Finding Hope, Finding Hair and Moving Forward – A’s Story

by admin on July 20, 2013

I received this email, and requested permission to share it here, with all of you. Much thanks to “A” for writing me this incredibly amazing email and allowing me to share her story. I had gotten home one night and made a quick check of my email and saw this in my box, I felt moved, excited, touched and inspired all over again. Thank you! 

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I want to thank you for your wonderfully honest, heartfelt, and supportive web site. I found the womenshairlossproject site one day on the internet and my life hasn’t been the same since. I have been struggling since my late 20s with thinning hair due to androgenic alopecia and I am 49 now. I so wanted it to be a medical issue that I could then take a pill and be cured but that was not to be. I took aldactone for a while and it stopped the shedding but I hated taking pills so I went off those after a year. I found a shampoo for thinning hair that controls the shedding for me and I have used it for several years (Nisim is the brand). However, the diffuse thinning continues and it’s worse on the top of my head. I have been wearing baseball caps everywhere for over 15 years now, even at work, it’s my signature look.

I have been living (and I use the term living loosely) a subdued life, shunning social activities and just not being able to enjoy the outdoors. Being naturally shy anyway, my hair condition has made me hyper sensitive and even more uncomfortable being with other people for fear of being found out, stared at, or laughed at. You don’t realize how insidious the negative inner dialog becomes until you see yourself 20 years along in your hair loss and how much you’ve retreated from life. You also can’t help becoming more cynical of people thinking they have nothing better to do than find weaknesses in you to possibly exploit.

I have grown especially weary over the last year of wearing hats, of spending an hour fixing my hair moving one hair this way and another that way hoping for a better outcome, of feeling less worthy and less than in everything. I traversed the web to find solutions and support and I found it with you and your web site. I found hope and realized I wasn’t as alone as I felt. I began to believe that my life could be different. I began to believe that I didn’t have to hide anymore and that there are solutions. It took many months for me to finally decide to DO something. I originally shied away from wigs because I believed it’s harder to hide wearing a blonde wig and I didn’t want anyone to know I was wearing a wig.

Your experience with and review of the Follea wig products inspired me to look into their product. I was inspired by how natural they look and I felt that this hair was right up my alley. I made an appointment with a Follea stylist and made a whole road trip out it as the salon was in a different state. For me, choosing to go with a premium wig from the outset was the right thing to do. Choosing to go with Follea Aero was the best decision I could have made for my situation. The hair was beautiful, the wig comfortable, the stylist wonderful, and I felt like a new person when I wore the wig.

The next big step for me was to go to work wearing my new hair. She got wrinkled on the ride back so I decided not to wear her that week. I was afraid of doing something wrong to it, I’d never washed, worn, or styled a wig in my life so I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing. I planned to wear her the following week. I washed her on a Thursday, let her dry overnight, and did the best I could to style her….she didn’t need much help from me thank goodness. I surprised myself by actually wearing her and I wore her with a level of confidence I didn’t know I had. I had positive feedback from some people (which was nice to get), no comments from other people (which is absolutely fine by me as I didn’t want it to be a big deal), and then I had a comment at the end of the day from the office gossip….”I have to ask, is it a wig or extensions?” Huh. I took it in stride and lied and said they were extensions. There’s ALWAYS one person out there who has no manners and won’t mind their own business but I didn’t let it ruin my mood or how I felt about my decision. I am not yet ready to declare to anyone but close family that I wear a wig. Maybe I will in time decide to do that but I want it to be on my own terms.

I am on the pathway to rediscovering the possibilities in my life and my hair is not going to hold me back. Life is good. Thank you for all you’ve done to help women accept themselves as they are.

Sincerely,
A

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael July 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Incredibly journey Ms. A. May a beautiful world find its way to your door. And thank you to Ms. Y for her inspiration and dedication to making women’s hair loss a safer more informed place. Best. M>

lina July 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm

A,
Yes, I can believe how insidious the inner dialogue can be, and the loosely “living” life. I, too have suffered for over 20 years, 25 actually before I started to wear hair. I have torn feelings, I felt alone through hair loss, alone – do you know how deep and black that word can be and all it can truly encompass. This site has shown me that I truly am not alone and while that helps tremendously, it makes me sad to know even one more person has had to feel even a tenth of what I’ve felt.

I am so happy that you are where you are now, it is a continuous journey and no matter how long it took you to get her, you did it! You did it! That my dear is a victory of major proportions!

I spent, correction – wasted money on “less than” hair and you are ahead of the game with your Follea! Don’t be afraid of washing, check out Y’s videos, they really are not hard to wash at all – hair washing was torture for me, the first time I washed my wig, I almost cried because I forgot what good wet hair that didn’t all come out in your hands felt like.

I love how you said youre on the path to discovering your life’s possibilities and that your hair was not going to hold you back! Well, my sister – bravo, well done, amen, and I’ll cheers to that. Life is good!

