hair loss writing

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know I went on a wig shopping spree determined to find something. I was let down a bit when I realized that the wigs didn’t stay on for me without clips or combs and much like topper clips, they hurt, only worse because the wig is heavier. I was defeated. Seriously defeated. It felt like the option of wearing a wig securely and comfortably was going to be out of the question for me. Hair loss was leaving me out in the cold, yet again. It was one heck of a depressing week before I had discovered that there are companies that sell headband grips that keep the wig in place. The company that makes the one I use (WiGrip) is made by Milano Wigs, they have a showroom in Los Angeles and I went their one day to check the grips and the wigs out. I tried the amazing headband and found hope again. I also ended up buying two wigs from them when I was there. I just still didn’t feel completely confident though, The Freeda wig and the Milano wigs are good, they really are good quality wigs.. but they weren’t me. I was beginning to get a little discouraged about this process and decided I would make an appointment (which I later cancelled)  to go to see Flora (as in Designs by Flora) in New Jersey, I was hopeful the maybe I could find something better there. At the same time I was on my search for my wig, my WHLP friend, Bonnie was on her search for her hair too. Through our email messages she had shared with me that it might be worth it to check out Follea hair if I could find a place that carries it. Honestly, I’d never really heard of them or their wigs. Bonnie’s clear excitement about the hair, got me excited to want to maybe check them out myself. I googled the company and found they are located a hop, skip and jump away from me in Beverly Hills… and there is where life began.

Finding Follea

Follea hair, oh let me count they ways I love thee. Soft, silky, european sexy hair. I find myself sitting watching TV in the evenings with my wig on my lap, and I just sit and stroke the hair, it’s somehow soothing to me, I don’t know… call me a freak :) It reminds me of the feel of my own hair before I began to loose it. The way it moves, falls, blows in the wind, pure yumminess. It’s been two months since I’ve purchased my wig from them and while wearing a wig IS a process and a journey all by itself, I have finally found some peace in knowing I can walk out into the world with my head held high, I can look into the mirror of any well lit bathroom with a smile and I can rest my wigless head at night knowing, that the best of life is yet to come.

These past two months have been eye opening for me, a strong realization about the fact that wearing a wig really isn’t bad at all, it does have to be the right wig for you or I think you’ll be fighting with the wig and it will just add to the frustration of the whole process. I am incredibly enthusiastic about wanting to help women take this step when the time is right for them, sooner rather than later and not waiting and suffering like I did. I think we really know when the time is right for us. It’s the moment you feel you can no longer face the world, that your couch begins to get a nice deep dent in it from you sitting there at home rather than going out and enjoying life with your family and friends. When your hair takes away the joy from your life, you can take it back. Wigs are a great option and I think there is a cloud over them because they somehow have a bad stigma, bad wigs gave way to that. A good wig can be your best ally in your hair loss struggle, you can still treat your hair loss how ever you choose to, and wear a wig to go out with confidence into the world. I can definitely say I wish I made this choice sooner. [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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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.

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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.
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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

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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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I wrote this in response to Lisa’s recent blog entry “Lost Cause,” and thought it was worth reposting here as well.

Dear Lisa,

I can so deeply internalize your struggles. Is this drug helping… Is it making it worse? There are so many unanswered questions about women’s hair loss. This may sound a bit odd, but I think the longer I’ve lived with hair loss the easier it has gotten for me. I have just a speckle of the hair I had 4 years and certainly 9 years ago, but somehow I just deal better. Those years I didn’t get out of bed half the time, sat in the shower crying and had my mind set that my life was over.

It wasn’t over.

