WHLP – Behind The Scenes Photoshoot

by Y 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.

The amazing makeup artist was able to conceal my redness, and the swelling did come down, but my face was itching throughout the day, it wasn’t a walk in the park for me.  As my girlfriend told me, I guess this was god putting you to the test again, to show you your strength. I’ll buy that. My face held up for the 12 hour shoot, upon arriving home my face was cooked. Literally. Cooked. Laying in bed that night I thought, omg… if I could get through the day dealing with that I could probably pretty much deal with anything, seriously. I’m still applying skin ointment to my flaking and itchy face as I type this.

If we keep our heads down, if we hide ourselves away we will miss the beauty and opportunities that surround us, even amidst our daily struggles. Last Nov, I was a part of a Follea photoshoot that was aimed at presenting video tutorials on wearing hair. Through that day I became incredible friends with Follea’s stylist, Sophie. I came in that day to wear some hair on camera, and I left with a sister. I win. Hair loss … loses. Point for Y! We’ve had quite the year and ride together, it’s been amazing… a unique friendship of a person wearing wigs (ahem) and a person who doesn’t, but fully “gets it” implicitly and has a passion for helping women, has offered up some rather interesting life scenarios… a friendship match that could only be made in hair [loss] heaven.  That day I also met an fantastic photographer, it was kismet.  Nearly one year later, we all stood in a studio (with my rosacea face) creating work to help provide hope to women dealing with hair loss.

I put together a behind the scenes clip for you to all enjoy. Many thanks to Alex Hafner for his production skills, talent, and passion.

P.S. If you ever wonder what I’m up to, you can always check out my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/womenshairlossproject/

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Ileana November 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm

You look fabulous! I loved one of your earlier wigs as well. I’m not sure that I’d be able to wear one, since I sweat so much and am afraid that I’ll clog my follicles even more. However, you mentioned an alternative.

I, too, have rosacea and thinning hair since I was 13. It’s been such a battle, so I can relate. I do PRP and it’s quite costly I’m afraid. I also bought an expensive laser cap that I can use at home. While I’ve seen some improvement, it is quite slight and now that I’m going through perimenopause, it’s definitely getting worse.

I’m at my wit’s end. Everybody seems like they have such beautiful, thick hair on TV and despite my age, I still feel bad about myself, even though of course, I realize that what I have is a medical disorder just like many others.

Thank you for all of your sage advise and effort to help relieve the stigma of this condition.

If you have any suggestions on specialists to see and treatments to try, including cosmetic solutions, kindly share it with me.

Many blessings always!


Beth December 1, 2016 at 11:38 pm

Bless you for wonderful writing and helping women with hair loss. I am so happy for you in your self-acceptance!


fatima December 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm

It s amazing too ses the path tou have done and all the struggle you overcome, saying good bye to my hair has been the most difficlt thing I have to face.
I have curly hair and i am consodering wearing a wig but i would like something close to my natural hair. It would be amazing if Follea could develop a curly range, if you could mention this to the follea stylist, it would tremendously help us !! Thanks a lot?


BW December 3, 2016 at 5:47 am

First off, sorry about your skin! I hope you are healing up. Second, oh SNAP on that shorter length! Love the length, love the color and love the styling! Winning for sure on that one! LOVE! And congrats on finding such a wonderful Silver Lining in Sophie. It’s amazing what positive things can come from negative. Everything for a reason I suppose….. I have always been grateful for the small army of Hair Warriors I have met because of my hair loss. Who knew hairloss could bring such gifts? What a strong and amazing bunch we are. Now keep rocking that new wig. Love, -B


A December 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’ve been much happier since I got into wearing wigs but I still have tough days when I just don’t want to leave home. The difference between how I look while out and how I look at home with everything off is substantial and depressing. It affects my ability to let a man get close to me. I almost always sabotage a blossoming relationship before things get serious. I’ve been practicing mindful living and being kind to myself. Some days I just want to stop fighting to feel and look better because I’m tired. Currently escaping/numbing myself through movies at home while perusing the internet. Your article gave me a glimmer of hope, so thank you.


