hair loss

Women, Wigs & Hair Loss - What Do Men Think?I think one of the biggest concerns women have, in any state of their relationship when dealing with hair loss and wearing hair is… acceptance and understanding – of their situation, of themselves. Will my partner accept me? Will my future partner accept me? How am I going to date with a wig? What about being intimate? The questions are endless. 

I had the pleasure to sit down with Alex Hafner to discuss his perspective on this topic. He’s seen first hand my own wig wearing, met me with hair and then I just took it off (pretty typical for me), no warning. Just taking it off now. Everyone act natural. Pretty much, like that. I’ve readjusted (off and on) my wig in public restroom, wig swapped on a plane, and my hair was passed down the aisle of the plane to a woman that was interested in the whole thing, and quite fascinated to learn more. Basically, when I’m done with my wig, it’s coming off and whoever is around just better be prepared, or not… doesn’t matter much to me at this point. It’s just part of me and my existence and life style. 

It has been my personal experience, that men don’t really mind that women wear hair, including if you tell them you are wearing hair because of hair loss. My freedom has come in acceptance of my situation, I have hair loss, I wear a wig. I gave up on wishing all my hair would return, and that this situation would somehow change. The only thing I really had control over was how I could manage and deal with this hand I’ve been dealt, and it took well over a decade of suffering and praying and crying to get to that place. I hope others get there much faster.  I truly do “own” my situation, and accept it for what it is. I think that is why the response of those around me, men & women, has been so positive. Often when I get complimented on my hair, 99.9% of the time, I say, “it’a wig.” I don’t have to, but I do. Usually I’m met with disbelief and I take it one step further and have them feel, where the WiGrip sits at the nape of my head and watch their expression, the moment where they realize, I’m not joking… IT’S A WIG.  Good times.  [click to continue…]

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Hair Loss Matters

by admin on September 12, 2017

I recently had a conversation I hadn’t had in quite sometime, where I tried to explain to a friend about why hair loss affected/affects me, why it’s not just a nothing issue, even if you can throw on hair and wear a wig, ultimately why it impacts women so much.

I made this video to discuss this topic, but also to open the topic up for dicussion to others, to share how it affected/affects you and how you are dealing and have dealt with it.

I started to loose my hair in 1999, and began the process of acceptance after starting to wear hair in 2012. That’s a long time to sit in the pits of depression, despair and helplessness and watching myself evaporate before my very eyes. So clearly, hair loss matters. It’s a big deal, and so often it’s hard to get our friends and family to truly understand that this is ripping us apart, tearing us to pieces and leaving us simply a former shell of ourselves.

I am speaking for myself of course, but I have interacted with enough women to know this has not only been my experience/reality/truth, but others as well.

I hope to create a healthy dialogue of sharing with each other that can not only help us relate, but also help those that don’t understand, perhaps understand US, a little bit more.

The silver lining at the end of my tunnel, is that hair loss is no longer my master, my controller or my destroyer. I took back control. I only wish I had been able to do it sooner and not lost so many years of my life. I am always hoping that I can help just one other woman suffer a bit less than I ever did, and to know that hope exists.

The video is long, so if you can made it through the whole thing, congrats! LOL

Much Love To All
XOXO

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WHLP – Behind The Scenes Photoshoot

by admin on November 26, 2016

Women's Hair Loss Project BTSI’m way over due for life updates. Forgive me, this year went zip zip. I will be back with more on me.

This past week, while everyone was prepping their Thanksgiving day dinner, I met up with a group of amazing people to start a project towards de-stigmatizing hair loss and hair wearing for women. As odd as this may sound, through hair loss I have found love and friendship, I have found a greater self acceptance of myself that I never knew I could ever achieve, and the ability to connect with others who are like me. I have found the perfection in imperfection, mostly 😉

The day of the photoshoot, I woke up with a major rosacea breakout. Perfect skin the day prior and the day of it looked like Mike Tyson punched me in the face, I was swollen with a rash all over my face. I was icing my face at 4am. The photoshoot began at 7am. This on the heels of already accepting I wasn’t going to be whatever vision of scale perfection I had in mind, thanks to my new anti depressant keeping my body in a fluffier state. Lights, camera… holy crap, but a lot of time, planning, effort and money went into this and I wasn’t going to back out. The old (younger version) of me would have totally backed out and flushed it all down the drain (I’ve grown leaps and bounds), but jacked up face and all I knew this wasn’t about me. This was about helping women, it didn’t matter what was going on, on my physical being, that reality was more important… by far. [click to continue…]

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Living For Today

by admin on July 12, 2013

I sat down tonight, poured myself a glass of wine and remembered all the Friday nights (and Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights as well) I spent suffering in loneliness, fear, despair and bottomless depression. Whenever I could avoid the world I would, I made excuses for not making it to various functions and sought refuge on my couch, often times eating and drinking myself in a puffy sobbing, bloated mess. I felt sorry for myself ALL the time, and I simply could not process the future. What future? My hair was leaving at seemingly warp speed at times, and how could I ever live being a balding girl. How? My heart would sink at the mere mention of my fiancé talking about being able to wear a “hair addition.” What? That’s fake, that’s not real, that’s not me, never never never, not in a million years I would profess to him and then I’d leave the room (or cry) in frustration that he couldn’t really understand what I was going through. Not really anyways. I couldn’t compute and process any of this, so I sat paralyzed and living in a self imposed prison, bound by the shackles of hair loss.

I look back upon this, and I am quite saddened that I let my ENTIRE 20’s, and some of my 30’s pass by, as I sat still in the paralyzed fear of sadness, uncertainty and self loathing. This is time I will never get back. It was for all intents and purposes, very much like a prison sentence. Mind you, much of this time  I still had plenty of hair whilst it was falling out,  I still had hair that I could go out in and no one really would be clued into my hair loss issues, but that was of very small comfort. I hated myself for causing my hair loss. Yes I believed I did it to myself, after all I was the one that took the pill (Loestrin FE), that was my choice, had I not taken it in the first place all of this suffering may never have happened, so on top of everything else I had to deal with emotionally, I added blame to the mix — you know, just to spice things up in the self torture arena. [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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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…]

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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.

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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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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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