Hello. My name is Angie and induced my own alopecia areata…
Feelings alert: This will probably be my most serious post but hopefully my humor will still shine through as I take you through the beginning of my hair loss to the regrowth of it to now.
This is my own story with my self-induced alopecia areata and how I allowed myself to let stress and anger take over my wellbeing so much that I put my own immune system into shock. This is may not be the case with everyone who is facing hair loss whether a bald patch here or there or those with total hair loss, there may not even be a “moment” for them, but for me there was. It rhymes with “incredible stress”…
I didn’t even notice I was losing hair until one day at my sister’s house while watching murder crime shows and her playing with my hair she said, “Hey you have a bald spot.” At first I thought she was messing with me. Even though we are grown ups now she still loves to torture me. I waited for her to start laughing like she normally does when she is joking with me but she didn’t. I got up looked in the mirror and there it was. I think my first reaction was more annoyed than anything else like “uh good why do I have to deal with this now too” but as I drove home the fear and the reality started to sink in. I had played with emotional and spiritual fire and the universe was not playing games anymore.
During this time I wasn’t in the best place in my life-career, relationship, spiritually. I’m gonna be honest I was in the worst damn place in my relationship and the only way I could cope was to get so angry that I would pull my own muscles while screaming. I felt dismissed beyond belief and unheard and outside of my relationship I felt like I didn’t belong in my city, my relationship, my life and maybe even my family a little. I’ve always had a seriously hard time with expressing my emotions and the only way I could express myself for a long time was through anger.
I was completely out of balance within myself spiritually and emotionally and I just wanted to trash myself like a rock star trashed a hotel room. I had complete disregard for myself.
After the shock the initial awareness of my bald spot I thought okay no problem I will just take it easy and it will grow back. I’ll meditate do some yoga and change my thoughts. I wasn’t getting the message that this loss of hair was bringing. What happened next was an ever increasing bald spot and a good amount of hair just disappearing from my life. I didn’t even notice it going, yet again. I wasn’t losing huge clumps in the shower or when I brushed my hair although it was definitely more than the norm but for all I knew when my hair blew in the wind a hundred strands flew off in the breeze. It just kept falling out.
This is me normally… tons of hair. So much so that people used to ask me if I wore hair extensions.
Here is a little while after we first noticed the patch:
And this was me at my worst:
Actually that little tiny hair growth on top wasn’t there at my worst.. this was me right after my worse when it started to grow back. Notice how shitty my skin was too. That’s because all of this is connected and my body was screaming messages at me that I was still not willing to see.
For months my head felt like it was on fire!!! The burning sensation always came from the areas where I was about to or already losing hair. I also noticed my scalp was incredibly dry and initially I thought since my hair loss started in January that it was because of the cold weather. My head was so itchy from the dryness it took me back to that time that little asshole girl gave me lice at summer camp. The only thing that helped the itchiness was washing my scalp with apple cider vinegar and/or using this olive oil shampoo that my Mom also used for her Psoriasis. Once the burning and itching stopped I started to notice my hair folicles would actually hurt. Please note that is the craziest thing I have ever said, but I’m not kiding my hair hurt. When I would run my fingers through my hair the hair closest to the root felt like death, like little needle painful death.
I was also really lucky because my hair covered the bald spots and I was even able to have my cutie hair styles still.
I am always on verge of getting bangs again!
If you have alopecia or thinning hair and are looking for an answer to why this happened and how, I don’t have that for you. What I do have is my own experience and self-awareness to know how it manifested in my life and hopefully that will give you some awareness over your own. I won’t even use the word control here because if your hair is falling out it is going to keep falling out. I’m sorry. The damage has already been done, internally speaking, BUT there are stages and in-between the falling out, less falling out, new patch appearing where you can call in the big immune system restarting troops.
If you want to read more about the incredible strict hair regrowing diet I went on, also loosely known as Gaps, the immune boosting diet, Whole 30 and a variation of Paleo I will be posting about it next week and will insert and easy breeze link here:) They are all very similar with slight variations in dairy and nightshade consumption. I’ll tell you all about nightshades next week too.
Back to me balding: I had a huge fist full-sized patch (see above) that stuck with me in total for about six months before it started to grow back. Here I am, currently on the hair loss lam.
It’s currently about 6 six inches long and looks like I am just growing back an undercut. It sticks out of my ponytail and I’m into it. My mom even thought it was a special hair cut style. Get with it lady. I also developed another patch right above the giant patch about eight months in and it is currently hanging out there pretending like it’s not gonna grow back.
In order for my hair to grow back I really had to start listening to the message which had a lot to do with trusting myself and my own feelings which I was not fully able to do because I had just been through a divorce the year before and I probably felt a little like I couldn’t be trusted to make good emotional decisions. So instead of making good emotional decisions I made bad ones by not really making any at all. Even not making a choice is a choice. I am still learning that I can own my own expression. I am learning finally after thirty-one years that sadness feels better than anger and I am more comfortable expressing my sadness and hurt feelings towards people I love rather than just being a ball of anger. I am also learning that fantasy has no basis in reality and sometimes holding onto the idea of the fantasy you created is really just blocking a reality that’s so good it can feel like a fantasy.
I know that this left over patch will eventually fill in as well because I am listening to the messages that my body is trying to tell me. I know I most likely will have to jump back on my immune boosting diet but I’m also counting on the Vitamin D coming from the sun this summer to help out. Yay summer! There was a possibility that all my hair was going to fall out and I was going to look like Friar Tuck and be almost totally bald but deep down I knew that that was not the goal of manifesting this hair loss. I cannot say with 100% certainty that this is the case of everyone else who is facing hair loss. I just know that this is my case.
Hair loss is seriously tragic and mortifying . It really takes you to the depths of who you are as a person, trust me. We are also so identified with our hair and appearance viewing hair not only as a comfort but an avenue of self-expression. P.S. I’m not delusional and trying to provide reassurance to myself because I don’t want my hair to fall out. I mean YES I rather my hair did not fall out but if it does I will just rock fabulous head scarves everyday and buy some land so I can become that bald hippie in the woods with all the organic food who takes care of the animals…or I’ll become a punk rocker.
Reminder: Next week I will be posting on the immune boosting diet I went on which is not just for alopecia but can balance your hormones and is a champion for gut health. It also helped my Mom get rid of her psoriasis so it’s good stuff for those of us with immune system issues.