Kate
  • Female
  • San Antonio, TX
  • United States
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  • Christy  Ingram
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Kate's Discussions

How much time to tan a newly bald head?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Kate Sep 11, 2010. 6 Replies

So, how long does it usually take for a freshly shaved head to develop a bit of color and blend into the face and neck?Obviously it is important to take precautions against the sun with sunscreen,…Continue

So, does a shaved head itch as hair grows in?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Carol Aug 22, 2010. 3 Replies

I have diffused thinning all over, but still have lots of hair, especially around the back of my head. I have started to think about buzzing or shaving my hair someday, but I must know, does a shaved…Continue

Introducing myself, and interested in stories of your hair loss

Started this discussion. Last reply by Rose Marie' Aug 11, 2010. 4 Replies

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…Continue

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Profile Information

Relationship Status:
Married
About Me:
I have been dealing with my diagnosis of androgenic alopecia for four years now, and while I feel significantly more accepting of the condition than I did when I first joined, I still feel a bit shy about being open with my feeling about hair loss. Isn't it funny how hair loss can be so obvious, but also so hidden? Otherwise I am a happy and generally upbeat person. I love to cook, eat, and sew vintage dresses. I work in technology. I am married to a wonderful man and together we travel and explore. 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. (Update: I now have the dog, the house, and the cozy kitchen. I now have less time to bake though, because I am always walking the dog. Ha!)

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 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 locks. However, my loved ones and boyfriend/now 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 thinning all over and especially on top. Yikes!

Now, 10 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 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 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 now four years into my official diagnosis and in general have come to terms with the full realization that my head of heair is a temporal state. Most of the time now I am fine, but sometimes I still 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 relationships and my overall happiness.

As I mentioned, I feel shy and a bit uncomfortable with this right now, but I look forward to easing myself into the forum 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.

"Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices."
~Shana Alexander
Do you have alopecia?
Female pattern baldness
Are you age 18 or older?
Yes - I am 18 or older

Kate's Photos

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Kate's Blog

Will I look like a bald man?

Posted on December 13, 2010 at 11:30am 3 Comments

Without hair, will I look masculine? I have androgenic alopecia, or female pattern baldness. So, I still have a decent amount of hair all over my head. I have retained a normal hairline. However my hair is thinning on the top, the upper sides, and the top back. I have about twice as much hair on the back ring of my head as on the top.…

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The economics of hair

Posted on December 3, 2010 at 1:00pm 9 Comments

Have you thought about the costs of maintaining hair? I have been maintaining a head of hair all my life, without complaint either, because good hair is a fabulous asset and always seemed worth the effort. But recently, with diminishing hair, I have been exploring the upsides of being hairless. One big upside, money savings! The economics of maintaining hair are appealing when you plot it all out. Take for example my hair maintenance routine (if I was being maximally careful... of course… Continue

The value of a support network, and "It gets better"

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 10:30pm 0 Comments

Last week was National Coming Out Day (on October 11). I work on a University campus, and since campuses are known for social outreach it was a well documented and discussed event. For those of you that don't know, National Coming Out Day is an awareness day focusing on discussion about the coming out process for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered and Question individuals, especially teenagers and youth.



In reaction to the tragic bullying-induced suicides of recent, this year there… Continue

Oh geez, I am getting a haircut

Posted on August 26, 2010 at 6:48pm 3 Comments

Oh geez. I am a bit of a nervous, indecisive wreck right now. I am getting a haircut on Saturday, my first since my doctor's visits confirmed my female pattern hair loss earlier this summer. Also, and more importantly than the doctor's diagnosis, this is my first haircut since I started obsessively analyzing my head with a hand mirror and identifying every thin spot. And to make matters more unsettling, I am working with a new stylist, and I have no idea of her qualifications for working with… Continue

Comment Wall (11 comments)

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At 8:58am on December 16, 2014, Feedingsparrows said…
Hi Kate, thanks for your positivity. It's good to know that people make it through the emotional obstacle course or hairloss; that has been hard to imagine before reading people's narratives on this site.
At 3:33pm on December 15, 2014, Feedingsparrows said…
Hi, Kate. I really appreciate your welcoming comments. Since I found this website, I've been reading through it almost constantly and read many of your discussion posts -- so thank you for those as well. Did you ultimately shave your head? How do you feel about your alopecia now? Did you ever stop loving things like sewing and pretty clothes? I ask because my interest in swishy skirts and pretty patterns has plummeted and I miss enjoying my wardrobe, jewelry, and excessive routines in addition to missing my actual hair.
At 1:46pm on July 29, 2011, Marie said…
Initially, I handled the whole thing by getting my hair cut short and using hair spray. I also went the Dermmatch route for a time and had exactly the same problems with it as you describe. I fussed and obsessed and got depressed. The final straw came, however, when I realized that I no longer had an actual hair STYLE -- I just did whatever was necessary t0 make the thinning less noticable. As a self-described fashionista, that is totally not my MO! So, I oppted for a brand new fashion accesory -- wigs!
At 1:32pm on July 29, 2011, Marie said…
It was weird to see your photos because you hair looks exactly like my natural hair used to look: the color, density, and curl were so familiar. Of course, now, I'm a straight-haired blond!
At 9:48pm on December 14, 2010, Nesha B. said…

Thank you for adding me!  I really need someone to converse with about this.  I will definately keep you updated on my fpb and if I can find anything that helps!

 

Nesha

At 3:48pm on November 29, 2010, Virginia said…
I loved reading your blogs. Sorry I didn't add you sooner I haven't been on here for a few months.
At 5:11pm on September 2, 2010, Christy Ingram said…
Kate, Thanks so much for adding me....you are my first AW friend!I really can identify with you, being in my first months of my official diagnoses FPB or Androgenetic Alopecia...It has been one heck of a many years long roller coaster ride, especially the past few months. I am still learning how to do stuff on here...I'm so looking forward to the support on here, and hope I can return it!!!
At 3:26pm on August 27, 2010, Lauren said…
im so sorry kate...i think i called you karen in the message i just sent you lol but that was the name of the woman who left a comment right above yours
At 11:53am on August 23, 2010, Kirsteen Forrest said…
Hiya Kate!! Welcome to this wonderful site!!! Thank you for your lovely words and I hope that one day you can find peace with your self too. I took me a while but I got there eventually and you will . Love Kirsteen x x
At 6:10pm on August 8, 2010, LeslieAnn Butler said…
Hello and welcome, Kate!
How are you today?
LeslieAnn
 
 
 

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