Dear friends

When do you introduce a wig and how to a young child? I have a 3 year old daughter with AT since the age of one. She asks everyday about her hair, and if she can have it. I explain as good as I can that she is beautiful anyway and that her hair is "asleep", and she says "ok" and starts playing with toys. She is an outgoing girl and a happy kid. I want her to accept her self as the beauty she is with or without hair. Thats the main goal so she get used to being her. But I also want to tell her that she have the opportunity to have hair in a nice and comfy wig.  In Norway kids under 18 years get two costume made wigs per year, fully refunded by the government. My family and my husband says its ok to get one soon just to play with and get used to that she have the oportunity to have hair and not stared at all the time. Her friends and family are used to her without hair, but I see that she does not like people stearing on a buss and in the city. But as my mum says; she must handle the stears, cause people will always stear. As I said I do not want to get her to feel as she have to hide her AT. I want her to bee confident, and happy with her sweet bald head, but I also know that she is a girl and girls most often want to have wig in the end anyway. Does anyone have any experience with young child and wigs? My hairdresser has AT her self and recommended a Foella Gripper Sport length 6 for my daughter. It looked so natural and even comfy.

Mum of child with AT

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Thank you for your advices:)

I have had AA since I was 16 and now many years later my little niece has it she is now 4 years. Her first couple years were lots and lots of hats and head bands. She too asked about hair and we explained that some people do not have hair, some can not see etc etc. We did get her a good wig because this prosthesis is just like any other, you want to get the best you can for the most adaption possible. Now she wears it and sometimes we ad tattoos and jewels to our head just for fun. My niece now thinks she needs more colors and lengths like her auntie. Just teach her not to hide behind the wig, we are lucky because we can wear cool head designs and different hair. Try not to get too anxious or she will also.
Take care Diane

I lost all of my hair at the age of 11.  I went an entire year without a wig...my choice.  I wasn't ready.  It was such a traumatic experience that I couldn't handle another transition so soon.  Before the next school year, we went on the hunt.  I have worn a wig ever since and I am 34 now.

I think that your daughter has a benefit being so little and not really understanding what is going on.  You can certainly give her the option.  Introduce it to her...Let her see it, touch it...Take it slow.    If you want to try something a little cheaper the first time, try a monofilament wig.  They are not as scatchy like others.  I wears those often along with my Freedom wig.  Believe it or not, my mono wig, I always get compliments on it (color and cut).  It is a Rene of Paris.

Best of luck to you and your little girl!

Thank you for your advices:)

Hi! :) 
I have had alopecia since I was around 10 years old (I'm 18 today), and I thought I should share some of my experiences with you, since I have tried it all: hats, wigs, extensions and finally, going bald. (PS: jeg er også fra Norge! Ta gjerne kontakt hvis du vil diskutere på norsk også :) ) 

To put it short: I would not recommend getting a wig for your daughter. I have several reasons why I think so: 

1. A wig will never feel like real hair. Even though you find a good wig that looks somewhat natural and comfy, it will probably still look a bit odd and feel a bit uncomfortable. It will for example be warm in the summer and it might itch a lot. I got my first wig when I was around 11, and when it did not look good at all. It was very obvious that it was a wig, and everyone noticed!

2. Wearing a wig is scary. When I was wearing a wig, I was often afraid that it was going to fall off or that someone would pull it off me. When I spent so much effort on hiding my baldness, I actually developed an irrational fear of losing my wig. In some situations, it is also very unnatural to wear a wig, for instance when you go swimming, or when your kid is going to sleep-over at some friend's. Those situations can be very hard to cope with, if you have already developed a fear for being seen without a wig.

3. It is important to accept the situation and your own body. I know that this is a bit odd to say when your kid is only 3 years old, but in the long run it is very important. When I went bald this summer, it was the first moment I actually accepted myself. And it felt REALLY GOOD! It is actually the best decision I could ever make regarding my situation (I had lost approximately 75% of my hair). I noticed that people did not really stare that much, and when I met other bald girls on the streets (they exists!) I always got a smile :)

I wish that I would have just shaved my head when I was 11 instead of hiding behind a wig. The self-esteem boost is really worth it :) Of course, this decision is up to you and your daughter, I just thought I would share some of my thoughts and experiences! Hope that it was helpful to you!