A December 7, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Would like to add that I have well-meaning friends that tell me that I need to get over it, accept it and love myself. Well I have accepted it and I do love myself a lot. But seeing myself in the mirror with this wispy hair just kills me sometimes. These well-meaning friends that think it’s so easy to get over this, need to walk a day in my shoes. They couldn’t handle not having a full head of hair. It is devastating. In a culture where hair is big in defining a woman’s beauty, it’s hard. So very hard. Most days, I hold my head up high and carry myself well. Confident that anyone who could not accept my hair loss is not for me. Confident in my inner beauty and intellect. On a few nights however, a small part of me weeps for my loss and wonders why it happened to me. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.


samantha December 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm

hi my name is samantha i have been dealing with this for year i am glade to no i am not the only one cause no one undersands what i am going thougth so i shave my head when the pain is just so unbearable the burning, the itching it feels like glass is in my head so when i can’t take it anymore i just shave it off when my hair grows it feels like needles try to come out of my head and if i can ever let it grow when the pain comes that were it start to fall out at i get bums that hart so bad and if i ask some one do they see it or feel it they say no but it used to come and go but now its just there i don’t no what to do I tried the doctors but the just put me on a bunch of meds that just kept me sedated i have kids i can’t be drug up all day every day so i stop taking the med and now i just keep it shaved i stop wearing my wigs too i felt like i was putting on a costume every day i wish i can just be normal


M December 19, 2016 at 10:00 am

Hi Y,

I was at Dr. Greco’s office on 11/29, and as he stepped into the room to begin my PRP treatment, he smiled and said, “guess what! The head of the Women’s Hair Loss Network was in the other room just finishing up her treatment” and I said “Y!” just about freaked out. It basically took everything for me to not leap out of the seat to pop over and say hi (though I’m sure that would’ve really freaked you out and seemed semi-stalkerish).

Truth be told, you’ve been a hero to me on this hair loss journey (the other hero being Lauren from On the Corner of Hope & Mane), and I can’t believe that I was this close to actually meeting you. Without my hair loss heroes, the old me would’ve been slinking around, hoping to disappear. Now, there’s not much that phases me, and I’m in love with my hair toppers for their convenience, and for bringing me back to life. (Oh, and I love PRP too!)

Thank you for all that you do, and merry Christmas!

You look beautiful in the new video, as always!




Anne August 26, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Just a note regarding Follea wigs. Based upon research, which included the information here, I purchased a very expensive one. The wig is beautiful, but I don’t think I can ever wear it. First, do not purchase one like I did with combs in the front and back. The front comb will rip out any remaining hair you have. Second, and most importantly, make sure that the Follea representative with whom you are dealing can cut the wig. Mine did not tell me until I was too excited to stop myself that she would not be able to cut the wig herself. I had relied upon her representations that she could and would be available to do this. I had my regular stylist cut it, and she did a tremendous job, but it still needs more cutting and more styling before I can ever wear it. So, the money expended to continue the cutting and styling after expending $5000 is unreal. When confronted with all of these problems when I thought I had found the perfect solution is disheartening. I have spent the last few nights in between a state of anxiety/panic over whom to get to cut the hair to utter despair that I spent so much money on something I may never be able to wear because of comfort and the need for more cutting and styling. I will say the Follea European hair is beautiful and
soft. After these past few years of extensions and medications, I so wanted the happy result depicted here.


Anne August 29, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Just an update to my last comment. The representative who sold me the beautiful Follea wig cancelled for this week and provided me with a list of commitments she had that would make it impossible for her to get to me. I was offered the choice of flying in another representative, as long as I paid all of her lodging and travel expenses. Instead, I have placed a call to Sophie and am waiting a return call. I meet with my local stylists tomorrow, but I am extremely hesitant to have them cut the wig. We’ll see. Someone named Jean with Follea did call to make sure she had the right numbers for my credit card, though.


Anne September 25, 2017 at 12:08 am

So, I am obviously stubborn, but I finally, finally took the Follea representative’s advice and made an appointment here in New Orleans with the wonderful Kevin Champagne. He is the stylist recommended by Follea for this area, and he cut off length, cut in layers, showed me how to roll the hair when on a mannequin to keep the style, ensured I took pics of how the hair looked rolled, and sent me out into the world looking and feeling so much better that I hugged him. In the end, I am really so pleased with the Follea wig and so happy to have followed Carmen’s advice to contact Kevin. It really does take a stylist knowledgeable about Follea and about wigs.


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