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…]
I wrote this in response to Lisa’s recent blog entry “Lost Cause,” and thought it was worth reposting here as well.
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…]
I guess I started noticing my hair loss after the birth of my daughter, 21 yrs ago. I have always had fine beautiful naturally golden blonde hair. But, when it started thinning, I resorted to perms. Most of the time I just looked fuzzy..Then I pulled it all back in a pony tail and clipped it up in the back… that seemed to be the last way I remember wearing it. before I made the LEAP..and it was a big one into hair systems. I guess it took me about 8 yrs to get to this point where I felt complete desperation.My hairdresser and long time friend, talked me into going to a salon out of town where she had heard about this guy who did hair weaves. I finally got brave enough to go. After his ‘thourough’ examination of my hair, he told me what I was not prepared to hear. The only thing that I could do at this point in my hair loss was to go to a track and glue hair system. He said it would be no big deal, just cut my hair a little bit in this track around the top of my head, then adhere the piece to it. No biggie…I told him I’d have to think about it for a while. I remember crying and crying over the fact that it was my only option, I had to do something… I felt as if this were some sort of social death sentence.So, I went back to his salon where, by the way, he did his hairpiece business upstairs away from his other clients. This I was happy with. I had had enough stares and rude comments from co-workers and even some family members to last a lifetime. I was ready for the humiliations I had suffered to stop. Well, he begins to cut my hair on top, then without warning begins to shave the entire top of my head. I was in shock and began crying …”what are you doing?” He said this is what he had explained to me the week before. I’m telling you…I don’t remember ever hearing about the shaving the head part. But at that point, it was too late…there was no turning back. He then proceeded to place on my head the most horrible thing I’d ever seen in my entire life…It was ashey grey in color..not even blonde. The hair was so thick you could barely get your hands through it. I sobbed and sobbed in that chair as he tried to thin it out and give me a totally different hair style than I was wearing before. He said “no one will even notice, they’ll think you’ve just got a new hairstyle”. He cut it in a “Florence Henderson” style (from the Brady Bunch)…said it would look more natural that way. Well it looked anything but natural, it looked like a little old ladies wig. I was completely devastated…I did not leave my house the entire weekend. But, I had to return to work on Monday and I dreaded it like nothing I’d ever dreaded before. [click to continue…]