I awoke this morning and fastened my hair tie (wearing my hair down and *feeling* feather hairs is more of reminder) grabbed my coffee and the day begins. I don’t dwell on the looking at myself anymore and I suppose that is the difference is in my hair loss life from not too long ago. I can easily get wrapped up in the balding spot and thinning areas I meticulously cover up with my little Houdini wand called the “comb.” But it serves no purpose. I am doing everything I possibly can and I rest easy knowing I tried EVERYTHING. They say “God helps those who helps themselves.” I’m certain I fall under that category, I’m still waiting to be freed from the shackles of hair loss. “God.. I’m ready now” :)

I’ve prayed at home, at the chruch, to St. Jude, to the high heavens, to anything holy and divine that could save me and save my life. Clearly it appears that being a woman with hair loss in this day and age requires an “Act of God” for recovery… “God. I’m ready now.”

The truth is, in some ways my prayers have been answered. No I didn’t grow the hair back I so intently prayed (my exact words where “please let my hair grow back in thick and strong”) but I wanted my life to be saved, and it was. Through better coping mechanisms, new perspectives and improved attitude I can at most times regard my hair situation with some indifference and strength. Huge milestone, “Thank You God.” [click to continue…]

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My Life With Hair Loss

by admin on July 16, 2008

My Life With Hair LossWhen I was younger I never ever could have imagined that my destiny was to be a woman with hair loss. The thick mane (clearly on loan) that I was born with was only a temporary gift. Over the last 9 years I’ve suffered a lot, but I’ve also learned a lot. I’ve become a stronger individual and also someone is more compassionate, forgiving and understanding of others around me. I suppose depending on your religious standpoint one could argue that God had wanted to challenge me, test me and make me a better person. I’ve searched for answers high and low, a deeper understanding of why, why me? For myself to live and stay sane, I have to personally believe that there is a “reason” that this was thrust upon me at 21 years of age. So I go with that, whatever helps you sleep at night right? I practically slept through my 20’s feeling sadness and despair for the future… what will be tomorrow. I feel such a heaviness and sadness when I write that, a get a lump in my throat and my eyes begin to well up with tears. I feel a sadness for yesterday even though it’s gone and far behind. Almost like I’m mourning the years I’ve left behind, the years of hair loss. I look back and I realize it was so needless to stay in bed and hide from the world. All along the way I had enough hair to get by and not have the world know my dark little secret.

I would really like to drum that message into the minds of the women who are waking up today and realizing they are losing their hair. You still have A LOT of hair, more than you know and the world isn’t staring at it, only you are. Someone once asked me what I would do differently looking back on the years I’ve dealt with hair loss… I would have lived more. I would have said yes to more dinners and social gatherings, parties and quiet get togethers, I would have let my hair down instead of trying to hide what was only visible to myself. After all during all that time, I still had enough, but I was too focused on the worry of tomorrow to appreciate what I had today.

I am 30 years old now and don’t want to make that same mistake. There is no doubt my coping skills have far advanced over the years and I can snap out of a “down time” a lot faster. I still struggle with things like talking about my hair loss, letting others into my world. I still have a long way to go (hopefully with hair still on my head) in self acceptance, but I’m pretty proud at how far I’ve come. I still run away from mirrors and turn off lights, it is all apart of how I’ve learned to cope. I hope one day I’ll be able to stare at myself in a store window or leave the harsh lights on in the bathroom, look at my reflection and love what is looking back at me. This is me, this is who I am, I have female pattern hair loss… the hand has been dealt and now it’s is up to me to either learn from the past or guarantee myself future regrets.

~Y

http://community.womenshairlossproject.com/womenshairlossproject/

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I Try (a poem I wrote 1/7/2006)

by admin on September 21, 2007

I try not to run away from who I am, or to compare myself to who I was
I try to look forward
I try to embrace my existence and to be thankful for all I have
I try to realize that all I have today exists in part because of all the sadness and
all the pain and suffering I have endured
I try to see the good in that.
I try to think who would I be if not for who I am today.
I try to see the light.
I try and talk to god.
I try to maintain hope and faith and an unbridled belief that things will resolve and then I hope a little more and pray that is enough
I try not to weaken although each day I die inside
and although I feel like I cannot go on
I will, because
I try not to run away from who I am, or compare myself to who I was
I try to look forward.

*******

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