Before The Fall – Let’s Take It From The Top: Part One

by Y on June 28, 2020

I sat down with the intention of answering one of the questions I received through my survey I sent out to the mailing list about a couple weeks ago, but I realized there is so much back story to my story that it veered so off topic I felt I should maybe make it a little mini series, a collection of blog posts of my life with hair loss. I’m still flirting with this notion, so I’m starting with Part One, and you let me know below if this is something you’re interested in.

While I’m fairly sure this can be located here and there on this blog, it’s not in one straight forward series of before the fall (prior to 1999) to dealing in the isolation, devastation and confusion that came after, and living with hair loss… to starting The Women’s Hair Loss Project in 2007, to starting to wear wigs 2012, to present day. I’m getting Grant chart vibes from that. Visualize Grant chart. Or I could make one. Maybe not Grant, it’s more of a timeline chart, but I digress.

My hair loss began in 1999, and I didn’t start wearing hair until 2012. I bottomed out, meaning…I thought life was over in 2007… which is the year I started The Women’s Hair Loss Project. I cite that as an at-a-glance reference point to anything I say onwards in this post.

Wigged Reflections

My Hair History – Before The Loss

My hair before hair loss is worth commenting on because it is also a factor of my hair loss journey. I was born with a ton of hair, by the age of 3 I definitely had more hair than most adult women… who have great hair. It was my thing, and a thing I took for granted. It was there, I believed it would always be there, and didn’t everyone have that? What was the fuss about when people would comment on how amazing my hair was?

You got hair, I got hair, what’s the difference? I knew other people thought it was great, based on the compliments, but I never internalized it as being any different than any other person, but yet it was very much a part of me and my identity, I have good hair.

In life before hair loss (age 21), I got very few professional hair cuts, but I recall leaving the salon one day and this woman went out of her way to tell me how amazing my hair was and how she loved the hair cut and she wished she could have that. My 18 or 19 year old clueless brain, legit remembers thinking, well.. Claudio is right there, just make an appt. How naive and unaware I was. Seriously.

To further provide how little I understood hair, when I was around 18 (3 years prior to hair loss), I saw Drew Barrymore on an interview and she had this great straight white part line. I went to the mirror to make one on my own hair, and I couldn’t get a part line. I’m not joking. When I parted it, it didn’t display a nice white straight line, there just was no whiteness, that was how thick my hair was, the two sides around the part were just was too thick and pressed together to form a line. Life was surely about to deliver one of the greatest assaults on my constitution in a few short years after that point, months after my 21st birthday.

I went to the same hair dresser I mentioned above, with a photo of Drew’s cute short hair cut, and he’s like, “There’s no way you can have that cut, your hair is too thick and you’ll look like a mushroom.” My hair history. My hair had to be thinned out when I did get it cut, and I got charged extra for my prom curls, for having so much hair.

Sometimes women with hair loss who wear hair will say, wearing hair is great because the wigs are better than the hair they were born with. I actually have never and will never be able to say that. It may have also been a factor in how I processed my hair loss, why it literally stole my life for years and years, and why it took me so long to come to terms with wearing hair and all that. I don’t know. I know it’s devastating for all women regardless of what hair stance they are coming from, that I do know.

I had two things in my life I felt sure of, and one was I had great hair (natural color, texture, abundance) by everyone’s definition. The other is silly and not important, but since you’re probably wondering what that is…. It simply was that I had good calves. Bizarre, I know. Of all things right? My father was into bodybuilding and from the earliest point of memory he’d tell me I had better calves than my brothers (sorry guys if you’re reading this, but Dad said that to me lol). Diamond shaped calves. Whatever. Not important. But that was it on the beauty front. Great hair, great calves… actually I take that back, maybe also good eye color. The latter two are less than helpful in thriving in everyday living. Pants cover calves, and hello contacts.

