As September is Alopecia Awareness Month I thought it would the perfect reason to write a post about my experience of living with alopecia. I have been debating writing this post for a few weeks now. Alopecia is a very personal condition and it can be difficult for both the person suffering and family and friends watching it happen. Unfortunately, both parties are pretty helpless as there is no known “cure”. I’ve created a timeline to show how quick my hair loss has progressed and how I felt!
March 2016, starting to notice thinning. As you can see in the above picture I started to notice some thinning close to the hairline. At this point (4 months postpartum) I assumed I had standard post pregnancy hair thinning
May 2016. Two months after noticing initial hair thinning. The patches were getting more visible, at this point I could still use hair placement to cover the loss. I contacted the GP who sent me in for blood tests to see what the cause was (possible post partum hair loss links include thyroid problems, anaemia and low iron levels, I had none of these). At this point I was now 6 months postpartum.
June 2016, this photo was taken on our family holiday and as you can see I was struggling to hide it. It was at this point I felt my most self-conscious as well. Although I still have down days I find myself crying less about it.
September 2016. These photos I took at the beginning of the month. As you can see the hair loss progressed massively. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have no hair at all by December. As it is still coming out thick and fast (although it does feel less now I’ve chopped off the ponytail!) I now hide my head under buffs and headscarves but I am completely honest about why. I feel I have to be as a coping mechanism. Don’t get me wrong I still have my bad days, I mean seriously I am almost bald, have lost a majority of one eyebrow and have no eyelashes on one the bottom of one of my eyes! And in a society obsessed with the way people look that can be difficult to come to terms with! And I cannot help but resent those having a “bad hair day” as I would give a lot to go through that again! It may sound vain but losing my hair lost a part of my confidence and personality. Something which I am trying to regain, although it may be a while before mirrors become my friend again.
Although it has a been difficult, I have managed to get through those dark days with the support and love of my amazing boyfriend, family and friends and for that I couldn’t be more greatful. Also once I found the Alopecia UK group on Facebook it became easier. Its amazing what speaking to complete strangers that relate to you can do.
Thank you for reading, I ended up rambling but I think I needed to get a lot of that off my chest.