with people. Yes, I have hair loss. Yes, this is who I am. I might be bald by the end of the year but that’s okay. I’ll cry about it, pick myself up off the floor and keep going. Don’t hope and pray for hair. Hope that one day you can love yourself no matter what you look like.

As I re-read that I actually find myself tearing up. So much truth, honestly, self love and acceptance. On the days I find myself feeling low, I think I will remember that, “Don’t hope and pray for hair. Hope that one day you can love yourself no matter what you look like.

I am someone that can certainly attest to the fact that way too much time is lost mourning our hair. I nearly lost a decade of life with my face shoved into a pillow, constantly asking, “Why?” Well I’m here to tell you I don’t have an answer. I’ve done my best to walk a straight line, be a caring person, a good friend, help others, assist homeless animals, and eat my vegetables :) I didn’t “DO” anything wrong, this isn’t some type of morbid punishment from God. It just is. Period. Although I often reflect on that moment at the age of 5 when I told my mom her meatloaf tastes like cat food. Could that be it? I’m kidding obviously.

But I digress.

Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up over your hair loss. Perhaps your time experiencing hair loss will be short lived (hopefully), or perhaps it will be a bit of a longer journey (like myself), either way it’s best to start digging deep and pulling out the big guns of Love and Acceptance.

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Humiliated By Hair Loss

by admin on April 30, 2009

I went to an allergist today because I have really been having a lot of skin issues, itchiness, eczema,  a lot of contact dermatitis around my mouth, itchy eyelids, itchy eyes and of course my usual asthma. I am always apprehensive about going to a new doctor because the patient form you have to fill out always has that place that asks you to list the “current medications” you take, and putting “Aldactone” on there always triggers the question, “You take Aldactone? What for?” So I get nervous going to new doctors.

Off I go to the consultation, the doc doesn’t even ask anything about the Aldactone, moving full speed ahead, talking about my allergies.. blah blah blah. Then he gets to the part where he wants to suggest the asthma/allergy medication, SINGULAR. Well I already know from previous searches on that medication, from previous docs trying to get me to take it, that some women complain that it causes hair loss! I had resolved myself into taking Advair ( https://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss/advair-muppets-poor-health-decisions/ ) because I had previously taken that without any issue to my hair, but this? The unknown?

I had to bring up my concern with the doctor. I HAD to let him KNOW, what was going through my head. So out with it, I told him that I suffer with hair loss, hence the reason I taken the Aldactone, and that I had read on the Internet that it can cause hair loss. He seemed to not focus too much on my personal hair loss situation, which, was good, but then he sort of made light of it, in a quasi mocking way “Well if it’s on the Internet, then it has to be true.” He said he never heard of an instance of singular and hair loss. Well neither did my gynecologist that gave me one of the highest androgen pills on the market, that started this whole mess. He proceeded to pull out the insert of the singular medication and looked in the side effect area, and pointed out that “hair loss” isn’t listed there. Hummm, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen or hasn’t happened to people. I don’t think most doctors know how to react to a woman with hair loss, in all fairness he was a decent doctor, he spent a lot of time with me and genuinely seemed interested in helping me treat my allergies/asthma. This is just a separate and unfortunate issue.

But, back to the point, the title of this post. When I had to bring up that “I HAVE HAIR LOSS,” I felt so small, so humiliated, like I was running around the office with my shirt off or something, actually I probably would have preferred that over telling him I had hair loss. I was so down when I left the office, so defeated. I didn’t feel liberated or empowered for sharing that tid bit of information, I felt ashamed. It saddens me to think that no matter how far I feel I’ve traveled, I am reminded that it isn’t quite far enough. I know I should not be ashamed of my hair loss, yet I had those feelings anyways. I guess it’s time for a little self-reflection.

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Advair, Muppets, and Poor Health Decisions

by admin on April 16, 2009

Hair loss impacts our lives in more ways than most people could possibly imagine. It is part of the equation for many things, including choice of outfit (if you are fair haired like myself, black shows the fallen hair the most) time allotted for getting ready, deciding to even go out in the first place, and enduring the torture of hair prep and frustration. Frequency of showers, frequency of combing, hair up, hair down etc. But even worse than that, I have found it has crept into matters of treating my health conditions. I have fairly not-so-great asthma and I have avoided using the suggested and prescribed preventative treatments because I feared it could *possibly* worsen my hair loss condition. So, I always went without and lived with my asthma not really being fully controlled. Back in 2004 I was prescribed Advair by my allergist and I took the plunge and began treatment. That stuff is awesome. I mean seriously, for the first time ever I knew what it was like to not have asthma. I could do all the things that normally causes flair ups, like run, laugh like crazy or even cry, all without having to reach for my trusty inhaler.

Well as the months past my voice began to deepen. First it was raspy, then sultry like Demi Moore, then it turned Kermit The Frog. I mean seriously imagine trying to interact in society with hair loss and a voice that sounded like you came straight from the Muppets. Well shortly after the Kermit stage, I lost my voice completely and it got to the point where I didn’t even know if words could come out of my mouth when I spoke. So I stopped taking it. I do want to point out that all while I was taking the Advair I did not notice any worsening of my hair loss, nor when I stopped it. But bye bye Advair and months later, hello voice.

