A Day With Follea – And A Story of Finding Myself Again

by admin on July 19, 2012

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.

May 2012 I got my Follea wig, and the life I thought I lost, was there waiting for me. For the exception of my parents who I told that I’m wearing a wig, my own family cannot even tell anything is different. The color is very close to my own, as is the length and they just don’t notice anything. Nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch. Not a glance, not a did you do something different? Nothing. I think that’s when I realized the super hero powers this wig seemed to have. After that, I began to get more confident in wearing my wig. I do actually want to tell my family about it, but I haven’t been able to find the right moment or words, something perhaps like, “Would you like a drink, by the way this is a wig, you’ve seen me wearing it like 10 times now.” :)

A few weeks ago I reached out to Follea for the possibility to find ways to help them better assist women dealing with hair loss and to to be able to bring resources and information to my community. Information is power, the better informed we feel the less apprehensive we will be to make the leap to wearing hair. Plus I have been wanting to get a longer wig (gonna wear a wig might as well have the option to have my long hair days right?) for quite sometime now, so I set a date with them to find a long wig and talk about hair. Why Follea? Because they changed my life, they were compassionate and understanding to me and they happened to have that perfect wig that I needed to reclaim my identity.

This past Monday my fiancé and I meet up with the President of Follea, Michael Leigh and a few members of the Follea family. We had lunch, we talked about hair, we talked about my hair loss and my story, we talked about Follea hair and the history of the company and at one point Michael asked what would have made the difference for ME, what would have helped me to make this decision earlier on. The answer is simple, to have had someone before me who embraced WIGS with open arms and began to see it as an enhancement to their lives, rather than a detriment. The network is full of women who wear hair, and while some women wear wigs I think a much greater number bond their hair or use clip in toppers. If you are like me and can’t make that leap just yet or that isn’t a route you want to take at all, then you might find yourself standing still, watching life pass you by. More information, photos and video about the wiggy life would have been of great help to me, I want to bring that information to anyone who needs it.

In talking with Michael, I found his passion for hair and helping women refreshing, he is a very caring individual and the company has put quite a bit of thought and effort into helping women with Alopecia. They created an entire line of wigs that are specifically for women with little or no hair and they are a company very open to trying to find better ways to create something that may be even better for women like myself with androgenetic alopecia. Things that can make the wig wearing process easier. Love that.

After lunch we headed back to the salon where I tried on several long wigs and found one that seemed perfect. Vicka, the salon manager and head stylist had pulled several wigs in advance and we went through all of them, some with a bit of laughter as I quickly found out, not everyone should be a blond. Some of the blond color wigs made me feel like I should be shouting “Stick em up!” I have an olive complexion and dirty blond colors work fine, but I’ll have to leave the platinum blond locks to Lady Gaga. In TIME, I’ll venture out into more of a greater color palate for my wig wearing wardrobe, but for now I think keeping closest to my natural hair color will be the best and most comfortable way for me to wear hair. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the wig try on experience was greatly enhanced by the lovely Geena who is Vicka’s assistant who is always quick to lend an honest opinion.. in a good way.

They offered to wash my wig (the one I wore there), so I threw my hair in a pony and we headed to their conference room where we were greeted by gorgeous wigs on gorgeous mannequins.. and we talked some more.I got to see their entire collection of wigs, and I was in wig heaven. Hair, hair everywhere… but in a good way, not like in my bathroom sink. We talked about lots of things, but above all… the bottom line was how can we help more women get where they need to be to have their lives back. I’m on that page, and they are too. Yay!

I returned to the salon after my wig was washed and blown out, my fiancé stayed behind in the other room with Michael. Let me tell ya, a professionally blown out and washed wig is much like when you have your own hair blown out professionally. It’s a holy cow, yippy moment when you throw on the same wig you where just wearing a second ago only now it has a completely new life to it. Props to Vicka and Geena, they are AWESOME! If I ever want to have this salon fresh hair for some engagement I’m going to, I’ll definitely want to swing by to have them hook this girl up. I don’t have the regular salon experience anymore, haven’t for quite sometime. I actually have a hair stylist cut my hair in my home, I’ve had the same lady come to my house twice a year, to cut my withering locks since 2008.

