Hello, everyone! I'm Holly, and today, along with my friend Lucy, I want to share our experiences living with alopecia, in hopes of answering some of your questions and providing support to those who might be navigating this path.
The Initial Diagnosis: Understanding and Accepting Alopecia
My journey with alopecia universalis, where I have no hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, or body hair, has been a profound one. Lucy, on the other hand, has alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of scalp hair but retaining some body hair. When you're first diagnosed, the initial step is to consult with a doctor and get referred to a dermatologist. However, it's crucial to understand that alopecia is largely beyond our control and often permanent. For us, wigs have been a wonderful way to reclaim some of that control and present ourselves as we wish. I often find myself wishing that more people understood that alopecia doesn't equate to being unwell or contagious – it's simply a condition of varying degrees and forms.
Eyebrows, Eyelashes, and the Art of Adaptation
For nearly a decade, I've lived without eyebrows and eyelashes, which has profoundly impacted my appearance and required constant adaptation. While my eyelashes have recently started growing again, I've learned not to get too attached due to the unpredictability of alopecia. It's a journey of constant change, and the key is to not cling too tightly to physical appearances but to enjoy life as it comes. Alopecia isn't an illness; it's just a term for hair loss. Yes, I save money on shampoo and haircuts, but wigs and emergency hair pieces are part of my life. I choose to wear a wig daily and feel confident in it, though I've also embraced going out without it at times.
Wigs: Security and Confidence
A common question is about wigs and how they stay secure. Wigs designed for hair loss, like the ones I wear, are made to fit snugly and stay put for daily activities. They're often "super grippy and secure," with adjustable straps for extra hold. I've tried generic wigs not intended for hair loss, and they were nowhere near as secure. And let me clear up a misconception: no shampoo or herbal concoction can cure alopecia. It's about finding acceptance and adapting to the condition, not searching for an elusive cure.
Exploring Holistic Approaches and Embracing Acceptance
In my quest to address hair loss, I've tried various holistic methods, like consuming specific supplements and using coconut oil. While these made me feel good, they didn't necessarily bring back my hair. My advice is to keep an open mind, try different things, but ultimately come to a place of acceptance. Remember, many are on this journey with you, and exploring different methods can be a part of coming to terms with alopecia.
Conclusion: A Message of Hope and Resilience
Living with alopecia is a journey of ups and downs, of learning and adapting. It's about understanding that while we may not have control over our hair loss, we do have control over how we respond to it. Whether it's finding the right wig, trying holistic methods, or simply learning to embrace our appearance as it is, the journey is unique to each of us. To everyone going through something similar, know that you're not alone. Keep exploring, keep adapting, and most importantly, keep embracing the beautiful person you are, hair or no hair.