“Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes on other areas of the body. In fact, it affects as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. with a lifetime risk of 2.1%.”
I lost my hair 30 years ago. I have now lived my life more without my hair than with it. But at the same time, I clearly remember leaving the dermatologist's office and him telling me that I have alopecia and I should “just” buy a wig. The struggle began.
Back 30 years ago just about everybody with alopecia was wearing a wig; men, women, and children. It took me close to 5 years to realize that wigs were definitely not going to work for me and my journey began to how was I going to do this. It was slow but deliberate, I slowly stopped wearing wigs at different places. The last 2 and hardest place to leave it behind was at work and dating. Dating and relationships took longer. But when you meet your soul-mate, which I most certainly have, you know it. As I have always said my Alopecia has NEVER been a problem with my husband, RJ Jones. In fact, he helped me start www.AlopeciaWorld.com, which at the time was the first visual alopecia forum on the internet.
I am not going to say it was easy, anyone who has taken this journey knows how heart-wrenching this can be, whether you choose to wear a wig or not. I struggled my way through it, dealt with other people’s opinions, comments, ridicule, being mistaken as a male, and much more. But I knew what my end goal was and what it would take to make it. I eventually came to expect the comments; they became my healing. I was no longer running from people’s opinions of me I was allowing myself to find the place that I no longer needed their approval.
I made it and my bald head is my victory dance!
As we enter Alopecia Awareness Month, what are your plans? How do you plan to raise some awareness to make it easier for the next generation? What are your victories?