I was 19 years old in the late 90’s when I was brushing my hair in my bathroom one morning before going to my new part-time job as a receptionist. I was so excited about my first day because it meant new challenges and meeting new people. I was hair spraying my bangs and noticed I was seeing my scalp a bit more than usual. I remember I got closer to the mirror as I placed a few strands in a position where it wouldn’t be so noticeable. It was thinner but not to the point to cause me major concern. I casually spoke with my mother later that week about it and she recommended I take multivitamins and increase my iron intake. As the weeks progressed more strands came out especially when I washed my hair that it got to the point where I was literally counting the strands that were coming out. My mother told me that it was probably due to stress because I was working at a new job and balancing it with college classes, but I found myself dreading my next hair wash. My hair was once curly, bouncy, and full of life but as the months went by, it was visibly thinner in the frontal crown area. I went to my hairstylist and cut a few inches off to see if it would help but it didn’t. I could no longer display my precious bangs and I could no longer part my hair in the middle, so I had to part my hair on the side. My mother tried a few home remedies on my scalp with aloe vera, eggs, mayonnaise (you name it) but nothing helped. When I finally had the courage to see a specialist, he did some blood work with additional tests and said that I had genetic baldness. I was puzzled because my mother and father both have a full head of hair. My doctor then asked about other family members and I told him that my grandfather and some of my uncles and cousins on my mother’s side are partially bald. He then said that it appeared to have skipped my mother, but it got me. I remember hearing those words and I was devastated but confused. I never thought women went through this unless they were going through an illness or cancer. I remember I went to my local library and did some research to educate myself on why this was happening to me. I started wearing headbands, beanie’s and scarfs to work and school. Some people would ask me if something was wrong or if I was sick but I would cheerfully say that I was just not having a good hair day or I was too lazy to do my hair. The years went by and although it affected my self-esteem at times I was always hopeful that one day my hair would grow back. Because I had and still have such a supportive mother, her words of encouragement got me through my darkest times. I wore toppers and finally had the courage to try wigs. I thank God that now there is so much information and support through hair loss support groups, YouTube videos, and Facebook. I live each day knowing and feeling that life has so much good to offer. Sometimes you can’t change the inevitable and have no control of what’s happening to you, but you can try to make the best of what you’ve got. I’m happy to have found Lori’s videos and website as well as other helpful tips on YouTube. Stay strong and positive, always!
I began to notice slight frontal hairline thinning when I was 18. I bought a can of spray-on color meant to cover thin spots where the scalp showed through. It was horrible, like spray paint. Throughout my 20s the thinning got no worse, and I managed with mousse, teasing, and hairspray. In my early 30s it thinned some more, right in the center front along my hairline, which was quite noticeable. I still managed to handle it but always had to part my hair on the side, mousse it, tease it, spray it with hairspray and hope it held up. By my mid-thirties, it was getting harder to conceal the enlarging bald spot on my center front forehead hairline. I tried little pull-through wiglets, but they were fake-looking and the wind would make them move. That's when I got fed up and realized I needed to try a wig in 1999. I found an online wig store and I got lucky when I ordered a Noriko wig with what they then called a "skin top". It was a cute blunt bob with bangs and a center part which looked like natural scalp. It was awesome on me. I wore it to work every day. My own hair was short, and full everywhere except where I most wanted it, right up near my forehead center of the head. I wore wigs off & on as I fussed with my hair throughout my 40s. I thought I had PCOS because I had most of the symptoms. But my doctor ruled it out, and it turned out I had low thyroid and I began meds to treat that. But, my hair never grew back near my forehead, and without anything to help it, there was a bright, shiny bald area there. I have lived with severe stress all of my life, including clinical depression, anxiety attacks, and some symptoms of PTSD from trauma. While therapy and meds have helped me, my hair is rapidly thinning, now also on the sides and the crown. The hair I've lost is not growing back. The loss is worsening. I've studied hair loss patterns on the Internet, comparing my hair loss to pictures and reading articles. I have "self-diagnosed" myself with female pattern hair loss, which is more common than most folk realize. I expect my hair loss to worsen during my lifetime. Many years ago, I tried Rogaine, but it failed me. I used Toppick and other products to "fill in" the hair loss areas, but those powdery fibers only color your scalp when there is no actual hair to blend in. So, that was another fail. I tried clip-in frontal wiglets, but when you have very thin or missing hair, there is nothing to clip-in! So, now in my 50s, I am resolved to wearing wigs all the time in public. I enjoy the convenience of wigs, and the variety of styles and colors. I used to only buy wigs in my natural hair color (dark brown), but I lost my timidity and concern for others' opinions about my changing hairstyles. My thoughts about my wig-wearing include: 1) it is nobody's business but my own, unless I choose to share the truth with them; 2) a good wig is costly, but I don't spend money on hairdressers, expensive "volumizer" products and other hair-care junk; 3) I can get ready now for church, work, or shopping in a flash since I don't fuss with my thinning hair anymore; 4) I can enjoy being curly, wavy, straight, off-the-face, bangs, blonde, silver, grey, brunette, browinsh-red....all because wigs give me the freedom to be the "character" I want to be on any given day; 5) wigs restored my sense of self-esteem, because let's not kid ourselves about embracing our natural femininity and desiring to feel good about ourselves. I resolved to not let hair loss destroy my right to be as lovely as I want to be. Lastly, I am now widowed about 5 years, but when my sweet husband was alive, he never said one unkind word to me about my hair loss or my wearing wigs. He loved me just as I was, hair or no hair, wig, or no wig. As it was, he suffered with a very bad cancer which made him completely hairless at one point. Someone at his job saw him with the "bald look" and said, "That bald style looks good on you." He told them it wasn't a choice but the chemo had made him bald. That is only one example of how some people in public can say the stupidest, hurtful things without knowing the full story. I share this with you all here, because you should never let anyone make you feel that hair loss of any kind, for any reason is your fault or that it makes you "less than". Wear your wigs proudly and feel like the beautiful woman you know you are inside and out.