Two years ago, Aoife (my first born) was around 3 months old and I was in the throes of the postpartum period. Completely besotted by my baby I couldn’t of been happier, I was shattered, but so happy.
Two years ago, I also had a full head of long, blonde hair; long eyelashes, that I could pop a bit of mascara on on those days I couldn’t be completely bothered by make up; and eyebrows that were messy but very much present!
It was around this time that someone pointed out my hair was getting a little thin on the sides. Most people agreed it was probably just hormones and It’s normal. A month or so later I was finding bald patches throughout my hair. Unfortunately, I had a job getting seen by a GP as I had mentioned earlier hairloss can be considered normal in the postpartum period! By June 2016 I was missing most of the hair at the front and was coping with wearing wide headbands. By August 2016 the headbands weren’t cutting it, I moved onto wearing buffs (head scarves) on a daily basis and wigs for special occasions. It was around this time that I decided to take some control and shave what was left of my hair. I felt such relief at no longer having to see clumps of hair around the house! I had my eyebrows and eyelashes still so to some extent I still felt attractive and feminine.
I saw a dermatologist and was basically told there wasn’t a lot they could do for me but I got a confirmed diagnosis of alopecia. I was sent on my way with a wig prescription and advised to take a vitamin B supplement. Disappointing to say the least but not sure what I expected…
Following this my eyebrows gradually fell out and most of my eyelashes. My whole face changed, I didn’t recognise the face that looked at me in the mirror. I’m a bit more used to it now, although I still avoid mirrors.
All this change, as you can imagine had a huge impact on my mental health (although being the stubborn cow that I am I never did seek the help I probably should have) I was miserable and completely withdrawn, I felt hopeless and didn’t want to see people. I had panic attacks. I tortured myself with the possibility people were saying things behind my back. There was a light in my life. My daughter. I imagine I could of sank into a darker spiral of self-pity if I didn’t have Aoife. I still do have massive self-esteem issues but I have more good days than bad.
In June 2017, I found out I was expecting my second child and coincidentally experienced some regrowth although this never really amounted to anything.
Two years on and Aoife is now an incredibly sassy two year old and I have a beautiful 8 week old son.
I have some of my hair, but it is slowly but surely falling out again… whether this is to do with the alopecia or whether it is to do with postpartum I won’t ever really know, It’s likely a mix of both! Eyebrows and most of my eyelashes are still very much absent! Who knows maybe one day I will get to experience putting on mascara and feeling wind in my hair but until then I’m coming to terms with the fact that this is now what I will look like.
Thank you for taking the time to read. If you are experience something similar I can highly recommend seeking support from Alopecia UK. A charity that works to raise awareness and support those with Alopecia.