As I was playing with my new blown out locks Michael and my fiancé returned back to the salon. Shortly after rejoining us in the salon, Michael asked if I would be interested in joining the advisory board of Follea and I immediately replied with a YES! I’m thrilled to be able to help with input and insight about women’s hair loss and provide information that can ultimately better lead to empowering women.

As if my day with Follea, wasn’t awesome enough, lunch, wig trying, salon blown hair, a tour of their collection, getting the opportunity to be on their advisory board… Michael then told me that he wanted to GIVE me that wig I had chosen earlier… the one I was going to actually purchase. The gift of hair! Is their any kind of better gift? I think not. I graciously accepted with much excitement.

I’m so excited and hopeful for what the future holds, and while I used to dread the years ahead, I now see the possibility to help other women in a completely new way. As I wrote to someone the other day… It’s been incredibly healing for me to be able to help others know they aren’t alone, and while I’ve been able to share in the heartache, the humor, the support, the friendships, the ins and outs of medications, and the daily grind of hair loss, I haven’t actually personally ever been able to help another woman with making that often times necessary decision to wear hair, because I was never able to make that decision for myself. I’ve made the leap and found solid ground, and it was those before me that made that jump that were my support and inspiration, and I very much want to be that, in this way, for another gal who was where I was just a few months ago.  There is nothing wrong with a wig, period. Nothing, nothing at all, only thing wrong is what we have built up in our minds to BE wrong with it. It’s liberating, life changing and I wonder how it is I didn’t do it before. The key is information, and demystifying the whole thing, information IS power.

So in typical ME fashion, I have to always complicate matters, and long story short I ended up taking back the long hair wig and exchanging it for a wig on order that will be the exact color of the one I’m wearing only longer. I wasn’t completely happy with the color I had chosen. While I was doing the exchange I did decide to buy a lace front wig, which I will also do a write up on. This post is long enough as it is, so I’ll continue that one on another day, but the good news is I was able to actually take some video footage that I can share.

So in closing, I want to really thank Follea,(A) Because the wig I bought from them in May gave me my life back (B) For being so open and enthusiastic to want to help women with hair loss and asking me to be on their advisory board (C) For my great day on Monday, they provided me and my fiancé with incredible hospitality and (D) For my new wig on order!

Also, I don’t know if I thanked her before so I want to thank her here… Thank you Bonnie! If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have found Follea, a simple email in passing,  has changed my life.

I was born April 1978, I started to watch my life slowly slip away from me in June of 1999 and I was reborn May 2012. I didn’t choose hair loss, it chose me. It was, however, my choice to have frequent pity parties to which I was the only attendee :) There are several companies producing quality wigs, you have to get out there and find what works best for you. If you are let down by one, try another and another. There is hope ladies, no matter where you are today, no matter what you are faced with or the amount of hair you lost, counted and bagged… there is hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Follea Info:
Website: http://www.follea.com

 

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Marie July 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

Great story! I want a follea but will live vicariously through you for now… :)

Annette July 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Wow…. This blog is incredible – I am SO HAPPY for you, Y!!! You deserve it!!! You are an inspiration to all of us!!! God Bless You!! Annette

A July 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Great! I just called them and the rep was really nice! Can I ask what you are wearing (length, type, etc)? Does the wig have a silk top? Do they come in custom densities? The wig you are wearing is gorgeous, but way to thick for me.

Am July 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I wish I had more hope, as much as you. I seem to have more pity parties, unfortunately. The solo kind. I need to find a solution. I keep spending money I DON’T have and ending up disappointed, depressed and poor. Oh, and still balding. I don think I’ll find what’s right for me, just don’t.

admin July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Thank you guys!

