My Alopecia Journey

lydia 2      This happened once before, due to a side effect of chemotherapy, but it was different. So many other things were wrong at the time that it seemed trite in comparison, to obsess about hair loss. I found a good wig person and she helped me through it, as she had for many people for so many years. Most wig retailers are good people and I’ve only been recommended to the most beautiful of souls.   
      Mine is Alopecia Areata. It is an autoimmune disease.  It usually occurs more than once in the lives of the lucky recipients and and it can last as long as it wants.  I have learned much from my girls in my LGFB programs. That is ‘Look Good Feel Better’, which is one of the good things to come from the Cosmetics And Fragrance Council and the American Cancer Society. I have volunteered with this good program for the last 8 or 9 years. The strength of women never ceases to amaze me.   It has been apparent to me for all these years that loosing one’s hair is one of the worst parts of cancer treatment for most women.
      I also have learned so much from my wonderful permanent makeup clients, many of whom have faced hair loss, either permanently or temporarily.  They are a wealth of knowledge and resources, of which I am always available to discuss with anyone interested.  This sharing of information, women to women, is a force to be reckoned with.
     The Internet is also a great place to explore threads of information and figure out the path that works best for each of us individually.  I have a very good and concerned dermatologist that helps me with his body of knowledge.   Of course Rogaine, Propecia, and Cortisone injections are the standard course, but autoimmune is a weird duck.
      I recently discovered that a medication I have been taking for years prophylactically, Acyclovir, can cause my kind of Alopecia.  I just stopped it a week ago and already see a boost in hair follicles.  I also had a cortisone treatment a week ago, so I can’t say for sure. I use my Rogaine and don’t take Propecia. I try to stay away from as many prescription meds as possible. The side effects are very real. D3 and Biotin are taken daily in large doses.
      My brother Gary, who passed away in April from a brave but short battle with bladder cancer, obsessed over whether or not his particular chemotherapy treatment would compound his hair loss. Handsome Gary was spared that side effect. I told him that I was taking that hit for him. I wish I could have taken on more.
      So in the grand scheme of things, it’s not so bad. My hair pieces look fabulous; much better than my own hair has in years. I see growth in my bald spots and maybe by the end of the summer, I’ll feel comfortable wig free. My heart goes out to all women and men who suffer from alopecia. In our appearance obsessed world, it is not easy to live with. 
      I am working with one of my brow clients with alopecia, implanting ink on the scalp in hairstroke patterns. As I know from brow work, the skin is different in alopecia. It is very resistant but not impossible. lydia 4

      I’ll post again and update. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to comment or share, please contact me. Life is for learning.

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