Finding Acceptance, Finding Friendship and Finding Myself

by admin on July 31, 2014

No, I’m not dead :) I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but sometimes life just gets in the way ya know?

Onwards…

When I started losing my hair in 1999, at 21 years of age,  I was certain (positive)  life was over. How could I ever LIVE without having all the hair I was born with? How? I could not process that thought. I dreadfully watched myself decline and disappear through the years. I was existing, but not living.

Acceptance never came to me until I started wearing hair in 2012. Finding something that gave me back my control, with something that made me feel so helpless, really turned the tables around on my hair loss. While it was a slow and difficult journey, it was one I look back on and realize I surprisingly wouldn’t change. That seems like a ridiculous statement (and no I haven’t been drinking today… yet) especially when I used to pray day and night for my hair loss to stop and all my hair to grow back, and may promises of this and that to the high heavens above, but to no avail… my hair loss simply continued to progress. I realize now that my hair loss has helped to shape me into who I am today, my experiences and suffering has helped others, of which I am so grateful for,  and I have found friendships I never thought were possible.

Hair loss provided me with a certain strength I didn’t know I had, and when my perception of what was happening changed,  I found that the doors didn’t close, they opened. I am 36 years old, and it is at this point, over the past year that I really feel I have begun to find myself in many aspects, even beyond hair. Though it’s all connected. Somehow everything is always connected. There where a few critical pieces to get to where I am now. First and foremost, my amazing fiancé, who has never wavered in his love and support of me. Second, the support of the women on this site and watching others continue to live in spite of their hair loss.  Third, finding Follea. What can I say, mad props (I’m dating myself now)  to them… seriously. I think they are amazing.  To see what wearing hair could be, was a game changer… big time. Fourth, the strong bond of friendships I have made with some women through WHLP that have taken us on amazing trips from New York, to Las Vegas to Canada in a wig wearing fiesta of awesomeness, and lastly, beginning to see a psychiatrist last Sept, taking medications for my errrr… anxiety/ OCD issues etc., and facing me. Not the hair issues, but me. We can get so consumed by our hair loss we totally forget we are so f’d up in so many other ways! Silly hair loss, and you thought it was all about you. :)

I have accepted my hair will continue to decline, and when it gets to a point it is no longer serving any purpose, but creating heartache once again, I will shave it off. I have seen the end scenario (with my hair) I have envisioned it, and felt what it will be like, and I’m okay with that. I am not saying I won’t cry, I am not saying it won’t pain me, but I know I’ll be okay.

My hair took so much from me (years and years) but what I gained in return, is so much more. So as a side note to hair loss, “Ha ha, I win.. you loose.”

Have wig, will travel :)

Wearing hair is part of my life, it just is. Everyone I know that is important in my life knows about my wig wearing. It is liberating. I was in New York a few months ago with a good friend and we were at a club getting our dance on, and we made a jaunt to the bathroom where I felt I just needed a little readjust. Probably thanks to the wonder of booze coursing through my body, I just took off my hair ( in a packed bathroom by the way) and said hold this, to my friend (ha) passing my hair to her. Mind you, she doesn’t have hair loss or wear hair. I readjusted my head grip and then put my hair back on.. Tah dah. Ready for another round of dancing.

I also recently took my hair off in a car that picked me and my friend up, because I was feeling a little hot after the wine tasting [gulping] and then started car dancing and shaking my hair in my hand like a pom pom. Yes I was drunk, and so was my friend, and god knows what the driver or people passing by thought, but whatever. LOL. It as fun. As if that wasn’t enough, later I proceeded to have the driver take me and my hair to whole foods, so I could use the restroom and put my hair back on, which I did, with some other woman who was there. She was fascinated… obviously. It’s a whole new world. I have told countless strangers I wear a wig, I’ve flipped my ears tabs to prove it, and I have never had a negative reaction. I think my hair wearing is accepted positively by others because I am so comfortable with it, and as a result it makes those around me comfortable too.

I am not ashamed of my hair loss anymore. I am not ashamed of wearing hair. I like myself more now than I ever did, and I think I’m beginning to grow more and more with each passing day. My hair isn’t growing more and more, but screw it. :)

What matters in life to US? It’s a question only we can answer for ourselves. How many years will we sacrifice to hair loss? I’m not saying people should jump into wearing hair, hair wearing was my holy grail, but it isn’t for everyone. It is an adjustment, and it’s not like you buy hair and confetti falls from the sky and your tub is suddenly filled with a chocolate bath and a wine fountain (gosh that sounds amazing), all of it takes time. But, we do have to examine what will work for us, what we need to do to get back to the land of the living, back to our friends and families and back to ourself. Looking back at all the years I sat on the sidelines of  life, and all it has to offer,  I want to cry and quite frankly punch myself, at all that precious time I wasted and surrendered to hair loss. No more. Life didn’t end when I started wearing hair, it really just began to slowly take form.

