September is Alopecia Awareness Month and My Hair is Again Falling Out!
Really, I don’t even know how I feel about this anymore. I’m pretty much at the point where I’m just going with the flow.
Definition of Alopecia by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases:
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, the structures from which hairs grow. This can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere.
In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. In many cases, the disease does not extend beyond a few bare patches. In some people, hair loss is more extensive. Although uncommon, the disease can progress to cause total loss of hair on the scalp (referred to as alopecia areata totalis) or complete loss of hair on the scalp, face, and body (alopecia areata universalis).
I really felt like I was making good progress. This is my hair before getting sick (I was in the hospital for a possible stroke, high blood pressure and speech problems.)
You can see that the top was filling in pretty well and the hair by the sides looks like it’s coming back. Something in my hair ‘cocktail’ was bothering my stomach, however. I don’t know if it was the viviscal or the Rogaine. I stopped everything and am slowly incorporating them back into my life.
This is a picture after I brushed my (sparse) hair yesterday. I always hate to see that sight because I know that it’s just beginning again. Also, there’s probably a ton of hair in the shower.
The sides of my hair are becoming sparse again which leaves me few styling options.
As I was writing this, I realized that we are into Fall and every time this year, my hair tends to really shed. Maybe I actually have a fighting chance if I get through this season? Or will I lose so much that I have to go with a wig? (Thanks, M)
Honestly, I can handle this.
Once you’re old enough to realize it’s not the end of the world and you have a supportive partner, you just give into it. I do know that my husband will still love me no matter how much hair I lose. I mean, it wasn’t like he married a woman with a gorgeous head of hair. However, I don’t think that he ever envisioned it getting this bad.
If it is that difficult for a grown woman, you can imagine how difficult it is for a child or teenager. Right at that time in your life when your hair is so important. There are so many more resources for them now than I ever had and they and their parents need to be proactive. Don’t just give into it and wait to see how it plays out.
As soon as the child or teen begins to start losing hair female and male), get them to a specialist in alopecia, not just to a dermatologist. They don’t have enough experience with alopecia however, they may be good for giving a good referral.
Don’t ever give up. The researches are ‘this close’ to finding a cure.
What to never say to someone with Alopecia? “It’s Just Hair”.
I found myself looking at some really great scarves and I think that will be my next step. The wigs are just too uncomfortable for me.
So, go on Twitter or Alopecia World or one of the other great sites that speak to those of us with alopecia. There are so many great forums and products that can make things much better or at the very least, make you realize you’re not alone.
Love to the wonderful girls and women who cut their hair and donate it to Locks of Love. There is a certain way to do this so please go to Locks of Love to get all the information.
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
Locks of Love
For a more comprehensive listing, go HERE.