Thank you for sharing and thank you to WHLP for bringing us together.

big hug and smile, big big happy smile
xo
Lina

Ciella July 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Thank you SO MUCH, A, for sharing your story! I feel like one of your sisters I can SO CLOSELY RELATE to everything you wrote…and how you felt over the years. And I am SO SO HAPPY to see how far you have come in such a short time. You are so NOT alone…we are all in this together and we are all here for you in your journey:) HUGS to you and may God bless you xx

Elaine July 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

A. Ive had alopecia 33yrs im now 46 and finally through the support from alopecoa Scotland I love who I am and my confidence is growing. I no longer feel alone and am nearly ready to share my story but not yet. Well done you xx

kateincanada July 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Hello Ms. A.
Thank you sharing your story and putting things in perspective. I have only been on my hair loss journey since January of this year. I am in the middle of a three month course of doxycylcine which has allowed some hair regrowth at the hairline on either side of my head but I am losing more and more on the top, also diffuse, as you have. Some days I feel ok and moderately positive, other days I feel very down but try to keep it to myself. Reading your story and those of so many others, on this brilliant WHLP site definitely helps. We’re not alone in this after all. TVM.
Hugs.

Sandy August 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I was Born Bald and will soon be bald……….I like all in here dread the day I have to wear hair..it really should be now!!! dragging for loss of confidence in choosing porter…so much to learn…what Help is there for those of in Canada who do NOT Live near a Folia Salon???? I spend an increasing amount of time in the house and seldom go out because it takes so long to get ready.Id love the idea that I could find a Great head of hair to just pop on and go out!! Wish I new WHO the God of store bought hair was ????My Mom and a friend with a genetic condition Both look so pretty with their hair……..I just wish I could take the leap!!!
Sandy

Sue October 20, 2013 at 7:01 am

This website makes me feel not alone as that is what I feel. I’m wAtching my hair fall out before my eyes and might as well just shave my head. I was given spironlactone but I haven’t started it yet. I’m hesitant. The pharmacist informed me that it is prescribed B/c one of the side effects is hair growth. Is the hair growth just on your head or will it cause facial hair as we’ll? I am getting no where with drs. My iron is 33. Thyroid within normal limits. I have not been referred to a dermatologist. Is this where the drs. Should be sending me? Ready to give up.

Juana January 13, 2014 at 2:37 am

I stumbled upon this page because I’m tired of living with this problem of my hair just continually falling out day by day.May I first say that A’s story really hit home for me and I cried as I read it because I see myself as ugly and worthless I don’t want to go out and I avoid it when possible.My family dosen’t understand what I am going through or deal with as a result of losing my hair ,they make fun of me behind my back to others or at times will say omg you have lost so much of your hair! And omg how it hurts me hearing that I feel so embarrassed and I just feel so ugly.My depression is really bad and this dosen’t help at all.I thought,hoped,abd prayed when I found out that I had a thyroid condition that please let that be the cause and let my hair start coming back in with the medication but no such luck .

bayareagirl February 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm

A: Thank you for sharing this story – it hits home too closely. I too am on this journey and am not handling it well at all. I’ve always admired those I’ve known who have met their medical challenges with bravery and friends who have faced far worse things than this and wondered how I would do. Well pretty pathetically it seems.

I’m sorry that you felt so bad about yourself for so long but it is heart warming to hear that you found a solution. I too am visiting Follea next week and almost feel like my life depends on it. Sounds dramatic but I just can’t see past all this at present (diagnosed AGA last week). I will be looking at blonde hair too. I’m encouraged to hear your comments about their hair. If there is a photo anywhere on this site of you or your hair, please direct me!

Lea May 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm

This journey does unit us. I wish it would be something else that does, but this what was chosen for us. I can relate to the daily prison feeling , of existing but not really living. Day in and day out is purely another day to survive in. I miss actually living, laughing so
Hard I’m crying and meeting strangers with confidence knowing I have the identity I have always had in life. But when it gets taken away we need to become brave, bold and strong, stronger than you ever thought possible is possible with hair loss. We will show up and win. What’s required of us is to face this and show up to it. I can’t hide any longer and I can’t feel shame for something that got taken away. But I can show up to the solution and wear wigs and love myself for the challenge that I have and I have faced the challenge head on(no pun intended) with no apologies to the world. I am not deceiving the world with my new wig. The world is deceived in thinking that balding women are less feminine. And that those who are in that situation dont deserve to anything for themselves. That is the ultimate lie.

Tina November 30, 2015 at 9:52 am

I never had hair issues, until 2013, I was 45 and had to have an ovary removed due to a cyst. No one ever told me the hell and horror my next few years would be because of it. my iron was low d3 low and a bunch of other things I stressed from 6 months prior to surgery until now. I feel ugly Ive been to countless drs endos and even a naturopath and no one has a clue what caused this and how to stop it. I have the breakage and loss, temples top all over and starting to recede. I often wish id just wake up from this nightmare they are saying hereditary but no one in my family suffers this, and in 18 months? I’m not strong enough to handle it I guess I’m petty but its not right nor normal for a woman to suffer with this

Mishell December 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Thank you for sharing. I am still , even after 48 years of it, in the “dont want to leave the house” phase. I just dont get why I have this condition? I ask so many times a day. “Why does it have to be this?” Girls with a pretty face can get by so much easier. But in HS, when you’re not beautiful, and you cant grow big hair and its the 80’s you dont want to go anywhere. Just going to school was torture. Work, torture. Im so scared I am never going to be able to come to terms with “why this”?

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