To all the women who think there can be no tomorrow, no joy, no hope… I am here to tell you, tomorrow holds tremendous possibility, our strength is so much greater than we give ourselves credit for, and the people in our lives that really love us, that are our true friends, will support and embrace us in our journey. It’s a whole new world when you accept yourself, and have people in your life that accept you for you, not the hair on your head or the pounds on the scale, but for you. It took an extremely long time for me to reach this place, longer than some… shorter than others, but I’m here.

I’m sharing a video below of what hair loss has brought to me, I would not trade what I have today for all my hair to return. Hair I can buy, the love and friendships I have now, connecting with amazing women through this community, that’s priceless.

Love to you all ! xoxo

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara July 31, 2014 at 9:06 am

I can not tell you how amazing reading this made me feel. I’m lucky at work so I have an excuse not to cry. I’m 26 years old and I have been suffering from hair loss for about 4 years or so now. I’ve been to every type of doctor you can think of, trying to find an answer to the ever popular question: why me? Everyone’s answer was always the same: it’s probably hereditary (wrong) or hormonal – take some birth control and try Rogaine. I was so sick of hearing this answer that eventually, I just gave up. There has not been one hour that has gone by in the past 4 years that I haven’t obsessed about my hair- whether it be thinking about, talking about it to whoever would listen, or simply looking at it in the mirror and complaining that it’s getting worse. I’ve spent years not going out to social functions because I was worried that my hair looked bad or that you could see my scalp. What if the wind blew in a funny direction and God forbid my hair moved! I was miserable and still kind of am. My hair, which was super thick and long, was my “thing.” Everyone always commented on that they were jealous and that it was so beautiful. I used my hair as a crutch – any time I was feeling down, as long as my hair looked good, all was okay in the world. Now, I’m deathly worried that because of my thinning hair, no one will find me attractive anymore. Am I going to end up alone because of my hair loss? This thought has plagued my for as long as I can remember and what’s sad is that I know my thought process is wrong, but I just can’t same to shake it off.

I’ve always considered wearing hair – whether it be a wig, toppette, extensions, etc. I haven’t gone that route yet because I always assumed my hair would come back on it’s own, but as I continue to stress about it, I realize that I’m not helping the situation. I need to find an acceptance and comfort with myself before I can make that kind of decision and after reading your post, I feel so enlightened. There is such a stigma attached to wearing hair but to see how carefree you are about it, really gives me a whole different level of hope. I know that it doesn’t happen overnight and that it is a process, but it’s nice to know that I am not alone. My social circle is extremely small and I sometimes feel like I have no one to talk about all of this, so I appreciate you creating this site as a place to go to.

I know I rambled but I just needed to get that out and let you know that I admire you more than you know.

Much love,

Sara

Lina July 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

Oh my goodness! I love this blog and I hope my reply doesn’t turn into a blog itself :)

Your transformation has been remarkable and I personally could not thank you enough for all the work you have done to help us, ME – you saved me and that is not being dramatic.

I am not at the complete ease of hair wearing as in sharing with others as you are but I am getting there. I am definitely comfortable with wearing the hair itself. I was reading your blog and saying “umh huh, yep” at almost every word.

Some particular favorites of mine are: “the doors didn’t close, they opened…” (I give that an unbelievable, hell yeah they did!)
“so consumed by our hair loss that we forget how f’d up we are in so many ways…” (ain’t that the truth – haha”)
“ha ha hair loss I win, you lose…” (I give that a – take that bitch!)
Life can throw us a lot of challenges along the way and hair loss just seems to be a very overpowering one. I cannot believe how far I too have personally come. So many years of hiding, self-loathing, not living and since I have been wearing hair I have done more and seen more of the world than I have in my previous 44 years of existence. I will say the bond I found here on WHLP and the true friendships I have made were the key. Seeing beauty for what it is – kindness, compassion, inner beauty, joy… and seeing that yes it is indeed okay to wear hair and have fun and live life and be yourself and not settle – that is where I was able to turn things around (a bottom of my heart and soul thank you to you and B). Just like the opening video says: “It started with hair”…
This blog and video is particularly special for me as that countertop where the three wigs and wine shot are – is mine 😉
I love all the women on this site and to varying degrees I think we all have branched out and forged even deeper bonds that way transcend hair anything. This is a gift – a true gift.
I love you Y and B and all the women here so much, you have been the beginning of the beginning for me and shown me that the healing process goes far beyond wearing hair – but once you get to the hair wearing comfortable stage – watch out (try and not become a hair wearing addict :-)
Love from the bottom of my heart, Lina

