March 08, 2013

Pros and cons of Alopecia

If you have visited my blog before you might have seen that I have a medical condition called Alopecia Universalis (AU). There are three kinds of Alopecia:

  • Alopecia Areata - where you have bald patches, on your head or elsewhere (not to be mixed up with male pattern baldness).

Alopecia Areata

  • Alopecia Totalis - where you've lost all the hair on your head, not eyebrows or eyelashes.

Alopecia Totalis

  • Alopecia Universalis - which it total loss of all body hair, no eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair, leg hair, arm hair, you name it, it's not there.

Alopecia Universalis (this is not me).

I started losing my hair two years ago (March 2011), starting with my hairdresser finding a bald spot on my head close to my left ear. The spot was about 3-4 cm in diametre, but it kept growing and I started losing hair in other places on my head. My eyebrows started to thin out. From March to August I lost all the hair on my head and by November I didn't have any eyebrows or eyelashes. August was also the last time I remember shaving my legs.

"Before" picture from June 2009

Another before picture from November 2010
"During" picture from May 2011

During... from June 2011
Now I look like this. From January 2013

At first I wore a wig to work everyday to try to look normal. I told all my colleagues and my pupils what had happened, so there wouldn't be any weird rumours about me. But by November I mostly quit the wig and went over to head scarfs instead.

One of the first wigs I tried on, didn't buy it though.

My first wig. It doesn't look so bad in this photo, but it had so much hair and  the hair style was very  "celeb fresh from the hairstudio"-not me.

Same wig as above but cut short and with a hair pin in the bangs.

My "real" wig, I bought this to wear seriously. Here it's long, straight from the box.

Same wig as above, but cut shorter. This is the one I do wear, when I wear a wig. It's very light and have a normal amount of hair, sort of comfortable. 

My latest wig, bought this last summer. It was on sale and it's curly like my own hair used to be, well, not THAT curly but still... I thought it would be fun, but I've only worn it out once. Sorry about the weird eyes in the photo...

Now I've been living without hair for a year and a half and I still don't like it, I know that my hair is probably never coming back, but I've sort of come to terms with the situation. Buuuut...... there are some things that bothes me and there are some things that even are positive, even though I don't like admitting it...:) So I've put together a list of pros and cons! (In no particular order).

  • Don't have to shave legs, armpits or bikini line
  • Don't have to pluck and shape eyebrows
  • Shorter time in the shower
  • Don't have to fix my hair after showering
  • No need for hair products, razors, shaving gel, electrical hair appliances
  • No sweaty hair in the summers
  • No worries about what your hair looks like after swimming in the summer
  • Don't have to worry about holding my hair or getting puke in my hair when throwing up (realised this the other day when I had the stomach flu)
  • Can't get head lice
  • And more I can't think of now...
  • It's really COLD not having any hair
  • Not easy finding well-fitting headscarfs
  • Expensive to buy headscarfs (at least the ones I like)
  • You can't show your face to anyone without putting on make up first
  • If you invest in semi-permanent make up (which I totally recommend) it's crazy expensive
  • Wigs are mostly totally uncomfortable, tight and itchy
  • The good wigs are expensive
  • If you wear wigs all the time, you might have to buy 3-4/year
  • People stare at you if you go out without something on your head
  • People think you have cancer if they see you have no hair
  • My nose keeps running all the time because I have no nose hair
  • And more I can't be bothered to write down now...

Well, the biggest downside of them all, which sadly overshadows all of the pros, is that, no matter what, I still feel and look WEIRD without hair.... :(

Anyway, I'm trying to cope and I know there are people out there who are in much worse situations, but it does feel like such a bitch sometimes. I'll be back soon with sewing-related posts, something that really cheers me up and takes my mind off the no-hair situation. :)

Bye for now,

Johanna aka Baldy ;)

1 comment:

  1. That was very well written and informative dear...thank you for letting me into this very personal part of your life!! Looking forward to seeing what you're sewing these days!