Okay this is me. A 26 year old female, with a beautiful 3 year old boy. Through my life there was nothing that could stop me. I jumped out of helicopters just for the fun, race cars and work in a man orientated work. I work in the motor industry and worked my way up to head office with in 2 years. I know more about cars then most woman. Okay back to what i wanted to say. So almost a year ago i noticed a bald spot on my head. Thinking to myself it is nothing and it will grow back. So changed my hairstyle to cover up and i was my old happy self. But the spot decided i will not ignore it and got bigger. Went and sow a doctor who then referred me to a derm. And they both said it is stress "deal with you stress and you hair will grow back" I carried on as normal and 6 months later went and sow a new doctor who again said the same thing. So off i went joined a gym and eating healthy and and and. 2 Months ago we in South-Africa have a shavathon. We shave or spay our hair and raises money for cancer. On the Saturday me and my mom when to get our hair sprayed but i decided to shave this year. I looked my mom in her eyes and said "it is grows back it is only hair" ooo boy was i wrong. After i shaved my head a guy came up to me and said that i have Alopecia. Not knowing what it was, said okay and walk on. After hours of reading i know i have AA. Everything was okay at home and at work. It toke the guy a few hours to get use to me and the woman a few days. But all was well in my little world. BUT and it is a BIG BUT i haven't been to the gym. And it scares me to death. Walking in a mall with nothing on my head is fine. I will see some one staring and i will most probably never see then again. At work is like my family and they except me and my AA. but the gym. Being confined in a small space with 100's of strange people that i don't know staring, whispering, talking about me and the lack of hair on my head. IS SCARY. I refuse to be scared and that is why I'm going back tonight. Please hold thumbs. will let you know how it went

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just remember, if people stare - smile back at them. people will stare. i think that is normal. i have honestly told other alopecians, that if we didnt have alopcia, and we saw a woman hairless - we would stare. the point is that i didnt mind when they did, i minded when they looked away when caught. hey - if i am bald woman out in the world what did i expect? but the point is - be proud of yourself. and it will show in a smile. i am not talking about ignorant people that open their mouths and say rude things,but actually, i would rather be bald than ignorant. so...remember to smile, even if it is hard at first, will become easier - and man oh man - people will be in awe of you!!!

good luck!
Thank you all for your support.

Okay so I went last night. The trip there was bad. I had people in there cars pointing at me and laughing. My window was rolled down and when the robot turned red they were right next to me. I looked them in the eyes and said I HAVE ALOPECIA AND LOVING IT. They were so shocked and just mumbled "I'm sorry". I got to the gym and Sipho was at the front desk, he tagged me in and asked were i have been. We had a chat and i went up stairs to gym. In the beginning i was aware of people staring but I was there for a reason and it was to get a new body to go with my fabulous hairstyle. I rejoined my ABS group with my trainer Ottis. First he crapped me out because i haven't been to the gym in such a long time and then asked what was going on. I told him a short version of what was going on and what will happen in the next year or so. The group arrived and we started to exercise. All my old buddies said hi and we got to work. Ottis finished the class 5 minutes early and called me to the front and asked me to explain to everyone why my hair was falling out. Some of the people came up to me and wanted to know more.

So on my way down stairs i bumped into a big and i mean a BIG guy. I sow him a couple time there and i know he is a personal trainer. He looked at me and smiled. And on my way out of the gym the same guy stopped me and asked if i had Alopecia or is it cancer. Before i could stop and think i said " finally someone that knows the word Alopecia and what it is". We started to chat and he told me that his brother has it to. His brother joined in our conversation and i was glad to know i wasn't alone in the gym. He asked (he is the virgin active gyms radio DJ) if i would be interested in doing a show about Alopecia with him next week. I told him i would love to do it and gave him my number and e-mail address so if he want to talk he knows where to reach me.

So all and all the gym was not to bad and i can't wait till tonight to go back. There was nothing to be scared of at all.
Machel - thank you for your post! I am so glad it worked out to be such a positive experience for you!

I have been agonizing about this same issue for a few weeks now since I shaved my head. I wear a wig to work and no o ne here knows...at home I go bald or just wear a bandana. But I haevn't been to the gym for 4 weeks because people I work with go there and I can't work out with a wig on.

I feel like I am living two separate lives and I'm not ready to "come out" yet.

You are so brave and such an inspiration to me...maybe I'll go tot he gym when I know it's not busy.
Hi Jenna,

I'm sorry for the shame you're feeling. It's a debilitating burden to live with alopecia as a secret. No woman need feel that she has to hide and suffer that kind of emotional stress. We're talking about hair. You are the same person, but temporarily you feel like you're schizoid into two different people.

The way to solve this and get control of your life again is to take it all inward. By that I mean, it's not about the other people. It's 100% about you. The only person and the only feelings you have control over are your own.

You've had a change in appearance. Naturally, it's going to come as a big surprise to people. But you can get in the driver's seat here. Just have out with it in an informative way. Tell the people at work. Have some information about women and alopecia ( I can send you brochures). You'll quickly discover that the state of your hair does not matter to other people. They like and admire you for your talents, values, personality and all the rest. Your hair doesn't change that.Once you believe that, then you can go about your life doing everything you want to do with your head held high no matter what is on or off of it. Just ask yourself how you would feel about one of them if they told you they have alopecia? What about them in your estimation would change? See? They feel the same way about you.

At the point where it's hurting your lifestyle and holding you back from living normally and your're thinking about it..that's the time to make your move. I have never ever met a woman who ever regretted telling other people about her alopecia. I have only met people who regret they did not do it sooner.

And it may very well be that when you do start to tell people that you'll discover that more of them know what it is, know someone who had it or had a friend at some point and suspected they had it.

Being openly nonchalant is a life saver.

Thea
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Next up: Philadelphia 5/2 and Chicago 5/15
awesome awesome awesome. you should be so proud of yourself. not because you showed the world your bald self, because you did something you were afraid to do!! that you are not allowing alopecia to control you. that you are giving people a chance to learn. whether you are wigged or wigless - you have remembered that you are you.

again - awesome!!!

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