My Extreme Hair Loss Horror Story
Updated: Sep 30, 2018
It was an early October evening and I was in the process of washing the day away in the shower. As I rinsed my hair, I started to panic as large clumps fell out and wrapped around my fingers. I closed my eyes and wished that this was just a bad dream but when I gathered the courage to look again, my eyes saw the same gnarled mess in my hands. I had no idea why this was happening and I went into a state of shock, I could no longer tell the difference between my tears and the water running down from my scalp. The identity I once knew was stripped away and all that was left was sparse strands of my proud lion’s mane. I had never in my life experienced feeling so raw and exposed.
It has been 4 months since I lost roughly 60% of my hair. Numerous doctor and specialist appointments later, I found out that its cause was a combination of stress and a side effect of being very ill the previous summer. Apparently when your body is very sick it puts non-essentials like hair and nails on hold and 8-12 weeks after recovery, your body triggers a massive shedding process before normal growth can resume. Losing my hair was one of the hardest psychological battles I have ever had to face. I did not realize how much emotional investment I had put into growing my hair for 4 years. I truly felt like my entire identity was taken away from me and I had no control over stopping it. In my early 20’s I decided to no longer rock a baby face with bleached eyebrows and grew out my beard. I felt that my long hair was the balance between masculinity and femininity that I felt within. I suddenly felt so off kilter and was grieving every time I caught a reflection. Thank goodness I still had just enough hair left on my head to be able to mask the thinness with extensions.
My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any form of hair loss. I typically don’t give a flying fuck what people think about me but for the first time in years I was afraid of how people would treat me. How would people respond if I was bald? There is such a stigma around hair loss and I was terrified to deal with peoples’ judgement. I experienced pressure from friends and colleagues to shave my head, they insisted that I would look amazing bald or with short hair. It was honestly the last thing I wanted to hear in the moment, if I wanted to change my hair I would have made that choice myself not because the universe was pulling a power trip and snatching my weave.
I think it’s important for me to talk about my experience. I want to create more dialogue about this subject and maybe be able to connect with others out there that have experienced the same trauma and have no one to relate to. Despite the fact that you might feel stripped of your identity, I promise you will find your beauty and confidence again. It’s a hard road you did not choose to walk down, but it’s going to teach you so much about yourself that you would have never known before. You are brave and so beautiful.
I would like to send a special thanks from the bottom of heart to the Coup De Tete boys for making me such a beautiful “this too shall pass” hat to help me through this process and to Ducray for hearing my story and sending me so many beautiful shampoos and conditioners that have made a huge difference in my regrowth experience. Lastly, to all my closest friends- I don’t know what I would have done without all of you.