My first encounter with alopecia was back in 1993 when I was dying my hair and perming my hair like crazy. And I got a brilliant idea to try this crap I saw on a late night infomercial on a hair care product call “Rio Hair” it was suppose to be an all natural product to relax curly hair. Yeah well, silly me bought into that “infomercial” and purchased a kit. After trying to comb through that stuff…which had turned into glue on my hair, I was pulling my hair out by the handfuls and it turned my hair into a courser and thinner texture. I noticed the bald spots a few days later and went to a dermatologist for help, he gave me a cream to place on the spots, I used it and it burned my scalp, of course I quit using it and nothing happened to the bald spots.
Then I went through the pain of cortisone shots, which was the most painful of all! They have to shoot cortisone into each and every hair follicle within each bald spot! And at that time I had about 3 quarter sized spots. Never again would I put myself through that pain for hair!!!
The hair did come back for awhile and then it came out again. But I was still able to cover up the spots with the hair I had left. A few months passed and another spot formed on the other side and then those spots of hair grew back once again except for the nape of my neck, that area was burned by the cream the first time I saw that dermatologist and the nape of my neck never really grew back in after that.
As the years went on my hair would come and go with the circle shaped spots here and there and I was able to wear a short Afro style for a few years until the unthinkable happened, bigger alopecia spots started to form. So I shaved my head bald for the first time in 1997, I didn’t shave it clean, It was a buzz cut, very low so the spots were not that noticeable unless you were starring.
I have been living with Alopecia Areta (circular bald spots) off and on for 15 years, and in 2005 I got the courage to shave the pieces of hair I had left. Then it progressed to Alopecia Totalis (complete baldness on the scalp), it has been that way for the past 3 years. Every now and then I get some crazy wiry gray hairs sparsely on my head and I have to shave them, but pretty much I am going to be bald. I started going out into the world showing my baldness on the weekends when going out and to the grocery stores or just out with my husband. I would wear hats and scarves because the sun is so hot were I live and I would get cold easily going in and out of the air conditioning. I’d always wear my wigs to work and very few people at my workplace knew about what I was dealing with.
One day in 2007, I went to a "Bald Girls Do Lunch" function which really helped me come to peace with what I needed to feel for myself and my alopecia. I learned that I had to feel comfortable with myself first and love me completely to show the natural beauty that GOD has made me! So I slowly got rid of my wigs and started wearing head-wraps beanie caps and hats to work, changing my looks to coordinate what I was wearing or how I felt for the day. So I finally started to go to work without my wigs or any other head coverings, unless I wanted to or at least until wintertime.
We all have options with alopecia, we can choose to wait for a medical answer or we can choose to wear something on our heads to cover up or go bald unto the world…ultimately we are the captains of our own ships and should never feel anything less. I have found that I can spread the awareness of living with Alopecia whenever asked and it helps me free myself from my own hang ups, I can tell my own story and become at peace with it. Having embraced my beautiful baldness I pass out business type cards to help spread awareness about Alopecia. Using my blog pages to talk about; “My Hair or Lack of Hair Story”!
~Yvonne aka Yhoney
Get an Alopecia T-shirt at: www.cafepress.com/yhoneyalopecia
I would have LOVED to have gone but it falls on the same night as a Christmas party we had already planned to go to. When will there be another event? I'd love to meet everyone. So bummed I cant go, would have been great to meet Thea as well :(
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