As many of you know, I am writing a book titled Boldly Bald Women. I have come to a place where I would like input from those women who have shaved their heads and choose to go bare headed (weather permitting). I have gone through the downsides of living a boldly bald lifestyle. The section I am writing now asks the question:

"So why, if there is cruelty towards and discrimination against women daring to go bald in public, why would anyone in their right mind expose themselves to the emotional discomfort and societal intolerance of female baldness? Now there’s a sixty four thousand dollar question for you."

Some of you, who have already participated with this project via a questionnaire have sent me your reasons. This group has grown recently and if any of you are willing, I'd love to have you share. Those of us shaving our heads and living boldly bald are pioneers for the women who are less comfortable and more leery of consequences. I believe we can help those who follow to feel more free to explore options by sharing our own stories. There is no financial compensation for sharing, but there is the satisfaction of knowing you are using your difference for the good of your sisters.


Thank you for your willingness to shine!

Pam

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Replies to This Discussion

i think good on you all for being brave enough not to go out in wigs and to shave your heads i feel there is a lot more freedom and the power it gives u to feel your self, altho i do understand why some ppl do wear wigs cos some ppl can be so cruel its unbelievable, with all the thick skin you need to fend your self from the small minded ppl in the world no wonder the wigs are hot and itchy lol, x x
i can totally relate to that. i am 13. i have not come to shaving it all off yet but people tease me enough already. to be honest i am lucky with the people i know but there are some people that i know from my past that i would see in the streets that would probably tease me about the way i look. the sad thing is , is that i used to have lovely long golden ringlets. now i have short stubbly rough hair with patches. it looks like im ruined.
i also need to gather up the courage to tell my parents that i want to shave my head. im sure that it will have a lot of benefits, i.e: my hats wont make me sweat anymore, i wont faint from heat anymore, i wont worry about if my hat is on correcly and all that, but also i could get bullied, it wont be ME anymore, people may think the wrong thing. im just so confused please help me.
Daniela
xxxx
Daniela,
Oh, sweet heart, you aren't ruined...you're just getting started! Check out this video of Olivia Rusk, a girl just your age who has found her place in life as a result of having alopecia. She is amazing. I met her at the last NAAF conference in Indiana this summer (NAAF is the National Alopecia Areata Foundation). She is smart and fun and funny and serious about using her difference to inspire others. I'm sure that once you see her video you will want to get in touch with her. She has a lot to offer. And, Daniela, so do you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXnDfRgh_nU

Never underestimate the power of you!
thank you so much x :'] i will watch the video :]:]:]
Emma,
It is true people can be cruel. I am writing about cruelty in Boldly Bald Women. Being 'thick skinned' has not helped me deal with curelty. The needles can be sharp enough to puncture even the thickest emotional skin. For me it has been about understanding the initial shock some people have when seeing a bald woman and about realizing that it is the really insecure folks of this world who have no room in their hearts and their environment for differences. Rather than take in their comments, I can smile, offer them information on alopecia and say a quiet prayer that Poppa God will give them the security they so desperately want. I think the greatest gift alopecia has given me is freedom from the need to justify my existence and the form it takes. I am who I am, alopecia is what it is, and I have a lot more important things to do in my life than worry about what someone else thinks of my bald head. I simply won't squander my time and energy that way anymore.
Sandra,

