Alopecia Areata changed so much about my identity. All my life I had thick dark brown hair. I loved my hair. It wasn’t any special color or texture but I knew I had plenty of it and I knew how to style it. When alopecia areata hit, I was shocked and devastated! I must have lost gallons of water in tears for each new bald patch. In just over a year, I went from having hair to wearing a wig.
But it wasn’t just my grooming that Alopecia Areata effected, it also changed what I liked to do. If it was a windy day, I didn’t want to go out. I had no desire to go to Hawaii and swim in the ocean, my wig couldn’t take it. Even clothes shopping became uncomfortable.
My confidence wavered. But my resolve to get over Alopecia Areata and heal my body was stronger.
Mindset matters. So, as I was racing to figure out how to heal my body I was also careful to remember that my body won’t heal if I’m stuck in depression. Depression changes your body chemistry and sets you in either a chronic state of stress (sympathetic nervous system) or even worse a state of shut down (polyvagal theory). While you’re in either of these states, your digestive system doesn’t work well, inflammation grows and you become sicker.
Feeling happy and alive is the first step in healing any chronic illness.
How to feel happy and flourish with Alopecia Areata
The Cover Up of Alopecia Areata
Truth is, if you have just a few Alopecia Areata spots and you’re worried about a windy day, using a root cover up powder, will do wonders. It’s just sticky enough that it won’t come off without rubbing it off. What this allows you to do is to go about your day, feeling pretty normal and with confidence that you won’t be flashing anyone a bald patch.
Cool Hats for Alopecia Areata
I’m a hat person. So one of the first things I did when I got tired of covering up my Alopecia Areata spots was to pick out some fun hats. Because Alopecia Areata can make your scalp feel sensitive, it’s nice to pick a hat that’s not too scratchy. I chose these hats by Flipside Hats. They’re made with soft cotton and have enough coverage that even if you were bald you’d still feel protected.
Have Some Fun With Wigs for Alopecia Areata
When a friend saw I was wearing hats all the time, she brought in three of her wigs she used when she had chemotherapy. Note that chemotherapy websites can be a great resource for women with Alopecia Areata for scarves, hats and wigs! Bless this lovely friend for her offer, I’d never have the courage to ask around to borrow a wig! These wigs were really for fun. They weren’t made with real human hair so they were a bit reflective but they were already styled!
One wig was short and brown, not unlike the style I had worn before. One wig was a short platinum blonde bob and one was long golden blonde. The great thing about these wigs is that they gave me a chance to experiment with hair color and length. The long blonde wig was fantastic for halloween too – nobody recognized me!
The point being, some people use wigs as a part of their wardrobe on a regular basis so why not model that and see how you can change up your look based on your fun wig collection?
Long Term Wig for Alopecia Areata
Now, I’m a believer that your body is meant to heal from Alopecia Areata and I knew I’d get my hair to regrow at some point. But at my low point, when my belief started to waver, I looked into buying a real hair wig at a salon that specializes in human hair wigs for chemotherapy patients. This is a huge investment but when I went to try on a wig for sizing, it felt amazing. It was soft, weighty and moved so naturally. This can really make you feel like yourself if you’re feeling down about your hair loss.
Accept the Moment
Again, I’m a firm believer that your body can heal from Alopecia Areata and your hair can regrow. However it takes time! How long? Each person is different and so is their recovery protocol. So while you’re in a state of mostly, or even all over, baldness, you could choose to shave it and just be. When I shaved off the remaining patches of hair, it was kind of freeing in a way. One thought I had, but honestly chickened out, was to simply have fun designs tattooed in all my bald patches! Kind of like a road map of my journey 🙂
Whatever you accept to do, the one thing I recommend you not do, is dwell too much on the past. When we dwell on and in the past, the past anchors us and keeps us from moving forward in our healing journey.
Accept your present but don’t accept Alopecia Areata as your fate. Like I said, your body can heal. I really believe that! But by accepting your current state of being allows you to spend your energy focusing on how to get your health back on track AND it helps redirect your energy away from the sorrow of what you’ve lost.