Where acceptance is all there is
I just joined the site and I've literally never talked about my alopecia to anyone before, so this is really scary for me. I've had alopecia areata since I was very young, I think my mom noticed my first spots around 3 years old. I wore a wig in kindergarten, but since then, my hair has grown in completely. I have had a few spots here and there over the years, but I've always been able to hide them and they've always grown back. Not even my boyfriend or closest friends know I have this and I'm so so scared for them to find out. I'm now a freshman in college, and my hair has started to fall out very very rapidly. Ive lost about 40 percent of my hair, and can barely hide it anymore. I know I'm probably going to go back to wearing a wig, but I really just can't except it or deal with it. I'm afraid my boyfriend will see me differently and not want me anymore and that my friends will be scared around me. I just wanted to actually write something and say this (kind of) out loud because I really have no one to talk to about it. Id be willing to chat with anyone, but it's also a relief just to type this out and accept that this is real and happening to me and I need to learn how to cope in a healthy way. If anyone wants to share how they told their friends or significant other about their alopecia, I'd really love to hear about it!
Hey Kaleigh, I have a similar situation. Lost my eyebrows in middle school, so I grew my hair out to cover the missing eyebrows. Was good until last summer when I was going into my Junior year of college, I started to notice the long hair I grew to hide my eyebrow loss was beginning to thin/fall out. It happened very fast. Noticed it in August and then it was all gone by November. Throughout that time it was difficult, every emotion besides happiness was flooding my body. While all this was happening I feared loosing everything. My girlfriend, my friends, my life, you name it, it was a worry. I sat and told my girlfriend everything, she was really supportive and has been my rock through my journey. For my friends, this was rough. It wasn’t easy. A lot of hat wearing and hiding what was going on took place. I couldn’t hide it anymore when my hair was being found in the shower in the dorm clogging the drain, (got so bad it flooded the bathroom). It was then I knew I had to tell them, so I did. My thought process was, I wasn’t going share what was going on because it wasn’t their business, until it was. Your friends, if they truly are your friends will be there for you. Hair was a reality, turned fantasy for me, and for a lot of us on this site. Coping has been rough, but I try and find the positives in everything, and absolutely everything. The positive here, is that this isn’t going to kill us. Rock the wig, and the people that are supposed to understand what’s going on will, and to those that don’t, maybe they can be educated.
Very well said dolphin.
Kaleigh - I too have alopecia and have since the age of 8. I lost all of my hair all over. I've been wearing wigs all my life and have always felt as you feel now. Worried about what others will think. I'm 56 now and so I've been completely bald for almost 50 years. I can't say exactly what your boyfriend or close friends will say, but I can tell you that he is with you for many reasons, least of which, I'm sure, is your hair. Believe me, I've had that same conversation with every significant other I've had and the conversations were always much easier than I ever thought they could be. I've had many lifelong friends who have been supportive. Maybe its because I'm 56, but I can tell you it isn't the worst thing to happen in your life. I know you know this...so I just say it to reinforce you. You are more than your hair. Since I lost all my hair so young, and never got any of it back, I can't imagine how it would feel to have to go through this all your life. But I will share with you that I learned too late in life to just let it go and accept it. I've gone through depression and zero self confidence. I've believed myself to be less than human. I didn't do things in my life that I wish now I would have. But one day a few years ago, my local wig shop was doing a TV news show in their shop to bring awareness to all women, men and children who suffer from baldness for any reason. They wanted volunteers. I told my daughter about it and she said DO IT. I said you are freaking nuts! So she nominated me on her own. I read the letter she wrote and I cried. She believed that I could not only could do this but that I would be an inspiration. I suddenly realized that people didn't view me as less human, or ugly or damaged. So I ended up doing the TV spot and it was the most scary and most liberating thing I had ever done. I learned a new word that day. Brave. I've been working on being brave ever since. I even did a commercial for the same wig shop. I'm no longer bound by the constraints I put on myself. But it is a process...and for me, longer than I should have allowed it to take. Of course everyone has to do it at their own pace, but I do know, from past experience, that I held myself back from my own fear. There was no NAAF or Alopecia World to talk to back then. I had no-one, so I thought. Your boyfriend and your friends will embrace you and support you and lift you up. If they don't, do you want them in your life? You are beautiful and starting a brand new adventure in your life. Take your alopecia with you on this adventure! Please feel free to message me. I don't know how I got through this without support but in today's world, being bald is a choice by some. A badge of honor and survival for others. Your courage to talk about it might give someone else strength to reach out and find someone to talk to.
I hope you find it uplifting that most replies / repliers have shared essentially the same things. We all have been where you are, and are now in a different place and mindset. Hopefully, you will accept and be able to cope soon.
Hello to everyone!
My name is Toni and I also have AA. It started when I was a freshman in college due to stress. I have attempted to hide it for twenty years. I have worn human hair as well as synthetic and have bonded and used other attachment methods.
Recently I went to work for the salon/hair replacement studio who was helping me. It has been liberating and I love to help people going through something that I experienced and felt I couldn't share. We also have a support group (in Colorado). If I can help anyone with anything, please let me know. We sell Human Hair, Synthetic and Cyberhair for men, women and children, as well as all of the products needed. Let me know if you have any questions, just want to chat or are looking for hair piece comparisons/options. We have a small staff with a ton of experience as well.
Have a great night!!
Hi Kayleigh, I’m new and extremely stressed about this too. I noticed my hair was thinning for about two years now but I thought it was just because I was stressed - or maybe in denial. In the last few months, though, it’s got too bad to ignore. My front hairline has receded about an inch or so after a couple of years of being red and inflamed and I have bald patches above both ears. The rest of my hair is really thin and it’s got to the stage where I can’t do anything with it. I think the prolonged stress in my life has made it worse - my mum is elderly and lives with us and my husband has just had a heart attack. Anyway, I know exactly how you feel - I have been hiding it for so long and I have just started telling close friends because I know the time is here to buy wigs. I’m especially worried because I am a high school
teacher and I don’t want awkward questions from students! Anytime you want to chat, you can message me. I know hard it is being in this position and I feel your pain.