I lost my hair the first time at 19 while attending college . It grew back after the doctor gave me Rogaine. The second time was about 3 years ago, after I had my second set of twins.
At 19, it felt like a crisis! I was a much different person mentally at that time, and the thought of being bald when I already felt unattractive and super self conscious was terrifying. When it happened as an adult I definitely panicked at first, and that teenage voice came back with the same fears. However, being a grown woman who’d made it through much harder things than losing hair, I realized it was an opportunity. I did feel sadness and frustration, because there were times when it felt like one more thing to explain or deflect questions about when I was already emotionally tired from dealing with lots of small children.
At first I tried scarves and hats, and my husband bought me wigs in the event I wanted to try them. I wore them for a while, but felt like I had a huge sign in my head that said “I’m wearing a wig and I’m embarrassed about it!” So I went to lots of beanies and wraps.
When my daughters were five years old, they told me I couldn’t walk around at their school because I didn’t look like the other moms. And in that moment, I said: “You’re right. And I’m not trying to.“ I realized I had an opportunity to show them in real time and in real life that no one gets to tell you who you should be or what you should look like, and that you don’t have to be anyone different than who you are, however that looks for you. I realized that seeing me walk around publicly as a bald woman (which garnered stares, questions and a conversation where someone asked me if I was a man pretending to be a woman) was an opportunity to teach them how to deal with life’s plot twists in a confident, empowering and “I own me” type of way.
Now I feel more at ease, authentic, and at home in who I am and how I look than I ever did when I had hair. Being a woman without hair is awesome. 😂 It’s just a small part of who I am as a whole, so it’s not as important to me as it once was.
For me personally, the whole experience of becoming bald has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. It’s allowed me to live some of the things I value most, have conversations with my own children (and lots of other people’s kids as well) about topics like gender norms, femininity, body image, and stereotyping. It’s allowed me to partner and get to work with companies like Dove, Getty, and GirGaze, and to be part of the movement to expand the narrow definition of beauty and what being a woman is supposed to look like. I am forever grateful for what it has allowed me to realize, let go of and become.
Luciana is an educator, speaker, and coach from Central Valley of California. She can be found doing anything sport or outdoor adventure related, spending time with her family, exploring, cooking and eating pasta, reading, and being in nature.
Follow along her journey at:
FB: Luciana Naldi