A lot of my friends and acquaintances have asked me this, and I get this question on social media quite a lot too. The answer is not that simple and also the hardest one to answer. In fact, I have two answers to it: yes and no.
I finally know what I want to do with my life
It’s not a secret that I was devastated when I lost my hair. Since then, though, several years have passed and I’ve started looking at my alopecia differently. I might have lost my hair, but I’ve got so much in return. I was never that invested in school or work. There was nothing I really enjoyed - except for playing hockey. I didn’t know what I was good at, so I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t really have any big dreams: going out with my girlfriends was more than enough.
As soon as I got alopecia, I started sharing that on social media. I realized that I really enjoyed sharing my story and taking pictures and videos of my looks. I had finally found something I was good at! That’s actually how I started my business: WHAT THE HAIR LOSS, which I am ridiculously proud of. I help and coach other women who struggle with hair loss now, and it makes me so happy to be able to help others. I also spend a lot of time working on my photography (a long lost passion) and I think it’s so cool to work on my skills as an entrepreneur. I used to have no idea what I wanted to do, whereas now I have big dreams. The sky is the limit!
I have a lot more confidence now
The second, great gift that alopecia gave me is confidence. I used to have a big mouth, but I was still very insecure - about everything! Because of alopecia, I ended up in a rut. By confronting myself, I’ve learned to truly love myself for who I am. I’ve accepted myself fully now. Some days I’m bald, and other days I’m wearing hair, but I feel comfortable both ways. The funny thing is that I feel beautiful with my wig on, but when I’m not wearing it, I feel like myself. Both feel perfect. I’m much happier with myself now than I was before alopecia.
I would always be scared of losing it again
The third reason why my answer to this question is ‘no’, is that I’m not sure I could handle it if I had my hair back and I lost it again. You really never know what’s going to happen with alopecia. I don’t think I would ever feel 100% at ease. How can you enjoy your full head of hair knowing that it could fall out any second? I found it much harder to become bald than being bald. I can’t even imagine going through that process again. That’s also the reason why I’m keeping my hair short now - that way I can watch all the bald spots come and go.
I just don’t believe in it
Of course I know there are all sorts of creams and treatments in the market that claim to make your hair grow back, but as long as there is no evidence that they’re effective, I don’t believe in them. Having no hope is less bad than having false hope. I’m not going to be talked into anything and I’m definitely not going to risk my health by using a syringe or taking a pill if no one can guarantee that it’s safe and it will make my hair come back forever.
WHY I DO:
Of course I want to be ‘normal’ again
Let’s be honest: it would obviously be awesome if my hair grew back and it stayed forever! If you have hair, you’re ‘normal’, you don’t stand out and you don’t need to give any explanations anymore. My alopecia is still a bit of a coming-out thing if I haven’t told someone yet.
I would rather it hadn’t happened at all (I think)
If you asked this question to women who’ve had breast cancer or another serious illness, I think all of them would rather they’d never got sick -regardless of how much you can learn from an experience like that. I think the same goes for me. If I’d never got alopecia, I’m sure I would have learned all those life lessons some other way.
But okay: if I could really choose, I would love to combine my new-found self-confidence with my own, natural hair. I think my ego would go through the roof then, haha! But unfortunately, you don’t have a say when it comes to alopecia. Alopecia is an unpredictable frump that gives you daily mind fucks. She is there, so I have to deal with it. There’s no point in wishing things were different.