AND ALOPECIA IS ONE.
I tried for years to go natural and it was just not working out for me. That in-between-transitioning-trying-to-keep–those-roots-and–edges-from–swelling-but-still-trying-to-look-cute was not the move for me. However, my experience with being diagnosed with Alopecia threw me right back into the natural game. It was tough but I am now 4 years relaxer free wearing my kinky coily hair that I’ve grown to love on most days.
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is usually not permanent. Your hair can grow back but can continue to fall out in different areas of your head over the course of your life. It can also affect other parts of your body.
On December 2013 I went to a Jay-Z concert with my girls at the Barclay’s Arena in Brooklyn. I looked cute too. I had on a fitted black dress, this cute little bomber jacket with fur on the sleeves that I snagged in Paris and for my hair, a slick back look with a part on the side. I was ready to party!
The show was dope. Bey even made a special appearance that night.
When I got home after the show, I settled in and prepared for bed. I headed to the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth and wrap my hair up. As I started brushing my hair, I realized that there was a quarter sized bald spot in my scalp. What the … ? I thought I was seeing things. I moved closer to the mirror to get a better look. Like that course of action was gone change my situation or something.
I looked in the sink and around the floor for a patch of hair. NOTHING. It’s as if my hair disappeared into thin air. What in the H. E. double hockey sticks happened to my hair? I am slightly freaking out. I can’t for the life of me understand why or how this has happened. I would have clearly seen a bald spot in my head before I left for the concert. Did I dance too hard? Was I rapping too much –screaming too loud? Why has thou forsaken my hair?
The next morning I searched for a dermatologist and made an appointment. I was able to get in to see a doctor a day later. To my surprise she said I had alopecia. Say what now? She asked me had I been stressed or wearing my hair in tight styles. None of the above. This just came out of the blue. No one in my family, that I knew of, suffered from alopecia so this caught me completely off guard. Of course I started thinking the worse. Is this temporary? Will it get worse? Will it become painful? Will I have to get a hair transplant? Am I gone still be cute? I was doing the most. Now, I was stressing.
The doctor gave me a few cortisone shots to the affected area and prescribed a cream to apply twice a day. I did go back to her a few more times for the shots and eventually my hair grew back. However, only a few more times did I experience the hair loss. It came in different areas but usually near the front and sides of my hair. In those instances, the loss was not as noticeable.
Because it has been some time, a couple of years or so since I’ve had any hair loss, I believe what I experienced was traction alopecia which is said to be irreversible if not extensive, by cutting back on wearing tight styles or using hair chemicals like relaxers and dyes. I’ve always worn my hair short so I could rule out tight pony tails or irritation from weaves or extensions. So December 2013 I had my last relaxer. There in lies my natural hair journey which I believe has helped alleviate my issue with alopecia. #ByeAlopecia! You know like Bye Felicia! Am I reaching? Ok bye.
No, but seriously, I am thankful I have not had any ongoing issues. But, I do realize that there are many people who suffer from more severe cases of alopecia in which there is no cure. However, there is every chance the hair can regrow with or without treatment, but it can also fall out again. Its very unpredictable as the course of disease varies from person to person.
Many have chosen or have had no choice but to remove all of their hair, wear wigs or simply embrace being bald. Nothing wrong with any of those decisions.
Besides, hair these days seems to be the exception … not the rule!!