So fast forward to today. It seems that over the last couple years my asthma has taken a turn for the worst and I find myself using my inhaler more and more. I also find myself at the local urgent care, more and more. And even though I am frequently told to get on a preventative treatment such as Advair, I refuse. Why? Well now I have it in my head that *maybe* just *maybe* it could make my hair loss worse. I can’t believe how stupid that is. I opted to not properly treat my asthma because I was afraid any medication I took would worsen my hair loss. I am seriously embarrassed admitting that. Well last night was the last straw. My asthma was so bad I nearly landed myself in the emergency room, I made it through the night and went straight to the doctor at 8:00am. [click to continue…]

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Having Hair Loss Is Exhausting

by admin on March 15, 2009

I never really stop to think how much effort I put into trying NOT to think about my hair loss and how exhausting not thinking about my hair loss actually is.

I avoid mirrors, strong overhead restaurant lighting, I turn the bathroom lights off before going in (in my house). I’d do it in public to if I didn’t think I’d get tons of grumbles and nasty comments from the women already in there. Ha! Unless they had hair loss, then they’d give me a high five. Typically when I need light I use softer lights that are sort of dimmed.

Up in the morning, early 5:00am start to the day. I shower and I comb my hair quickly trying to get past the torture. Shower is always fun pulling the hair out of all sorts of odd places including my deriere. Oops stuck between my fingers, rinse it off, rinse it off or paste it on the bathroom wall. Always fun to look at after. Comb, scoop, comb, scoop, hair into the toilet. I pull my hair back in a ponytail or up in a clip to avoid feeling the hair fall all day. However, (as thin hair ladies know) the clip can hurt since it sits so close to the scalp with none of that pesky “hair padding,” it can become quite itchy and bothersome, so I loosen it up to make sure it’s perfect and set for the day. Oops now my hair looks flat on the left side. Do it again…oops now it’s flat on the right. Oh my gosh I look like a human ice cream cone, with no hair on the sides and a little on the top, the shape of my head has me looking like a Mister Softee. Do it again, darn it now my gaping center part is shining for all the world to see. Hummm I don’t remember it being that thin before. Maybe I should use the blow dryer some more. Blow to the left, blow it to the right. Apply clip strategy again, ah this “style” is okay. My simple clip style takes longer than it looks, same for the ponytail. This hair over that hair, brush here, brush there, trying to maximize every strand. Volumizing shampoo, volumizing conditioner, volumizing spray, volumizing mousse, plump this plump that. Poof it’s still flat. Part my hair one millimeter to the left of its normal part, nope, one millimeter to the right, yes that’s just perfect. Now I can begin my day. I glance at my watch, I wonder what activities are left to do on this Saturday at 10pm.

Happy Sunday Ladies! [click to continue…]

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Three Minutes of Freedom

by admin on March 6, 2009

Get Out and Start Living

I got up this morning, walked the dog, came home, fed the dog. Threw on some workout clothes and hopped down to the gym (garage). I put my earphones on, I turn the ipod on, and I started the treadmill. The first song queued up is one of my favorites, and it just puts my mind at such ease and makes me smile. The song only lasts three minutes and thirty five seconds, but that’s enough. Enough to put my mind in the right mood and enough to set my day up with possibility. I of course played the song over and over since I wanted to draw out as much serenity as possible :) I jogged along and felt content and… dare I say… happy. Sure my hair is falling out, it fell in the sink, it fell in my coffee, stuck to my sweatshirt, but I was happy. In that moment I felt right.

I think we need to take more time for ourselves, to do the things we enjoy and remind ourselves of living. It’s way to easy to obsess about our hair loss and worry about the future, but in doing so, we so frequently miss out on today, the beauty around us, the beauty within.

So now I know you are dying to know what song I was listening to. Well here it is for your listening pleasure (just click on the play button below) and your three minutes of freedom:

“Put Your Records On” By Corinne Bailey Rae – Best 0.99 cents I ever spent on iTunes!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Wishing you all a beautiful and HAPPY Friday!
Enjoy life, enjoy freedom, enjoy being you.

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Letter To My Hair Loss

by admin on November 19, 2008

Dear Hair,

I am so mad at you, and hurt by you for what you have done to me. I sit here in my pajamas and robe, crying uncontrollably from your selfish desire to leave. Have you no consideration for me? For my life , for my sanity? For 21 years you deceived me, tricked me into a false sense of security thinking you would be with me for life. What did I ever do to you? Was it lack of appreciation?

Now for 9 years you let me try to do different things to win you back. I gave you all sorts of things…. I even prayed for you and meditated for you! And what do you do? You tease me. You stay for awhile then run away. Stay, then run away. Now you’ve almost taken all of your things and left. What am I left with? An emptiness and wonder for what I will do without you.

How did I ever depend on you so much? You logically seem so insignificant, yes I SAID it, insignificant! What do you do? You just sit there, waiting to be tended to and pampered. I have other things more precious than you. Health, Sight, Hearing, Legs, Arms, and Heart.  I know you’ve made up your mind already, and that there is nothing left I can give you to stay. So I guess I should work on moving on as well. But… if you want to stay, I’ll gladly take you back! So let me know at the next shampoo, k?  :)

Yours Truly,

Mind, Body, & Soul

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