Introducing myself, and interested in stories of your hair loss

Hi new friends to be. I wanted to write and introduce myself in hopes of making some new acquaintances and finding some support. I am not 100% sure this is the right place to post. Afterall I am new to my hairloss diagnosis and even newer to participating in forums. Please gently guide me in the right direction if this post is off course. To be honest, I still feel a bit shy about being open with my feeling about hair loss, but I thought I would give this a shot.

The recent official diagnosis of my androgenic alopecia (female pattern baldness or FPB) has thrown me for a loop and there have been bouts of crying, depression, and lots of self pity over the past couple of months, but otherwise I would consider myself a happy and generally upbeat person. I love to cook, eat, and sew vintage dresses. I work in fundraising. I am married to a wonderful man and together we travel and explore when and where we can. More than a great head of hair, someday I would like a dog, a house with a cozy kitchen, lots of vintage clothing, and time to bake every day.

My hair loss story began when I was 21. I studied abroad in Ireland, where I boldly got a very short haircut (think Felicity) with my curly locks. Well, being abroad was lonely for me and by the time it was over I had developed my first and only severe bout of depression in my life. With the sadness, I started worrying about my short haircut because I could see my scalp and worried my hair was thinning. But... of course everyone (including myself) thought this fixation on thinning hair was a byproduct of my depression and anxiety.

Well, the anxiety and depression self corrected after a few months back home, but the fear about my thinning hair has never entirely dissipated. During times of stress I always ended up at the bathroom mirror inspecting my hairline, and I swear finding evidence of thinning. However, my loved ones and husband always saw my concern as a remnant of that sad period of my life and assured me I was stone cold crazy to worry. "You're fine" they would say. "You have plenty of hair" was the common response. And so I would put the worry to rest, temporarily.

But this summer a hairdresser in my hometown was styling my hair for the first time in four or five years, and she gently asked me if I had noticed the change in hair texture on the top and sides of my head. My heart sunk, and upon further inspection with a hand mirror I realized that indeed, my hair is significantly thinning all over and especially on top. Yikes!

Now, 7 years after my official worries about thin hair, I have been officially diagnosed with androgenic alopecia (the dreaded female pattern baldness!) by two dermatologists, and the loss is visible even to those loved ones who always denied my worries. In some ways it is a bit of a relief to hear the diagnosis, as now I know I was not crazy with anxiety all these years. And in trying to find the bright side, I admit that if I had to choose between a chemical imbalance in my brain or a chemical imbalance in my hair follicles, I choose the follicles every time!

I am in the first months of the official diagnosis and just starting to come to terms with the full realization that my head of hair is a temporal state. I find myself wavering between feeling comfortable and confident in my ability to handle this situation with grace, and absolutely sick to my stomach and stricken with fear about the ways this condition might affect my life and my dreams and my relationships and my overall happiness.

As I mentioned, I feel shy and a bit awkward with this right now, but I look forward to easing myself into the forums and the FPB group. I plan on learning from others' experiences, sharing my own, and hopefully becoming more and more confident in my own strength, beauty, and worth with or without hair.

I would love to hear from some of you, just to know your stories and where you are at with your diagnosis. I have lots of questions to bring to discussions and the forum and I look forward to getting to know you. Thanks!

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Hi Kate and welcome!
I'm very new to this site and the diagnosis too, but to be honest I guess I knew I had FPB before I was finally given a diagnosis. I've certainly hit some lows over the hair loss (although, I've never cried about it, which some people seem to find surprising) but I think my family, or more specifically my mother have been hit harder than I have. She often says how "sad" it is, but I kind of feel more "Meh" about it.
It has effected my self esteem a little and I don't go out as much as I used to, but then that may be a natural progression at my age anyway (33), plus I have a one year old, so who has the time??? ;-)
I've just started looking into wigs, which has been lots of fun. I've purchased on line, because the only wig shop in my town smells like sheep - not appealing.
So I'm waiting for them to arrive and then I plan to get a few different styles so I can have a new look each day. I plan to get one really good quality one (maybe two) and have the other cheaper ones for play. One of the other girls in the FPB steered me in the right direction for wigs, you'll find you get a lot of support here. I've never been so well welcomed into a forum before. I hope you also find some comfort, advice - and most important of all, friendship here.
Looking forward to getting to know you!
Mhairi
Thanks for the welcome. I love your photos, and your baby is cute as a button. I imagine it must be exhausting but rewarding!

Like you, I was not totally shocked to discover I officially have androgenic alopecia. But I must say, up until a few months ago, I NEVER looked at my head at all angles with a handhold mirror, so I had no real idea the extent of my thinning. I was shocked, a bit appalled that I did not know, and immediately concerned and embarrassed about what those around me might have been seeing for longer than I was (although there is no sense regretting the past, I know).

For now, I think my hair is still acceptable, even though I am hyper aware of its thinning. My kind and sort of oblivious husband swears he can't see a thinning problem, and my parents and sisters also assure me I still look "normal" so at this point I am working off of their word and proceeding as normal with styling, etc. But, for me, the ultimate fear is that I am slowly degenerating and will somehow miss the moment when my hair becomes too thin and too icky to effectively wear as my own. I am no so fearful of being bald as I am of looking like I am going bald, if that makes any sense.

Anyhow, thanks for the warm welcome and I hope we stay in touch. Take care!
- Kate
Hiya Kate.... ignore Sooz and her talk of split infinitives - she's just a Star trek TNG fan! And anyway, what's wrong with us baldies splitting our infinitives.... we can't have split ends any more :)

Anyway, keep talking on here (in any language you like :) ), and you'll make lotsa new pals and get loadsa support! Of course you're gonna feel "down" about what's happening - it's a big deal when something happens to change your self-image - but it's always good to have people around who've already been there, done that, and got the wig. ;)

Lookin' forward to hearing (reading?) more from ya!

OK... time for ME to split.... :)
Hi

I just wanted to pop in and welcome you. I will really look forward to getting to know you a little better over the next wee while.

Take care

Rosy

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