Gls July 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

Thank you once again for sharing your journey. It’s given me the courage to wear hair full- time now and it’s great. It is a really long process of slow acceptance. Even if I could keep the thin hair I have now- I never really liked my hair but I’m sure this is different for people that once had great hair. I wished I had accepted years ago instead of letting the denial and depression go on for almost 30 years!!! My wish for everyone is that they can come to terms with it sooner. I actually found that when I stopped obsessing about it, found some solutions (toppers, wig ) my hair started to fall out less. I have androgenic female hair loss. Life is so short and I am sad sometimes that I wasted time so obsessed with hair! I fell sad to for the younger women on this site. I don’t want you to spend your life depressed or worse. You will find that once you take a few small steps, do so research into alternative hair YOU WILL FEEL BETTER!!! I never thought I would but you will. Many thanks to all the brave women here.

Steph July 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Thank you so much for the update. It was inspiring! I just got my first wig (a follea aero) and I’m trying to adjust to it. It’s so strange to see myself with a full head of hair, and I’m definitely still working on figuring out how to put it on and keep it on correctly. I ordered a wig grip and am really praying that it helps.

I am so happy that you’re doing so well. I’ve read your blog for 4 years and can see how much you’ve grown to accept yourself and your hair.

Rukhsana July 31, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Thanks so much for this post, Y! And glad to see that your hiatus was fun-filled and introspective!

Betty July 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Thank you for sharing your transparent heart.
I’m new to this and waiting on blood tests. Dr wants to start me on Rogaine for 8 weeks and see her again bit 1 week has gone by and I haven’t started .
My hubby told me BE CAREFUL with that stuff so now I went from being going how – yeh Rogaine baby to wimpy I’m afraid.
Any help here regarding Rogaine.
Geez I don’t want hair elsewhere like a mustache.
When wigs were cool when I was young they always hurt my head so the thought of that freaks me to.
My hair is so thin and just whisps of hair. It’s always been thin but this rubbing right off after a shower is freaky.
I hope this is. Private group as I don’t want the FB world seeing my posts. :)
Thank you

Ciella July 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm

LOVED this blog post!!!! Absolutely beautiful!! B, Y and L you look soooooooo beautiful:)) How absolutely incredible you got to spend that time together…what a gift! Love and hugs xx

Chrissy July 31, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Thank you for this site and for your blog. My hair loss is ongoing…it fell out in handfuls several years ago, I got a scalp biopsy, got Kenalog injections monthly, and some grew back. Recently a silver dollar sized amount fell out. The first time it fell out in a diffuse all over pattern. Now I have my baby fine hair, thin all over, with a big circle near the front missing, and it’s really hard to cover, and I’m getting to that point where I’m thinking of getting a wig or wigs. I’m crying as I write this because it’s still so hard, but I’m also mad at all the life I’ve waste praying my hair would grow back. Crying over it. Reading excessively online, articles and medical journals, trying to find some mainstream medical break through or homeopathic remedy, and life has slowly been slipping by. I put on a lot of weight, which I’m trying to lose. And with my success in that, losing weight, I wanted to be happy, but then my hair loss got worse. I guess if it gets any worse or doesn’t get any better, then I’m getting a wig, but it’s scary because I’m afraid that I have to tell people because it’s wrong to pretend this hair is my own, but I don’t want to have to tell people if I don’t want to. It’s just a really hard spot and even though it hurts to watch your video and read your blog, because I don’t want to accept my hair loss and I would change things if I could, it really helps to see someone so confident and beautiful feeling like life is livable and worth it even with hair loss. Thanks so much.

Angie T August 1, 2014 at 6:22 am

Y – Hands down best blog and video, EVER!! It does my heart good to see you so happy. I started lurking around here in about 2008 or 09, and so have followed your journey. It’s my hope that my story will have a happy ending like yours! I’m still using concealer but “looking into” wigs. I’m also battling some other health issues right now, but I’ve got a few “dream wigs” in mind. I used to worry about what people would think, I’ve gone beyond that stage now. WE OWN OUR APPEARANCE. And it’s no one’s business if we wear a wig, dye it purple, wear a ton of makeup or none at all……feeling comfortable in our own skin takes priority over everything else. It’s all about refusing to live our life in torment. You carried that torch, Y, and have inspired so many women to live happily despite their hair loss. This is HUGE, I don’t think you realize just how huge. We all love you and thank you for it, and BTW, I really loved seeing a few pics of you without your sunglasses! 😉 Very symbolic of how far you’ve come!

LINA – OMG, girl, WHERE have you been? I thought you dropped off the face of the earth! Please do send me an email so we can get back in touch again, I’ve missed you terribly!