@ A – The wig I have is the Lifestyle Wig in medium length, which is 15″ from top to tip. I have on order the long length one in this same color ( C5030 ) and that one is 19″ from top to tip. So my wig newbieness is going to show now, not sure on the answer about the silk top :) I don’t know what that is. I’m guessing maybe it’s the thing under the wig that is providing the appearance of a real part… ifs so, then the answer is yes or it has something like it anyways. Definitely a question for the rep. I also don’t know the answer about the density question. I find the wig to actually be extremely light and it may look a little more voluminous in that pic because it just had a blow out, I’ll attach another pic below that I took the day after the blow out. I know they do custom ordering, so it’s worth asking the question but if you are interested in them, I would definitely check the wigs out in person to see the colors and feel the density to ensure it matches with your expectations.

Me

@Am – I didn’t always have that much hope, trust me. It’s been a long and tearful stricken road for me. I still am confronted with the reality of my hair each day and still have to flush the hairs down the toilet after a shower. It bothers me less now though knowing I have found this solution. I understand your despair, I’m so sorry you are going through this. HOPE sneaks up on you when you least expect it. (HUGS) xoxo

Lesley July 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Thank you for doing this! We need a community, information, and guidance to turn life’s lemons into lemonade!

Michelle July 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Love your blogs and stories and THIS STORY along with the WiGrip gives me so much hope. Do you know if Follea has “showrooms” all over the country?? I would love to go in and try on some wigs and try it with WiGrip too.

Susan July 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hi Y–
Thanks for sharing your story. I always tell women who are struggling that you’ll never be able to embrace wearing hair until you find the right hair that works for you that you are totally comfortable in and isn’t breaking the bank. Once you find that thing, your confidence increases and it’s less emotionally draining. It’s a lot easier to accept wearing hair when you look good and feel comfortable and aren’t going into deep debt over it. Glad you found your way to that place. So happy for you :)

Stacy July 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Thank you so much for this post, I needed this today, you are so inspiring and you are beautiful! I love that you were asked to be on the advisory board, companies like this need our input and there is no better person to represent us than you. I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for this site, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane. I didn’t know that wigs could look this real, I still cannot get over how real it looks, it’s mind blowing, I’m going to check out their website later. Like the other person asked, I’m curious if they have showrooms, I’d like to try these on too. Thank you for providing us with hope.

Rachael Jean July 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Hello Gorgeous,
You have come a long way baby! Yea, show off that beautiful face and hair!
Now you are a board member of a fabulous company willing to share and care about other women and their hairloss pain as you always have before.
You have made lemonaid out of lemons :)
To think that one never knows where their blessings in life come from! Even from hairloss, lol!
xxooxxo

Sue July 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Wow! AMAZING and so beautiful! There is a ray of hope even as I see me look more like a monk each day…except for the price! Oh my, as a mere librarian wayyyyy out of my price range!

Jeni July 20, 2012 at 1:33 am

This is exciting news! I hate the idea of being in the public eye, but for the longest time I’ve wished someone with androgenetic alopecia would go on talk shows and shows like Inside Edition to talk about how it’s okay to wear a wig or bonded hair, and it’s no big deal. I’ve felt if no one steps up to do it, I’ll have to be the one to do it once I start wearing hair, but I hate public speaking!

On a side note, I was going to look into being a wig rep, or opening up a human hair wig place in Las Vegas, since there aren’t any, but I can’t do any of that until I learn more about hair and start wearing it myself. I am tentatively going to LA in 10 days to finally go wig-shopping.

