For the second time since first losing my hair over a decade ago, I have hair. Not a lot of hair, not long hair, not normally textured hair, but hair. What I mean is that the total area of my head with hair growth is greater than the total area without hair. I’m still losing hair, not all over all-at-once, but in roving bald spots. So I have to be creative, moving my part or directing my hair this way or that as I try to make the most of the little hair I have, while I have it.
As I chase after my roving bald spots, putting an exhausting amount of thought and energy into my 1 and 1/2 inches of hair, I increasingly find myself dwelling on a calming image. It is the image of all the liberated, happy-faced, completely bald Alopecians I see each year at NAAF’s conferences. I was sporting my new hair and chasing bald spots last year when I attended the 2011 NAAF conference. Rather than feeling more confident due to my new hair, I felt more self-conscious about the bald spots. As I looked at all of the happy and hair-free faces, I found myself envying their bald freedom. I shaved my head shortly after arriving back home and as anticipated, I felt relieved.
When I first lost my hair, I would have taken any amount and quality of hair over total baldness, but now that I’ve been at this for over 10 years, I’m hair loss weary. This is the second period in which I have some hair regrowth, and it’s wearing on me. I’m sick of the in-between, waking up every morning preoccupied with how much hair I’ve lost over night and how I’ll go about concealing the newest bald spots. I’m remembering how much easier it is to just be bald, to wake up, no surprises, put my beaubeau on and start my day without hair loss dominating my thoughts. I’m reminded that the hardest part of hair loss is having and losing hair at the same time. Being bald isn’t what I’d call easy, but once bald, I am free to move on to accepting me.
For all you first-time riders on the hair loss roller coaster, I want you to know that as scary as complete baldness is, so long as you’re fighting hair loss, you are in fact fighting, and fighting something that is completely out of your control is exhausting. I can’t control when and where I lose hair. I can only control my response to it. And I need to remind myself of that daily.
Do you ever fantasize about shaving your head, just getting rid of it all? Have you ever acted on that fantasy? How did you feel afterwards?
Susan Beausang, 4Women.com