Love to All, Angie

R August 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

Thank-you so much for this. It is EXACTLY what I needed to read today.
You are such an inspiration, cheers! xo

Stacy August 2, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Love this! Fabulous!!!!

citigirl August 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

This is dope! Now, I am dating myself :)

Much love and thanks for sharing!
XO

FJP August 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

All I can say is that you are simply an amazing person. You and the other amazing women on this website have helped me so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

AMD53 August 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

You and all the wonderful women on this site have saved my life… I swear to the Lord above – you have saved me…. I would NOT be here – in my happy place if not for you and all the WONDERFUL friends I have made here… I now wear hair full time – I have 3 Nitas and 1 Petite Charm – all synthetic wigs and I am as happy as can be with all of them… I love the fact that I don’t have to curl them or worry about coloring, etc. etc. So, (for now) synthetics are right for me. I would NOT have known ANY of this, if not for you and your website. I was in a dark place…. I felt no happiness……. Only despair and I was frankly, scared out of my mind of what was going to happen…… Please accept my thanks and my love and friendship for all you and all the great ladies have done for me… God’s Love and Blessings to you, Y………. Annette

AMD53 August 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Oh my gosh – I FORGOT!!! I wanted to tell you about 2 mos. ago my one sister and I were heading downstate (my sis was driving) – I had to “re-adjust” my Nita and my wigrip – so I took her off and adjusted the wigrip, but before I put Nita back on – I put her in my one hand closest to the passenger window and I stuck her just “a little bit” up the window pane and started moving her around and started “barking” like a dog… We both laughed so hard, I thought we were going to pee our pants !!! THESE are good times…… We HAVE to deal with what we are dealt… 4 years ago I COULD……NOT……IMAGINE…….. doing this… I have come so far because of ALL OF YOU……. Again……. THANK YOU…. xo

Megster August 4, 2014 at 11:34 am

Thanks for this. I wanted to go the the wig shop near where I live on Saturday and I procrastinated so long that by the time I got the courage to walk through the doors it had shut!!! But you are right, life it too short to worry about hair loss. I can’t wait to throw a wig/topper on in the morning (as I don’t go out in the evenings any more) and STOP worrying about my bloody hair!!! ARGH! I waste so much energy over it! I’ve put weight on and my skin looks awful because I’m stressed. I can change what I eat, exercise more and just accept the fact that my hair isn’t going to grow back. So this Saturday it will be round two of me vs the wig shop! Hair loss I’m coming to get you …. grr! :)

Julie August 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm

You have made a difference in my life and I have thank you. It has been two years since my hair fell out. It just sucked. I turned 60 this year and can honestly say that losing my hair was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I found Follea and that piece of hair was a blessing that defies explanation. It’s like she is my most trusted friend. It sounds crazy I know. Because I run a non profit for a living, I have that kind of heart. I am totally honest about losing my hair and I can’t tell you how many times I shared my story and whipped off that girl to show women how FABULOUS my Follea hair is! Two years later, my hair is growing back…sort of. It’s like some alien being. Never one to spend hours on her hair, I can’t deal with this Chia Pet fuzz so I lovingly wear my Follea hair. I am indebted to the Women’s Hair Loss Project for the support and love. I will never forget it.

fatima August 9, 2014 at 2:08 am

Thanks for this gorgeous article, it really helps me , i am dealing with hair loss and i am thinking of wearing a wig , i am 24 and it is hard but i dont want to stop leaving because of my hair .

ChristineA August 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Y!! First of all, YAY for a new post from you. :) I always look forward to hearing how you are you’re doing and your latest wig-wearing adventure. Every time my son nearly yanks my wig off my head at a store in public, I now think about you whipping off your hair in a NYC club bathroom!! lol I’m not there yet with my level of hair wearing comfort, but I hope to be some day! 😉 I’m glad to hear you’re doing well. I cannot tell you enough how you, Lina and B have motivated and inspired me this past year of my hair-wearing life. I truly would not be in the amazing place that I am in now with my “hair” had it not been for you ladies and this site. Hugs and love to you all! XOXOX

Beth September 9, 2015 at 3:51 am

Hi Lina,
Any chance you could email me regarding PRP and results? I am undergoing PRP for AGA here in Phoenix, AZ, but would like to know if you can keep me posted on whether the treatments you received are showing real results, as every doctor seems to have their own formula. Dr. Greco seems to be one of the pioneers of PRP. I would deeply appreciate corresponding with you regarding this. Many Thanks, Beth.

Connie March 16, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Thank you “Y” for giving me the courage to “ACCEPT” my hair loss. Today I am wearing my beautiful wig and never looking back. I feel like myself again & pretty too!! It will be a little scary wearing it into work tomorrow, but there is no good time, I’m taking the plunge!! “Y” keep on doing what your doing. You are having such a positive impact on those who are battling hair loss.
God bless you!
Connie

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