Ellie July 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

I’m searching for a wig currently, your post came at a perfect time for me. I am making a list of places I want to go to, I will definitely add Follea to the top, if I can look as good in my wig as you look in your wig, I would have died and gone to heaven. I have a wig saving account I set up for myself because I know all the good pieces are pretty pricey and I want to get the best I can. Please keep posting about this stuff and it’s helping me get close to wearing a wig myself and I really need it to. Thank you!!!!!!

phillygrl July 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

Congrats on the position with Follea ! Your wig is perfect on you ! I knew you were headed for bigger things from being so kind to help all of us out here:D Karma baby ! 😀
The thing I would love to see them fix is make their website friendlier, easier to navigate, more down to earth and not so intimidating!..I swear their site is like breaking into CIA headquarters. How about a friendly, comforting, informative site that openly shows pictures and prices of the hair and WHAT CITIES they are available in. Straight forward, all there at your fingertips, with no downloading or contacting people by phone. If it gets too complicated or intimidating, many women will say “forget it , I can’t do this” and move on. Just a thought (a long, rambling one..haha) Thanks ! Hope you agree ! XOXO

admin July 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Thank you guys for all your support and kind words, it really means so much to me!

@ A – I’ve emailed Michael and asked him to respond to some of these questions you had asked that I simply don’t have the answers for, my knowledge of my wig is so limited, and I clearly need to learn more. I just know its awesome and I have hair now LOL  but I totally get the need to know the specs of everything.

Here’s the 411 on my wig.

It’s the Follea LifeStyle-2 10/15 in the color 5030. It comes in a medium or small cap size. Or can be sized to fit. It is all hand-tied. The “10/15″, means 10″ layers and 15” overall from crown to tips.   This is apparently one of the finest wigs they carry and it’s made with all russian hair, double-drawn, cuticle hair and a French top (simulated natural scalp look). Michael wasn’t sure if that was what I was asking when I referenced the silk top you asked about.

He did say that the first generation LifeStyle collection used to come with a silk lining, but they since changed to a fine mono-filament because it is easier for women to keep it clean.  I guess my next question to him will have to be what’s a mono-filament :)

My color C5030 is a proprietary mix of 3 different Follea blonde & brunette colors and as it turns out it is the most frequent choice by their extended Follea family of hair-wearers.  Yay for me I picked a popular color!

Also a term that is weird to me is double-drawn and double-drawn means the hair is passed through a series of metal combs to remove short hair that naturally forms in ponytails before they are cut. Follea sorts hair by consistent hair length before making the wig to a particular specification. Cuticle hair takes more brushing, but keeps its moisture and natural, radiant shine for a long time. He says it’s is an excellent choice for the French top wig (but apparently not for single material lace-fronts – that’s a story for another day).  The LifeStyle-2 is natural density, “straight-with-body” hair texture.

@Lesley – I always did like lemonade! :)

@Michelle – When I emailed Michael I forgot to ask the question about the showroom…”DOH.” I don’t think they have showrooms, it is my understanding that their product is brought to the consumer via their reps, like Alfieri in New York, William Collier in Seattle, Lee Anthony in Orange County basically hair replacement salons that carry their product along with other product lines. There are many more than those I mentioned, but those are 3 I am aware of.

@Susan – It’s true you can’t embrace wearing hair until you find the right hair that works for you. I think it’s different for everyone based on their needs, expectations, lifestyle etc. The key is if something isn’t working, don’t give up, just keep looking.

@Stacy – I am looking forward to being of help any way I can to provider greater awareness and education and resources for all the women going through this. I’m so glad you are finding inspiration in my words, there is hope, there is always hope.

@Rachel Jean – Hey Rachel! You’ve been here through my whole journey (just about ) … you’re right, I have come along way LOL – I’m surprising myself in fact. I never really thought I could or would accept wearing a wig, but I’m glad I woke up, and made my feet move towards a direction of effective change for myself and in turn hopefully for others as well.

@Sue – Hope indeed!

