Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm Bald

I'm bald.  It's a fact of life. No, I do not have cancer, just in case you're wondering.  I have Alopecia Areata.  Alopecia Areata is a disease that affects 2% of the population overall (according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation website:  I just happen to be one of that lucky 2%.
Here's a picture of me with Son#1. 

Notice, he has curly, wonderful hair, and I have none.  Well, correction, I have little brown fuzz!  I wanted to post this on my Facebook site, but I did not because my mother said people might think I have cancer and be too afraid to ask about it!  Oh, the horrors!  Don't get me wrong, I know she's just trying to protect me.
Losing your hair is pretty difficult.  You'd think I'd get used to it, since it's been happening to me since I was 5 years old.  My Mom says it was the chicken pox that triggered it.  I always still HAD hair though.  I just had patchy spots on top of my head and under the back of my hair.
After my darling daughter was born, my hair started falling out in clumps.  I guess this is similar to people going through chemo.  I would literally wake up in a nest full of brown hair.  I'd take a shower, shampoo my hair, and hair would be all wrapped around my hand.  Cleaning the bathroom was horrendous, because it just reminded me that a part of me was starting to go away.again.  I also lost my eyebrows and my eyelashes this time.  So, now I pretty much have Alopecia Universalis.  For those of you who don't know about the classifications, this means I have absolutely no hair on my body.  Except, for some reason I still have hair in my pits (totally unfair by the way), and a little brown fuzz on top of my head.
I am coming to terms with this.  When people ask if I have cancer it makes me realize that this disease, although it can be embarrassing, at least will not take my life away.  I built up the confidence to start attending my taekwondo class bald.  No wig.  I've been covering this up my whole life, and bringing it out into the open was liberating, and I felt such relief that my friends will accept me for who I am, hair or not.


  1. I had no idea you have alopecia! Wes also has alopecia. At this point for him it comes and goes in spots. I will not be surprised one day though if it all falls out. His patches seem to fall out following a fever so it's quite interesting to me that your mom commented on the chicken pox! Wes is pretty much hairless all over his body, none on legs, arms, trunk, nothing. I have counted it as a blessing on a number of occasions as I cannot imagine feeling comfortable providing him a razor to shave his face when he's of age! I don't know that he notices the spots, they're usually on top and back of his head. We just sunscreen his head extra and stick a hat on him all summer long (he's got some pretty cute hats!) but I imagine this is a very different experience for a girl than a boy. Fwiw, I think you are beautiful w/o hair!


  2. Kara, I didn't know that Wes had alopecia. Small world! I count my blessings too, because I've never had to shave my legs. That's pretty awesome! Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it!

  3. Lauren, I wish I lived closer so I would have known what you are dealing with. Alopecia has been such a part of who you are that I just didn't realize how much you have been going through lately with the total loss of your hair. I am glad you have decided to write again. You have always been a gifted writer and I know how much it helps you sort things out. Please know that I am only a phone call away. You can always call me! Love you!!

  4. I have Alopecia Areata and sometimes I feel alone with it. I have had not had eyebrows or lashes for 20 hair comes and goes. thank you for reminding me I'm not alone.

  5. Ashley: You're certainly not alone. It took me a long time to realize that. I've had alopecia for 28 years now, and it took me a long time to come to grips with being different. Now I love and embrace my baldness. It's such a huge part of who I am.


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