Hei Tomine

Takk, for ditt svar og dine råd. Setter veldig pris på dem:) 

Hilsen

Matica

I think you are looking at it correctly.  If you make her wear a wig, she will feel as though she isn't good enough just the way she is.  If you get her a wig to 'play' with, I guarantee she'll wear it for about 30 seconds, then be annoyed at how it feels and tear it right off.  Let HER tell you what she wants to do and don't listen to people who think she ought to be wearing one.  Get her if you can, to some activities where there are other little kids with AT or AU like NAAF or CAP.  Then she will see she isn't the only one.  Most kids don't seriously even want to wear 'hair' until they are at a minimum 7 or 8 and even then they may prefer just to go au natural! 

Thank you for your answer. I will never force her to wear a wig. Nobody has ever told me that she ought to wear a wig, rather otherwise because she has a loving family and friends who does not question her bald head.  They support Isabella as who she is.  I just think it`s ok to give her opportunities . Like Carmen says. She has a friend with AT too, so she knows she is not the only one. The thing is that she has seen her wig, and asks why she can't have one too. So I do listen to her. But still it`s complicated for a mum to make the right choice in this matter..

I was three when my hair fell out. I'm nearly 36 and still have no hair. My parents put a wig on me right away. I don't think they saw there to be any other choice. I agree with your way of thinking and with the others' thoughts about self esteem. Don't encourage "hiding" behind a wig. But to answer your question and respond to your personal situation here are MY thoughts: a girl needs choices. Provide hats, scarves, sunscreen (for that natural approach) AND a wig (especially since they are government provided in custom made pieces). Put em all on the shelf and which ever suits her mood as she gets dressed let her choose. No different than choosing which shirt, pants, socks & shoes to wear. And as she asks about her hair and your explanation is that it's sleeping (which is awesomely age appropriate IMO ) you could add we have no idea how to wake it up or when it will wake up on its own.
My thinking is that given the choices with no pressure as to what she chooses she will do what suits her best and U will know she comfortable. Plus the inclination to "hide behind" will be less. Think of it like this. We don't hide or naked feet behind our shoes because we are ashamed. We dress up our feet using shoes to enhance our fashion. Hair, hats, scarves, baldness can be thought on in the same way. Especially easier when taught such attitude at a young age.
Besides 3 years old is a very natural time to start making her own fashion choices. Whether her clothes match or not. :) It's a "choose" ur battles issue.

Thank you Carmen for your answer. It`s all about providing opportunities with no pressure, as you say. Just giving her options of what she can wear. A friend of mine who has AT too said that she was angry at her parents for forcing her to accept her self bald  for three years before they bought her a wig. She would rather know there was options than to be forced to face her baldness this way. She has accepted her self, and are not afraid of taking of her wig one day and putting it on another day. But she does not think it`s right to force children to go many years without wigs just to accept their beautiful head. The`ll find acceptance in their own time..and in their own way

These are all great perspectives. The best answer and choice can only come from you and your daughter, well even more so your daughter.  My daughter is now 6 and began losing her hair around 2 and was fully bald by 3.  At about 4 she began PreSchool and we began looking for options for her.  I found a salon who specializes in hair loss and was able to offer her a wig for her smaller head size.  We took her and she was so thrilled.  My daughter is a girly girl, which I am sure most girls tend to be.  But I already knew this is what she wanted.  I know 100 percent that she knows she is beautiful and that her hairloss is just that hairloss.  However, she wanted hair.  She wanted hairstyles, hair accessories, the whole package!  I do not regret introducing her to a wig.  I know that when she chooses to go out into the world with no hair that she will.  And that is all that matters to me, that she is happy with or without it.  I do not believe her wearing a wig so young has taken away (even slightly) her sense of confidence or self worth because us as parents, and her large family make sure that we all stay the major support system for eachother.  I say if she wants to try one, go get her one and let her decide when she wants to put it on.  My daughter sometimes chose to skip it, now that she is in 1st grade, she loves lookin at hairstyles and colors and dreams about her teenage years when she can be more creative!  Its not always about "hiding" sometimes it is just as simple as a girl wants to enjoy some hair! Age shouldnt matter if you can provide her one!  Its already hard to find a quality wig at an affordable place, so if your area provides one thats fabulous! 

Best Wishes on your decision and to your and your little girl and family!

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