@Jeni – I’m a bit like you Jeni, I more of a behind the scenes type person and I think shy in general, and when I tell this to people who know me they look at me funny because many people that know me know that for a short while I was active into fitness competitions, being on stage in a suit that had less material than a napkin and also doing photoshoots, but I pushed myself to do that because I wanted to see if I could. I guess it was a challenge to myself. In the same way I have to push myself here, it’s uncomfortable to be so open and publicly out there with this issue, but it’s so important, and needed… I pushed myself back then and I’m going to push myself now. I look back at the time I was competing in fitness competitions and WISHED I had the wig I have today back then. Actually a long one because all the girls have beautiful long hair, I had short thin hair, but I made it work fine, no one was none the wiser. I would have been so much more confident with the wig though. I think it’s so awesome you want to open a human hair wig place in las vegas, I require as many excuses as possible to go to vegas, so if you do that, I’ll tell my fiancé I’m going to vegas for “research.” LOL

@Ellie – Wig savings account! good idea, i should have started mine back in 1999 when my hair loss first started and then instead of investing in all the garbage I did, put it in there, by now I surely could have bought a luxury sedan of some sort. Good luck on your search, I think seeing wigs in person is really important, also make sure you check it in all types of lighting like indoors and outdoors to make sure the color (s) are what works best for you.

@phillygrl – Your comments and those of others have already been passed along. I definitely agree that the website needs to be more user friendly, that’s one of the first things I said myself when I met them on Monday, although I wish I would have thought of the CIA headquarters comment myself LOL – you are so funny.

If I missed any questions , please let me know.  Happy Friday Everyone! Much love to all XOXO

Ann July 21, 2012 at 6:30 am

Wow, this was your best post ever! Congratulations, girl! This is Ann T. (I’m going to start using my last initial so you can know me from the other “Anns” commenting here). I’m thrilled for you and this post literally brought tears of joy to my eyes for you (and for me since I believe there ARE good replacement hair options now!). You look simply gorgeous in your hair. I’m really impressed you are starting to emerge from the shadows more and show the real you! You are turning into a real advocate for women suffering from hair loss and that is wonderful.

Also, wanted to say that if you know of any shops carrying Follea wigs in the Atlanta area, that would be great. I’ve only found one place here that carries wigs at all and they do not carry these kind of wigs. I’ve also found that they really mark up their products and their customer service and product knowledge is lacking.

I do have a question…considering a topper since I still have hair (I’ve lost probably 60% of my hair). I feel I might have too much hair to wear a full wig. You said in your post toppers were not for you because the clips hurt. Before I invest money in one (and it HAS to be a smart investment…I have very limited funds) I would love to know your thoughts on wig vs. topper.

Again, you look great and congratulations on your new role with Follea!

ImJena July 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

I loved reading this post! You have come so far, it’s obvious just from reading your blog posts. You seem happy, confident, and so full of life! I’m so glad that the Follea has worked so well for you. It’s all about finding the right option that fits what you want and your lifestyle… be it a wig, clip-on topper, or bonding! There is a solution and life can be good again! I’m so genuinely happy for you and for all of us that have found that there is life after HL. :)

Ellie July 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hi, U look beautiful!!!! I could identify w ur story and all ur feelings!!! Thanx for all that u do for women suffering from this problem!
I have learned to sew and snip my wigs to fit a little tighter and not shift. Gotta tell ya, i have jacked up a few cheaper wigs:) but it’s a learnin process:) and now i can trim a hand tied and sew it for a snug fit. I love ur website!!! Ur awesome:) thank u, thank u, thank u:)

admin July 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

@ Ann T :) Thank you so much! I’m slowly peeking out from the shadows, yet still holding on to every last bit of concealment (i.e. sunglasses). It’s funny because a very long time friend in the network wrote me yesterday, she joined in 2008 and she commented it was great to see me without the hat but inquired as to where my wine was! Every picture I used to take always had a hat and a glass of wine, or I’d be hiding behind my cat.