Liberating was the word for me as well. Just the freedom to be me - as I am - without pretense. It was such a relief. Wow..."GI Jane"...I WISH! I look more like Buddha, lol. And humor has so helped. Not the defensive deflective kind, but the I-know-and-it's-okay-for-you-to-notice kind. I have found being bald to be a great way to start discussions with folks I meet during the course of a day. I even had one guy come up to me with envy written all over his face. "Who's your barber?" He asked reaching out to touch my smooth head. " Al Lopecia," I respnded and we had a companionable discussion about baldness over the salad bar in Old Country Buffet, as we moved along making our selections. We smiled at each other in passing for the rest of the evening. That never would have happened if I'd had hair.
Hi Pam, I'd be glad to share why I choose to go bald. I've only been completely bald since this April, but I never had a wig and never considered wearing a wig, I just don't want to wear one or take care of one. I also have to say I don't like this new look, at all, but I have people who love me and they love me the way I am.
This is what I say to all the other people when they question me why "I don't just get a wig?" I reply "Wearing a wig only makes it easier for you to look at me, if you can't except the way I look then that's your problem". It may sound like a slap in the face but it's true, I can't worry about what others think of me or my looks, this is my disease and I try to cope with it the best I can and that means not spending an hour in the morning getting my head/face on. I tried false eyelashes once and got so frustrated that I ended up beating up my stove! It's really hard facing the world bald, it takes a big set of balls to do it, but right from the first day on I've managed to hold my head high and just put one foot in front of the other. My first winter bald is going to be a challenge, I find it extremely cold already having finished the last month moose and deer hunting. Sitting still for hours in the cold I found if my head wasn't warm then the rest of me wouldn't stay warm, then when I did have to walk any distance my head would sweat buckets! so I carried two hats at all times. This is all a new experience for me and I thank this site for getting me through the tough spots. Sue
Sue,
I apologize for the delay in responding to you. I had what the doc called a 'serial virus' that led to pneumonia which triggered an asthma attack that left me hospitalized between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've been laying low ever since. But am now recovering and returning to the task of completing Boldly Bald Women.

I love your statement about wearing a wig makes it easier for you to look at me. And I know from personal experience that is true. It is also true that some folks ask that question because they are concerned about you getting hurt as people stare from curiosity or misconception or just plain ignorance. I live in Michigan and have lots of hats too. I wear them to bed because my husband and I like to sleep in a cool room, but the hats always slip off during the night. We need somebody out there to invent a stay-on-all-night-cap, lol!

Wow. Moose and deer hunting. I've had deer meat and love it when cooked with skill. Never had moose meat. Is it good?

Pam
Seedraiser,

Please see the apology for my late response above...

I think the anger you speak of is pretty universal in the process of grieving hair loss and a forced change of just about any type. Not everyone is willing to be so openly brave about expressing it, and some feel the grieving anger to greater or lesser degrees. I had my moments of anger as well...but it was more at the inconvenience of having to deal with the change rather than the bald itself. In a way I was fortunate to have universalis. It all fell out over a short period of time and I only had to shave once to get rid of the strays before they fell out too.

Right now, however, my head is covered with short coarse colorless stubble around significant spots of still baby butt smooth skin. I even had one long black hair growing out of my chin that sent me in a panic to the medicine cabinet looking for the tweezer I hadn't used in three years! Yuck! Pulled that sucker out in two seconds flat.

I have no idea if this is just because it's winter, though nothing like it happened the past two years, or because I've been on so many antibiotics and steroids to get past being really sick that I've somehow temporarily foiled the mechanism that tells my hair not to grow. Whatever it is, I miss my smooth head and feel really strange having colorless fuzz on my head. Makes me look dusty.

As for moving on from anger but not coming to acceptance yet....you're right on schedule. Acceptance is the last part of grieving the loss. And you'll get there when and if you are ready. Whenever it is, it will be right on time for you. There are as many different ways of grieving this loss as there are people who have to deal with it. And it takes however long it takes and that's okay.

My children are grown now, and I don't have to think about what choice I would have made had they been little. But I do have a three and a half year old grandchild in preschool and I'm not worried about kids reactions to me. They are so open in asking questions and so I go into my spiel about alopecia and let them feel my head and answer what they ask. Once they understand and are okay with it, there's never a problem again. But then three year olds are more accepting than older kids who worry about their own image and find putting others down a way to feel better about themselves.

Even so, there are ways to deal with that too. Kids can write reports on alopecia and bring mom to school for show and tell or even an all school assembly - so many people have been amazed at the acceptance and support garnered through open acceptance of alopecia. Not to mention the courage other women suffering silently with alopecia in various degrees in your children's school might receive.

Still, you are where you are and where you are is right where you need to be at this point in time.
I love your spunk and honesty.

Seedraiser is an interesting screen name. Do you garden or are you into collecting organic or rare seeds?

Thanks for sharing your story.
Pam

Have you spoken to any women who are bald by choice (voluntary alopecians) who go bald because they like it and want to do it and do not have any ailment?

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