I have had alopecia areata since after the birth of my son some 20 years ago. I had the usual treatments, Rogaine before it was over-the-counter; the shots to my scalp. All worked for a short amount of time. I am a dark-brunette, bordering on "black" haired woman. I have taken to having my hair dyed blonde (single process, no bleaching) as you notice the spots less with lighter hair, it all blends. But its not working that well anymore.
I am a musician and in the public eye. I saw photos of myself from a gig I had a week ago, there was no getting around the spots that I can no longer "cover". I became enraged and sad at the same time. With this condition, one hopes that it "...won't happen to me, it will grow back...". On top of everything, this week I woke up and noticed I barely had any hair in the back of my head.
Its important with this condition to have people around you that support you that will tell you the truth. I took photos of my head in various positions which show how bad my spots have become. God graced me with thick hair; the little bit of hair left I have used to attempt covering the spots; it no longer works.
After taking my photos I sent them to my twin sister, who, by the way, does NOT have alopecia areata and we're identical, one minute apart. My sister was honest, she called me and wrote back "it's time".
I have made an appointment with my hairdresser from NYC, where I used to live (I live in Philadelphia). He knows the shape of my head, he knows of my alopecia. He will cut my hair all the way down and see how I look. I suspect the spots have become so large, in which case I want him to buzz my head. I give him that honor; he's been my hairdresser/friend 20+ years.
I am looking forward to this liberation. The past 3 years of my life have been difficult, having been laid off from my day-job. While I pursue my art, my heart's desire, music, I still have to pay my rent, eat, sustain my life. Its been very difficult not being able to find work. Unemployment is exhausted. I have $0 income, except for what little I may make at gigs which is not much at all.
I am going to first handle not having the bit of hair that I have, accept myself THEN deal with looking for a wig. I may not like wigs; I may not like how it feels. Then again, I may get Wendy Williams "wiggy" and have a blast with it. I won't know til I get past the first step, my head, my baldness. All I know is the time has come for me to confront this.
My husband thinks I won't be able to find a job moreso without hair. I disagree. Yes, some people will say horrible things or think I have cancer. But I believe my feeling good and not constantly worrying what I may look like in any given moment, while I attempt to smile and move forward, will open my doors for me. He also believes it will negatively impact my music career. I doubt that it will, but if it does, I have to take care of this situation, and it will mean I've gone as far as I can go with it. For my remainder of time on earth, I want to breathe easier.
I am always seeking a glass reflection when I walk down the street and there's a breeze; I feel sheer panic, worried the "spots" will show. This summer I went to a pool with my sister, and I was so hot, but concerned about getting in the water and wetting my head. You could really see what little hair I have when my head is wet. I am so tired of living this way. It takes a lot of energy and effort to continue living this way. I think that my husband won't like my baldness and that's something he will have to deal with and that I will deal with. Perhaps he won't be attracted to me anymore. Well, that means that he doesn't see the real "me" and I probably don't need him. Yes, this is a very strong statement, but it lends credence to the conviction I am feeling about myself. Bottom line: its just hair. I'm not "sick", I am very alive, healthy and have much to offer the world; I'm still "me".
I am grateful for Alopecia World. I am grateful to my friend Crowned Regal who first told me about this site (she also has alopecia). I wish for all of us to feel good and move forward. I need a great deal of information and hope to find it via this site.
I will post a new photo March 5 or thereabouts.
With much gratitude and light.
Eulalia Lili Anel
"This above all else, to thine own self be true."