As far as places in your area, there is Jentis Studios ( http://www.jentisstudios.com/ ) in Marietta, GA. Not sure how close that is to Atlanta. On the wigs vs. toppers… If I was able to actually tolerate clips on my head it is more more likely I would have gone with a topper to start, it’s more lightweight, doesn’t go around ALL of your head, so it has the potential to be more of a comfortable wear and I think I probably would have made THAT choice a lot sooner. But if your hair is fragile and thin, I think the clips are going to possibly hurt, if I had normal hair and clipped it in it wouldn’t be an issue. I find that my hair sort of functions with the “strength in numbers” thing, when once upon a time there was a lot of hair together it was strong, the pressure was dispersed, with my thin flighty hair, I feel EVERYTHING, I feel when one hair is awry in my pony tail or clip. So I had to choose between a wig and a bonded topper (shaving the head and gluing it on, you can glue to the hair but I wouldn’t ever consider that for myself). Between the two the wig was an easier step for me to take. You really need to try on both, wigs and toppers and see where you feel most comfortable. If I have thicker hair it’s *possible* that could make my wig wearing a bit more uncomfortable, I’m not sure, but I do still have a decent amount of hair I’m sticking under there my wig, by decent I mean I can put my hair in a ponytail and go to the grocery store and not draw any looks, but my hair is thin and it is totally useless to wear down.. it’s wispy and see through, very fly away like. I’m not sure if that answer was of any help (?) LOL Take your time though in looking for “your hair” don’t rush into anything, you want to make sure you find what’s right for you.

@ImJena – Thank you for your kind words. You are so right, it’s about finding what works for you and your lifestyle ARE so many options in wearing hair. Congrats again on hair! you look beautiful!

@Ellie – Aww thank you. That’s so wonderful that you are able to hook up your wigs. I’m not very handy at all. I’ve seen some youtube videos of some gals tweaking their wigs in all kinds of ways. Women can be very creative!

XOXO

Ann T. July 23, 2012 at 8:17 am

Thanks, Admin, for all the tips and words of advice on topper vs. wigs and also for the wig shop in Marietta. I will check them out and let everyone on here know if it is a good experience.
What about working out in your wig? Are you doing that? My instinct would be no…I usually just put mine under a hat in a ponytail to work out. I think if I had some kind of hair piece, I would do the same, in order to avoid getting it all hot and sweaty, yucky. Thanks, lady!

admin July 23, 2012 at 8:51 am

Hi Ann – Yes please keep us posted on if you have a good experience at the hair replacement place in Marietta.

To answer your question about working out in a wig.. the answer is I have not been doing that. Yesterday was the first day in 2 months I marched in my home gym to try and get “something” done for my body. I did wear my wig to do a weight workout, it was fine, if I only did weights that might work, but I do cardio too. I wrote a post a couple weeks ago where I indicated my wig was making me fat LOL. I explained that since I have gotten my wig I haven’t wanted to leave the house without it which makes getting to the gym VERY difficult, you typically have to LEAVE the house to get to the gym and I can’t see wearing a wig to the crazy intense bootcamp place I go to. I have gotten into the routine of waking up and immediately putting my wig on even prior to walking the dog. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve left the house without my wig since I got it 2 months ago. I don’t think wearing a wig in any type of extremely exertive workout, with cardio and sweating, would be very comfortable for me. I certainly cannot see myself running my wigs even though you can technically do it. It’s just not something I see myself doing.

So yesterday I decided I needed to adjust my schedule to allow for my gym time, on the days I workout I can’t rush to my wig in the morning, she’ll have to wait. Instead LuLu (as in Lululemon) will get her turn on my head. I put my natural hair in a ponytail, put my lululemon headband on and get my a** moving! The only way for me to be fully content with my wig life is if I can adjust my mind and lifestyle to suit it in every way. So if mornings are headbands while I workout, then so be it.

xoxo

Electra September 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Working through trying Follea out. Hoping for a perfect wig. I will visiting Jentis studios soon. They will order some for me to try. I visited with a rep and am off to a good start, but need round 2 to decide for sure. The challenge is that you may have to change the color and the cut and its hard to imagine how to make it work. I wish we had the salon here!

phillygrl September 20, 2012 at 6:40 am

Hey Electra ! Ive been in my “hole” for awhile and don’t post when Im feeling like thit. I made those calls to the places we talked about and made plans to go several times, then it all got too much and I freaked out a little. Gonna wait it out and try again :)

I talked with a Follea contact who told me about Jentis Studios as well. It’s so far, I know I will put it off until there’s absolutely no choice. I cant get myself to drive to Birmingham, let alone Atlanta. haha Maybe if I went by plane I couldn’t chicken out .

