I was diagnosed with alopecia areata at the age of 4. My mom was giving me a bath, and noticed I had a couple of bald spots on my head. This continued throughout my childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood. I started to lose my hair rapidly at the age of 26, and all my body hair (including my eyebrows, armpit hair, and leg hair) eventually fell out within a couple of months.
Losing my hair at a rapid rate in my twenties was very depressing. At times it was shocking because large chunks of hair would fall out at a time. At one point I cried daily over the process. However, I had ample family and friend support which kept me going and grounded.
In terms of trying to hold onto or regrow my hair, I've tried it all. I was consulting with a dermatologist and used topical creams, ointments, and received steroid injections. The creams and ointments worked best but never fully worked to regrow and keep my hair. The hair loss was unpredictable, and the locations of bald spots were inconsistently spread on my head. I also tried over-the-counter products such as Rogaine, which was not effective and smelled horrible. I also used hair fibers to cover up bald spots to blend in better with my natural hair.
When it was too much to cover up, I decided it was time to shave it off. My husband helped me shave my head using his pair of clippers. He has always been very supportive of my alopecia journey.
Now I feel relieved, and happier than I've ever been -- and accepting of my diagnosis. I feel beautiful with and without hair!
Being a woman without hair can be challenging, but getting ready in the morning is a lot easier and quicker! There are days where I feel insecure about going out in public without hair, but it is becoming more routine. The style possibilities are endless now, because I can have whatever hairstyle I want thanks to wigs. I get the best of both worlds because I can choose to go bald, or wear wigs, turbans, or hats. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to wear whatever I want!
Thank you to C3 for creating a product for us baldies and supporting the Children's Alopecia Project! The best product on the market to keep my head clean thus far!***
Stefanie is a clinical psychologist living in Chicago. She is an avid concert goer and a foodie, and loves hanging out with family, friends, and her chihuahua Nacho.
We're grateful to Stefanie for lending her lovely image for our most recent C3 photo shoot!