I’m losing my hair.
Auto-Immune Disease SUCKS!
I really could just stop this post right there, but I have SO much more to say. I don’t have all the answers, I probably have more questions than anything else. So, I’m just going to lay it all out and let you guys ponder the results.
Is wearing a wig being “fake”?
This is a loaded question, I get that. It immediately makes people uncomfortable, heck it makes me cringe just asking it. But I really feel like it’s a valid feeling those of us with lair loss have and it needs to be discussed. Because, let’s face it, (as women) we tend to put a lot of stock in our looks. We love to feel pretty, and our hair is often a big part of that. When we actually wash, dry, and style our hair it is cause for celebration and glamour shot style selfies. So, when that hair starts to come out in clumps, it can be extremely disheartening.
What’s the answer? Do we cut it super short and hope that will help?
Personally, I have been steadily cutting my hair shorter and shorter for the last two years. I used to have super long (gorgeous) hair! I could have done a shampoo commercial, it was by far my best feature. So, when it started coming out in huge handfuls, I knew my illness had finally won. One night my brush got stuck in my hair and when I pulled, every hair was coming with it. So I cut it out… then the rest of it. I cut all my beautiful hair off because of a brush. Then I went to my stylist in tears. She fixed my ridged cuts and then we decided to add on a fun color, to make up for my loss. I’ve enjoyed playing with that since then, but now (with the rate my hair is coming out) I can no longer use the harsher colors. I’ve got to go natural, or super gentle. I am all the way up to a pixie cut and I really don’t like it, but I’ve found my hair falls out less with it this short. Nevertheless it is falling out and I am trying to figure out what I’m going to do when it is too thin to be comfortable.
Back to my main point. I am a very “proud” person. By that I mean, I couldn’t care less what people think of me. I’m over-weight, I know it. But if someone else has a problem with it, that is their problem, not mine. So in my head, I know I should just embrace my hair loss and go with the “body positive” approach. On the other-hand… I can’t even imagine doing that. I love my hair (my old hair) and I miss feeling pretty. I can’t wear make-up because of my allergies, so a cute outfit and interesting hair style just made everything better. (note- I am not a “girly-girl”, like at all, but who doesn’t want to feel pretty every once in a while) So, I’ve started looking in to wigs.
I have a friend that is currently transitioning to non-binary. They are so beautiful, inside and out. But they still deal with a similar issue, are wigs necessary to feeling good about your appearance? My friend said when they’re feeling more feminine, a wig can be very empowering. But they don’t feel the need for it on the more masculine days. I asked what type of wigs they typically wear, whether they’re similar to their normal hair, or totally different. They said that most of their wigs are completely different, and it’s good to have a variety based on the situation. I found this very helpful and thought others would be interested as well.
Ok, back on track. The question for me is similar to what I had asked my friend. Do I go for something closer to my own hair (and make it look totally natural)? Or do I embrace the full “wig-life” and have fun with it? Do I get long, colorful, interesting wigs? Should I have several styles on hand? I know that I have time to figure this out, but it has been on my mind and I know there are other people out there that are in a similar boat.
I decided to ask some people on Facebook (in closed groups) about this subject and I got some good insights.
“I think all my life I found my hair was the most attractive thing about me. I had thick, luscious, dark brown, straight Asian hair. I now have curly dried out fried hair that falls out so much I want to shave it off. I don’t think I am a wig person. I think I would rather be a scarf lady. So many beautiful scarfs out there. Already starting a collection.”
“My hair is coming out in clumps, but I still have long hair. I think the next time I go in to see my hair stylist, he will recommend taking some off so it doesn’t look so stringy. I would love to say I’d shave it off and proudly go bald if it got to that point, but so much of my identity and femininity is in my hair – just my own opinion. So I think I’d try a wig before shaving it all off.”
“Hair loss can feel devastating. I really panicked last year, as I’m already genetically thin in the hair dept, and I was losing hair – hand over fist. My Endocrinologist said that the sickness,… but especially stress will cause the follicles to stop producing, then in time hair will begin to grow again. But, It’s hard to know, when conditions are so chronic. So, I’ve pondered this myself. I’m not there yet, but I think in my case I would gravitate more to soft hats, rather than wigs for most days or occasions, if my hair loss continues to the point of no return. But yes, I think I would also try a wig, and I do believe it would help me feel better about my appearance. I do occasionally wear hats to hide how thin I am on top, and I changed the color of my hair recently for the very reason of trying to feel better about myself.”
These are just a few of the responses, I didn’t want to put anything that had personal information on here. Over-all the results were torn, which is how I feel as well.
I think what it boils down to for me is this…
Losing hair due to illness is not fun, so we should do whatever makes us feel good about ourselves. If that means wearing a wig that looks exactly like how our hair used to be, go for it! If it means wearing a wig that is completely different and looks like a unicorn threw up a rainbow, go for it! If it means shaving your head, go for it! Our illness has already taken so much from us, don’t let it take your femininity! You are beautiful!!!!