Did you go all the way there and meet or did you find a rep in Birmingham ?

How are you doing ? I hope you are feeling well, besides the hair. I tend to isolate when it really gets to me but I wanted to check in with u :)

Good Luck with Follea ! Lets us know how it goes XO

Electra September 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hi Phillygrl,
I met with a Follea Rep, Carmen last weekend. She was driving to Montgomery to meet with another client so I drove and met her. I tried a couple toppers and one wig. It was a challenge to imagine what I exactly needed. I called Follea because I wasn’t sure how to go about coloring the wig and which color to choose. They recommended Jentis Studios and I have been in contact with Curtis this week. Everyone I have spoken with in regards to Follea is great.

I will go see Curtis at Jentis next weekend. Its going to be a big investment but I feel inspired by “Y/admin”. She looks great so I hope I can get my own look version of a Follea.

I try to focus on the women who have moved on with their look, whether its wig wearing, topper wearing or bald and beautiful. I’ve gone past the point of no return. My hair loss is significant, permanent and progressing. I can choose my treatments and I’m doing everything I can to heal, but its still hard to beat. I might as well get a good solution sooner rather than later. Its hard to get used to wearing a wig and it will be an adjustment. But I don’t like how I look now and I can pull my hair back and cover it for now but it looks pretty sad and its won’t last forever.

Don’t fear the wig shops. You should try. Try the local ones first and try some things on.

I’ve been through the shame and morning and I’m trying to keep busy. I still am sad but I don’t cry all the time. Now I will find a solution. It helps that I have the best husband ever. He’s medical and understands my condition and he is so supportive and tells me I am beautiful. We are closer now than we’ve ever been. It means EVERYTHING to me.

I won’t feel ashamed. I didn’t cause this. I’ve had friends tell me to have fun with wigs and that I’ll look great.

It will be ok. Make a small step forward every day.

admin September 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

@Electra – I have heard really nice things about Curtis at Jentis so I think you’ll be in good hands there, I’ve never met him but from the feedback I’ve heard from other ladies here is really positive! I’m so glad they are ordering in some pieces for you to try. It sounds like you have such amazing support around you which really helps. I have only one regret and that is not doing it sooner!

I also just wrote you back on a previous comment you left, I’ve been busy I haven’t been able to keep up with writing everyone back, eek!

XOXO

GoldenGirl October 22, 2012 at 10:25 am

I know I am a little behind the times since these posts started back in July! I too want to say thank you so much for all your wonderful posts that have helped all of us figure out how to do this! Actually, I was at Follea the day after your October 4 post and I would never have known to go there if not for your posts and sharing your journey. My daughter happens to be at college very close to LA so my boyfriend and I went to the salon since we do not live in California, and I actually did leave with a fabulous Gripper even though I do have hair! So the Gripper fit better for me and I don’t use any clips but I can sew some on if I decide at a later date. I love it so much I am tempted to shave my hair and just wear Grippers! But it actually stays on (it rides up just a tad) and looks really great! The team at Follea is amazing. My boyfriend has been telling me my hair looks fine and that it just seems thin to me (I lost 60% of my hair in two months — August and September — because I am hypothyroid; so I go through these major sheds every 3-4 years and then it grows back, then I am basically on edge always watching to see if it is going to fall out again and it is back and forth). So as we were trying different wigs at Follea, and Geena put on the wigs and took them off my boyfriend is like “Oh, ok I get it…” Once he saw the contrast and how I was born to look versus what I am stuck with he could understand better where I am coming from. Also, the Gripper made me look so much younger. It was pretty surprising. I had no idea that lifeless, thin hair could make a person age so much! Soon I will post some pictures on the contrast.

