I have been in my job for two years, but some of the people I have known for over twenty! I lost most of my hair 25 years ago and it grew back. This time though I have been unable to diguise it and resorted to wearing a wig at the beginning of February. Some colleagues know what has been happening, most didn't. I say didn't because this week I decided I wasn't going to spend my working day through the summer in a wig, it already getting warmer. I went public. Firstly I shaved off the little remaining hair I had and then I spoke to the HR department. Below is the email I circulated. Short and to the point. I have had an amazing response from people. It restored my faith in humanity! People that didn't know me can now stop wondering and asking questions. I can get on with my life on my terms. I still wear it going to and from work, but during the day I can wear it or not and not worry about it.

Dear Friends,

Some of you have seen me around the site in the past couple of months with a new hair-do. Well for those of you that have not realised, I have been wearing a wig.

My hair started falling out in patches some time ago. By November 2009, regrowth had stopped and the patches all started joining up. By early Jan 2010 I needed to start covering my head. My wig (and new best friend) arrived in early Feb.

My alopecia is not caused by having treatment for an illness. It is thought to be caused by my auto immune system going into overdrive. Instead of fighting the baddies in my body it is fighting itself. So I need to add to my list of allergies that my body is allergic to my hair!

So far I have had great support from people on site and thought it only right that I warn you that as the weather gets warmer you may see me around without my wig on. It is already starting to warm up! This weekend I shaved the little remaining hair that I had, so if you were not expecting to see it you would have been shocked.

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Wow, what a great way to quell the rumor mill. Kudos to you for taking control or, as you put it so well, "get on with my life on my terms".
Well done! More importantly YOU must feel enormous relief and joy that a burden is lifted. It is true for many , that there's personal physical discomfort like heat or itchiness or being the subject of stares that give the impetus for more openness. Whatever the reason, it's hard to find anyone who ever regrets the decision to be more open about alopecia.

There can be a debilitating amount of worry in advance about what other people will think. But when given the story simple and clear, others understand and accept the same as any of us would if the hat was on the other head.

Enjoy this new chapter!

That's awesome! I'm trying to figure out how to go about this process, but I work in a big office and I travel a lot. So, not only do I not know everyone in my own office, but I meet new people at different sites and on different projects all the time. There's not a good way to send out an e-mail to everyone, so I feel like I'll have to tell the story over and over again.

Since it's gotten to the point that it's hard to hide (within the last month), I have been working at home. That's often an option while I'm in town, but not always, and it's certainly not when I get sent to another site on project. I'm also worried that I'm making it worse for myself by working at home. I'm not learning how to cope and face it. A lot of my friends know now, but none of my coworkers.

Even if I can't use your method to announce what's going on, you're truly an inspiration. Hopefully I'll be able to stand up soon and be proud, regardless of the state of my hair and scalp.

Kudos to you! :)
WOO HOO!! Kathryn, that's so AWESOME! Good for u!!! More and more ppl r taking that leap which is paving the way and making things easier and easier for the next person! What an inspiration!
absolutely awesome!! you must feel wonderful!! hats and wigs off to you!!!
Good for you for taking control of the situation. Very inspiring!
How AWESOME Kathryn...I'm so Proud of your stance.
Thats amazing!!! Looking for that power!!! I love the email Congrats to the new you!!!
That was awesome!! I especially liked the part where you said that one of your allergies was your hair. Epic. :D



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