I found my first balled patch in November 2012, correction, my boyfriend found my first balled patch.
I took no notice when he first pointed it out believing that he was just exagerating the little bald patch I had around a childhood scar. We where lying in bed telling each other about our days when he felt something whilst stroking my hair. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later when I was brushing my hair that I realised I had a bald patch, not the size of a coin as I had previously thought, but the size of a clenched fist.
What was it? What was wrong with me? How could I find out? What could I look up on Google? What had I done to myself? I panicked, really panicked and burst into an overanxious, hysterical laughter. Why was this happening?
I was diagnosed with Alopecia a month later. At the time I was still working in finance and had health insurance so I abused it to the max and booked an appointment with the best dermatologist I could.
I used creams, gels, special shampoos, I took steroid pills and vitamins. Nothing was working, my hair was still falling out.
Alopecia, is actually a common condition. It can occur at any age, and affects males and females equally. It’s only when you start to look around that you realise actually how many people suffer from this disorder, people you have seen every day, and have never known.
It’s believed to be a systemic autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth. It’s not life threatening, it’s doesn’t hurt but there is no cure.
It’s very hard to explain just how much it affects you. You feel alone, withdrawn and isolated. You fear that others might find out, you feel hopeless, angry and embarrassed. I often wondered if somehow I had brought on the disease somehow.
And it doesn’t only affect you, it can also affect the people that love you. Your parents can feel guilt that they may have genetically contributed to your disease and helpless that they cannot stop the disease or help ease their child’s condition.
BUT – you can get over it, you can live with it, and you can actually forget about it and carry on.
I visited 3 doctor’s, 2 dermatologists and even visited a trichologist (dermatologist who specialises in hair health) in Italy. I have had more blood tests than I can count and have taking enough prescribed vitamins to turn me into superwoman. Heres the thing – it’s NOT your fault and their is NOTHING you can do to prevent it.
The only thing I could do was accept it. I am the same person I was before my hair started falling out, I am as beautiful as I was and NOBODY thinks any less of me since I was diagnosed.
There have been things that have helped with the regrowth such as the steroid injections but aside from that there is no point is frantically searching for an answer or the cure as there is none. For me the solution was acceptance.
I do spend longer than I used to on my hair in the mornings and I do visit my doctor every 6 months for steroid injections but thats pretty much it! Which shampoo you use, or brush you use, how careful you are or how much you worry about it won’t change a thing.
There is so many of us in this boat, we are not alone, we are together. We are beautiful and smart and there is nothing wrong with us! Let’s try and just accept.
P.S. Aren’t these women beautiful!?! Who said bald isn’t sexy!
P.P.S. Some of my favourite products for my hair at the moment:
Alphosyl 2-in-1 Medicated Shampoo
Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Inneov Hair Mass (I know it’s expensive but it really works, it keeps my hair looking shiny and healthy and nails soft)
Regaine Extra Strength
I would not however recommend any of the Nioxin products. They have fantastic reviews but unfortunately it just irritated my scalp badly and didn’t help with the regrowth.