So thank you again for all your effort, training, instruction, encouragement, inspiration, and time in helping us — it is appreciated!

Lena

admin October 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Hi Lena –

Congrats on your new Gripper!! I’m so happy for you that you made that leap into hair wearing and it’s so great that your boyfriend now can SEE what you’ve talking about. You hit the nail on the head with the “born to look” comment. So often people tell us we look fine, but they don’t know how we looked before, you almost want to carry a photo and say “LOOOK, does this *and point to your head* look the same? No, didn’t think so” LOL – I’m so curious is your bio hair short? I cut my short a little ways back and the last time I went to Follea I had tried a gripper on myself because I’m holding that option in reserve in my mind should I need to practically shave my head to save my sanity from the shedding, that I could always go that route too. I had previously thought I wouldn’t be able to try it on because it would yank on my hair (since I do have hair) but that wasn’t the case and had it been the right size it would have felt very comfortable. Did you show your daughter your new hair? If so, what did she think ? Congratulations on this step you took! I love wearing hair now, and I’m very accepting of it being part of my life, and the longer I wear it the easier and easier it gets.
XOXO

GoldenGirl November 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Hi! Apologies for being delayed in responding! I will post a photo so you can see how much hair was there and the back lower part of my head does have enough hair that it made me surprised that the Gripper did stay on and it fit well and I was getting very used to it! It is easy on and easy off and no pulling at all —

My daughter took one look and said “I want hair like that!”

So then a funny thing happened — here I have not even had my Gripper a month! And I’m thinking, I love this hair — although my hair does always grow back and it’s “ok” — not anywhere close to a Follea and I’m like, well I want this kind of hair all the time! So literally today I went and got bonded hair.

I figured I would try it and if it didn’t work out for me, I’ll just shave and wear the wig all the time and grow back my hair or just wear the wig. So big step — made possible by wearing the wig which showed me what was possible and how much better I could look.

And really I took that step of getting the Gripper because of your videos!

I know what you mean about the shedding — I was still shedding up until two weeks ago and I’m like how can I even be shedding? There is nothing left to shed! I was remembering your video on “musings” from FL and could totally relate. So yeah, wouldn’t you know, my hair stopped falling out and literally the last couple of weeks is the least it ever shed in my life. So maybe I should have given it one more shot, but I am worn out of the back and forth and waiting for it to grow back —

So I love my bonded hair and will post some pics on my profile — the only thing I have to see is getting used to the feeling of something on my head — which today I did have periods of not even remembering it was there — and the occasional itch that I can’t scratch. I heard that at first it would be kind of strange. I had done henna a couple of weeks ago and it really is good for the skin on your scalp and it reduces itching. So I’m looking at the hair tonight thinking wow it is so pretty!! I feel lucky that we live in an era where we have options that are actually viable! So I will keep you posted — will post some pics in a bit :-)

Hopefully I will feel the same as you and the longer I go the easier it will get — we’ll see and if not, at least I tried and will know if it works or not!

Hugs! XOXO

Elle November 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

OMG thank you for posting this! I have been losing my hair since I was 25. My husband has always told me my hair looks “fine” but now at 30 I’m realizing – Its not fine because I’m paranoid about it. I compare my hair to everyone’s around me. I wonder if they can tell my part is getting wider. I stopped working out because I thought – whats the point of having a great body with a bald head. My husband was worried my hair wouldnt look natural if I got a wig. But I showed him your vid on Youtube and he was actually like – wow I wouldnt even be able to tell. So now I feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I still dont know if I’m ready to wear a full wig though. Do they have extentions?

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