05

The mindfuck of Alopecia

Just when you’re starting to come to terms with the fact that you will always be bald, your hair starts to grow back...

I used to be known for my long, voluminous hair. Everything I did to it looked good and people often wanted to touch it: ‘Oh, it’s so long, and nice and thick, blah blah blah…’ I personally didn’t like how thick it was, because it was too heavy for curls and, most of all, really hot. When I was a student, I worked at a bar for a while and I would quickly start sweating like a pig. ‘Just spilled a beer on myself’, was my go-to answer if someone commented on it.

After losing all my hair in 2018, I didn’t have a single hair on my body for two years. I didn’t see a razor that whole time, and man was that nice. That was until July 2020, when I suddenly noticed some hairs on my big toe (why?), legs and right arm. Some of it was starting to grow back! In September, it started happening on my head too, it looked as if I had cow spots or puzzle pieces spread all over my head. From left to right, from front to back - they were everywhere. How awful! And what a mindfuck as well… Just when you’ve come to terms with the fact that you will always be bald, some of it starts to grow back. Maybe forever, maybe just for a little while. Almost every time I looked in the mirror, the pattern on my head had changed. It was as if Alopecia thought ‘Mwahaha… let’s kick her to the ground again. You’re not supposed to just learn how to live with this, so let’s have her grow some hair again’. Alopecia is a bitch.

 

Here’s a compilation showing my own hair, my hair loss, the hair growth and how it looks now!

In the beginning, I could cover the dark spots with make-up quite easily, but then the hair islands grew bigger. They weren’t connected yet, so it just looked like a spot fest. As hard as I tried, it kept getting harder to conceal them. All the well-meaning comments - ‘Wow, your hair is growing nice and fast!’, ’Crazy how your hair is almost all back!’ - I found it awful! Everyone tried to give me hope, but hope was the last thing I wanted. Because when it comes to Alopecia, you never know. And I really didn’t feel like having to explain that again and again.

My hair kept growing nicely. Some links started to appear and they connected the islands, which led to all sorts of patterns. Hearts, highways, paw prints- that I did like! Since March 2021, I have about 90% of my hair. (Only my arms, armpits and pubic area are still completely bald - LET’S KEEP IT THAT WAY). And I still don’t trust it. In fact, I trim my hair to keep it short. I’ll only let it grow when all of it is back. I don’t want to go through that emotional whirlwind yet again if my hair is going to fall out again anyway. Hope is a lot harder for me to handle than losing all my hair. By keeping my hair short, I can keep track of what exactly is going on on my head. I’m trying not to have any expectations. I’ll see how it goes - at least that’s the mindset I’m trying to have.

And what if it does all grow back…? Then it will probably still be difficult to enjoy it a 100%. When I feel the slightest bit of stress, I’ll be afraid of losing my hair, which will cause me even more stress, which can make my hair fall out even faster. Aaaah! In order to keep myself from going completely crazy with ‘what if’s, I’m telling myself this: I’ve been pool-ball-bald, cow-bald AND super short with gaps, and I turned out to be mostly okay with it all. So whatever idiot Alopecia takes me for: I’ll be fine, bitch.