A Good Hair Day

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Yeah, I look just like her

I bought a wig last week and here’s why:

1.     I was tired of watching my hair fall out, which is really depressing.

2.     Good hair days are preferable to bad hair days.

3.     My hair won’t frizz up when it gets wet.

4.     Don’t have to spend my money at the beauty salon for now.

5.     No need for hats this winter.  The wig will keep my head warm.

6.    Now I can dress up as Sarah Palin for Halloween.  (Plus, I have bangs just like her!)

7.     The wig looks pretty good, once I got over my personal trauma of hair loss.  And don’t give me any nonsense about how nowadays, everybody’s getting cute wigs …. because it’s not true.

8.     I don’t have to style it.  I don’t have to color up the gray hairs.  And I don’t have to wash it every day.

9.     I have two cats.  Between them shedding and me shedding, I was constantly cleaning the furniture and vaccuming.  Now I can go back to blaming them for all the fuzzballs in my house.  As if they care.

10.   Sometimes, you got to just do what you got to do.

Deciding to shop for a wig was not difficult.  Maybe that’s because I like to shop for just about anything.   My Wig Shoppe maven, Ruth, was as sweet as pie.  She’s been a stylist for over 30 years and once lost her hair to chemotherapy.  Eventually it grew back.  Ruth brought her personal experience to the workplace, spreading hope and a little bit of pixie dust to her customers, including me.

My mother had a progressive case of hair loss as an adult.  I often took her to the very same wig salon.  My memories associated with those experiences were often sad.  I think she was self conscious and depressed about the whole thing, and didn’t have friends with the same dilemma.  She could find humor in just about anything.  Mom would laugh and make jokes about her wig,  which somehow made her feel better.  But just under the surface of her brave face, you could see the sadness in her eyes.  And honestly, at the time I had no clue what losing your hair felt like.

I do now.  I miss my mom and wish I could talk with her.

So it’s been about a week since my trip to the wig shop.  Of course, I had my crying spells.  I finally understood my mother’s depression over losing her hair. I felt sorry for myself and had quite the pity party.  For the sake of my health, however, I decided that if I’m going to get stressed out, I’ll save my worries for something really awful, like Christmas shopping, or kidney failure, or the basement flooding.

Adjusting to hair loss is a process that takes time.  The main reason I decided to write about a topic this personal was to pay it forward for somebody that may need a little reassurance like my mom did.

If you  … or someone you know … has lost their hair, take a few minutes and reply to this post with your story.  I believe that by sharing our experiences, we grow stronger.

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9 responses »

  1. I’ve hated losing my hair because of Lupus! (Well, I’d hate losing it because of anything, honestly.) My family has helped me cope through humor, but some days, it’s just not that funny.

    So true! … but thank goodness for family! 🙂

  2. I went to high school both with a person who had Alopecia and someone who had lost her hair temporarily from chemo. While I don’t know what depression they had to deal with because of their respective conditions, I do know what they did for others as a result. They got together and held a “bandana day” at school where students would pay $2 to be able to wear a bandana (both girls with hair loss often wore bandanas in lieu of hats or wigs). All money collected went to cancer research. It’s amazing how much money one can collect by simply offering a chance to go against a school dress code for a day 🙂

    They took their bad experience and turned it into something good. They saw the positive, like you, with your above list on why you bought a wig. I’m sure in doing these things, they both helped themselves feel a lot better.

    I hope your friends are doing well 🙂

  3. I have had a bad week and reading your blog has made me realise that we all have to put up with things that are diffcult courtesy of lupus.
    My hair was a problem always bits laying around until I had it cropped. Next step is to have it coloured for the first time next month. My kids don’t believe me that I am going to go pink or purple. Who knows maybe I will just to show them that mum can still do stuff.

    Thanks for the vomments you made on my blog, would have answered earlier but my brain was not working.

    Kathryn
    x

  4. No matter how dressed up I got I always thought I looked bad because of my hair. I found a place to buy great wigs that are not real thick and you can part them anywhere.
    I now like putting my make up on again. I guess I even smile a little more. That one change,’ has taken 10 years off my age.

  5. For as long as I can remember – maybe around puberty, I’ve had fine, thin hair. I then lost it all during chemo for my breast cancer. It has grown back but again it is fine and thin and although I’m only 41, I feel like I have “old lady” hair – the kind you can see right through to my scalp. So I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a wig for good. The thicker hair makes me feel younger, prettier and yes, warmer in the winter. It would be one thing I wouldn’t have to worry about except for a tiny bit of self-consciousness that people I know will know it is a wig. Oh well. Then I think, at least I have a good enough reason for wearing one so who cares what others think. I would love to find out where D’Andrea finds wigs that are not too thick – that to me sounds like it would be more natural and more believable on me than suddenly having enormous amounts of hair, which all too many of the wigs seem to have.

    I bought a monofilament wig made by Rene of Paris. Not cheap but worth every penny. The top of the wig has a type of “scalp” and the hair is hand-tied. You can part it any way you want, it’s not thick at the top, and unless someone was standing over your head with a magnifying glass, there’s no way anyone would guess it’s not your own hair.

  6. I have lost my hair off and on since I was a child.

    I use to feel very uncomfortable with my hair and still do at times. Even if it is as full as it can be. Some times people say its pretty.
    I think at those moments wonder how long it will last.

    Thyroid,non cancer brain cancer and Lupus.
    Always taking it away at different times.
    I wonder some day if itwill go and not come back?
    I actually thought of tattoing my head if that happens.
    I just wonder what i will want to say on my head then..

    I have always felt old..
    Lupus just makes my hope seem less real at times.

    I think my head wold get cold.. So a wig might be fun..

    I’d vote for either a wig or tattoo. Well, maybe the tattoo would be painful and I’m a big ninny for pain 🙂

  7. i’ve lost my hair 3 times with lupus flares. both the lupus and the prednisone make my hair fall out. i’ve always been able to taper off the prednisone completely after about a year on it, so eventually my hair comes back, and when it does, it’s dark and curly. it takes forever to get it back to looking nice again, and while it’s falling out i hide it for as long as i can, re-styling it (it’s extremely thick when it’s healthy), wearing hats, but eventually, i just have to cut off what straggly hair is left and start over. which is really depressing- to have super-short hair and a giant moon-pie prednisone face with ruddy prednisone skin.

    doctors who lecture me about how i “have to” take the prednisone to save my kidneys don’t have the heart to just say “yes, i know it sucks, and i’m sorry. i wish it weren’t the case.” it would take a lot less time to say that then to give me a lecture about stuff i already know.

    but bedside manner is given no importance in medical school, even though it’s proven to be powerfully effective in both positive and negative directions on the patient’s well-being.

    it was during my second flare that i bought a wig. i was really self-conscious about the wig, as it was a $40 wig, not that fancy human hair kind that costs $1000 (unless you are lucky enough to receive one through a charity such as locks of love). i figured everyone would know it was a wig, and a cheap one.

    so i went on an errand and the clerk at the store complimented me on my HAIR! (my wig!)

    Don’t you just LOVE prednisone (aka The Evil Drug)? And you’re so right about doctors who lack simple empathy for their patients. I’ve often had to remind my docs that yes, I realize they can’t cure my disease but I do expect them to LISTEN to what I have to say about quality of life issues!

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