Monday, April 30, 2012


I try to avoid talking about it.  If I don't talk about it, it isn't real, right?  Since I was a teenager, I have been dealing with alopecia areata.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is periodic baldness, usually bald spots in the back of the head.  I hate this, for obvious reasons.  I'm a girl, and a girl's hair is an intrigual part of her identity.  So I have been playing with how to style my hair to hide this "condition."

I know, I know, this is a minor thing to worry about - it is a non-life threatening bump in my life.  I could be losing my hair because I am fighting cancer.  I know a young woman, a good friend, who was brave enough to shave her own head when her hair started thinning out due to the chemo she had to undergo to treat her breast cancer.  Would I be that brave?

I don't know if I would be, but I like to think I would.  In the meantime, I explain to every new hair dresser why I have a large bald patch on the top of my head (which is the first one I've ever really struggled with hiding since my first spot when I was 16), and plug along.  So, due to a LivingSocial deal, I am trying some new treatment.  Some lasers, some product, lots of faith, and fingers crossed.

So why am I going public with something I've hidden for half my life?  Because at my consult for this leap of faith, I cried almost non-stop.  Everyone was super nice to me, although someone needs to tell them their walls are too thin, as I heard them explaining how upset I was.  The thing is, I am upset about having alopecia, but I'm more upset about having to admit it.  And I'm scared that I am not overcoming this on my own.  I don't want to have to get help.

There are two vivid memories I have about opening up to others and hearing scary things.  My uncle, who has alopecia as well, told me I could easily lose all of my hair and it won't grow back (which has happened to him).  Someone I thought was a good friend reacted to me opening up about my fears of losing my hair by saying that he had never thought he would have to worry about a girl losing her hair; now he had something else to ask his girlfriends as they started dating.  What - I could be totally bald someday?  What - would I repel guys with this?  (my uncle was well intentioned - my "friend" was being an ass)

So I didn't want to seek help - I want this to go away.  I may be bald one day (hopefully a really small possibility) - but there are great wigs out there.  If I repel a guy away, he wasn't worth it anyways.  So I'm trying my luck at something new - I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  And now you know my secret...