What It’s Like To Lose Your Hair & Live With Alopecia Universalis

Even though I wanted to hide, my life carried on. My mom, who had a bout of alopecia during her childhood, asked me how I still woke up and faced each day. My response was the only one that made any sense to me: There was no other choice. I have two young daughters who are watching my every move, I have a family to take care of and I have students who rely on me to show up and give them my best every day. 

For the next eight months, I did everything in my power to grow my hair back. I tried topical creams, medications that compromised the immune system and made me extremely ill, steroids injected into my scalp every week for six months. Nothing worked. During that time, I couldn’t look at my own reflection or allow anyone to see me bald. I went to bed with a hat on and waited for my husband to turn off the lights before removing it.

The image was my enemy.

It even took me a few months to finally purchase a wig. I was in denial and felt that if I bought a wig, I was giving up on ever growing my hair back. But when I did, it gave me a sense of normalcy. I could finally walk into the grocery store without people staring or asking me if I was going through treatment. I could hide. And I have to admit, it was nice. But I also realized that I was so concerned about what other people thought—how they looked at me—that I wasn’t focusing on what was most important: how I viewed myself. 

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