Imagine the carpet that was pulled out from under me at 21, when the thing I never thought would leave, was going and I couldn’t stop it, there were no answers. Identity lost. [ To Be Continued ]

Let me know if you are interested in me continuing to write this series. I post all over and I’ve done plenty vlogging and social media postings (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter ) that are at times like mini blogs, but not true writing for my site for quite sometime and felt, no time like the present. Leave me a comment, would love to hear from you! XOXO

Much Love To All
~Y

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue June 28, 2020 at 11:46 am

I would like to follow this story. I’m very interested in it.

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Y June 29, 2020 at 6:45 am

Sue, Thank you ! xoxo

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Karen June 28, 2020 at 11:59 am

Yes please! I can’t relate to the beautiful hair ever, but everything else is familiar!

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Y June 29, 2020 at 6:45 am

Thank you Karen! xoxo

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Gretchen June 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Please continue this series! There is so much value in learning from someone’s journey. Knowing what worked and especially what didn’t is invaluable. Your willingness to tell your story is amazing, says the person who is still in the closet and not fooling anyone.

I was told at 20 something that my hair issues started years before it became noticeable…possibly hormones. No solution, just a possible cause.

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Y June 29, 2020 at 6:48 am

Gretchen – Thank you! Being in the closet is okay, I don’t think anyone needs to or has an obligation to share with people in their life about their hair wearing or hair loss, it’s only something worth exploring if you feel it will be liberating for you and helpful and forward moving for yourself.
So many women are left in the “I don’t know” space of what caused my hair loss, so you definitely aren’t alone in that. XOXO

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Angie T June 28, 2020 at 3:28 pm

I know much of the story but didn’t start following you until 2012, so I’d very much like to hear it, especially now, that you can tell it from the vantage point of wearing wigs. It’ll give newbies hope, too.

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Y June 29, 2020 at 6:55 am

Hi Angie! Thank you… it’s great hearing from others, even women that have followed a bulk of my story, if this is something they’d like to read or find helpful. I definitely arrived at the idea accidentally while trying to answer a question for someone. Trying to explain a little back story ended up with a massive tangent, which I’m good at doing.. but our past and experiences do shape how we approach something or how we are affected for many things, so I often try and provide context, so I thought maybe this series could be helpful, and if anything it provides relatability. Which is always good. XOXO

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Cheryl June 28, 2020 at 5:39 pm

I am desperately searching to help my daughters age 22 and 24. You are helping me and others by sharing your journey, please continue this story. I know you understand the nightmare of hair loss at this age. Thank you for sharing. Btw their hair loss is related to what is called “Endocrine Disruptors” in case anyone reading this was given the same diagnosis.

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Y June 29, 2020 at 6:59 am

Hi Cheryl – Thank you! I have never heard of Endocrine Disruptors, and I appreciate you sharing that for others. I’m so sorry your daughters are dealing with this. I think dealing with hair loss is hard at any age, but I definitely know what it is like to be 21 years old and dealing with it. Sending much love. xoxo

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Holly June 29, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Yes, I’m enjoying the writing.

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christianne June 29, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Please continue sharing! I have been wearing hair, bonded, for 4 yrs. I appreciate you courage, honesty and sense of humor. I would love to try a nice wig but am not financially in the position at this time for the better ones. I do like the pieces I have now but certainly would love the option of taking them off!

Thanks again for sharing!

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Pamela June 29, 2020 at 12:14 pm

I’d love to hear the rest of your story. I too was born with thick beautiful hair. Started losing it at 17 after contacting mono.

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Cindy June 29, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Please continue telling your story.

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Linsey June 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm

Yes, I’m interested

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Joanne July 1, 2020 at 11:03 am

Yes, Please continue your story. I too once had beautiful hair that I was proud of.

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Allison July 2, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Please continue! I personally have never had good hair. It has always been thin. I hada hairline that was thin at the temples my whole life, so I was super aware of my lack of hair ever since I can remember. So, when it started falling out, I was mortified. Thankfully, all 3 of my kids have beautiful hair and a lot of it. I am looking at wigs now (online). I received one, and it looked really bad on me. I am glad to have found your site.
No one that I know understands the feelings about losing hair.

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