Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Affects of Alopecia as a Woman

Last week, I spoke to a few of my alopecian sisters and it felt good to be able to relate to each other. At times, you can really feel like you are the only person in the world that has alopecia. The topic that was very interesting was how we as women deal with alopecia. Some of us developed alopecia as a child and a teenager, so dealing with it back then is quite different than being a woman in today's times. It can be difficult to measure up to what society calls "beautiful" when you're a woman with alopecia. Flawless hair, nails, skin, eyebrows, and lashes seem like some of the best assets on a woman if you are reading magazines, blogs, and watching television.

When a woman has been stricken with alopecia, her whole world comes crashing down where it truly feels like the end...at the moment. The hair loss causes the woman to literally shut down from not only society, but her friends, family, and herself as well. I will personally share how alopecia affected me over the years emotionally, physically, and mentally since having the autoimmune disease from the age of 19. If you are a women who is currently suffering from any forms of hair loss, this is to let you know that you are not alone. I know exactly what you are feeling and the emotional roller coaster you ride on everyday.
  • Self-conscious 
  • Lack of self-confidence 
  • Embarrassed 
  • Depressed 
  • Unappealing 
  • Unfeminine 
  • Alone 
  • Loss of self-image 
  • Hide from society, even in the workplace and family/friends
To overcome some of the challenges with Alopecia, you have to hit rock bottom. What caused me to hit rock bottom is when my alopecia areata progressed to universalis where I lost every hair on my body from head to toe. During this phase of alopecia, I prayed and talked to God a lot (And I mean alot) because not only was it my alopecia, but my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and my son was born with an congenital heart defect. Facing these life-changing situations caused me to look at my condition as not being such a huge big deal because it was not life-threatening.  

Living with alopecia today, I can say that I do not have much of the psychological affects but I am very self-conscious. I am addicted to cosmetics and hair, and I spend hours in the mirror making sure I look my best before walking out into the world. I can admit that I overcompensate with makeup to mask the appearance of hair loss of the eyelashes and eyebrow. Being all glammed up & smelling good makes me feel extremely good about myself and I feel like a woman who is full of confidence. The things I normally worry about on a day-to-day basis is whether my wig and eyebrows are still in place, face isn't too oily, hairline looks natural, and most of all I look my very best. I do have my bad days, but the good ones outweigh the bad. I start & end each day with the Lord and count my blessings everyday.