Looking at old family photos the other day with my daughter, I found my self feeling a bit apprehensive. I had not looked at these memories for years, but the first thing that came to mind was seeing myself as “I used to be.” That is, without my current crown of gorgeous hair. My daughter, who is 21, may have forgotten all of the nasty details of my years with alopecia, although she remembers the big picture of Mom being unhappy a lot.
As we sifted through the piles of glossy memories of family outings, dinners, and holidays long-gone, there I was: with fake smile in hand and a receding hairline (and/or bits of scalp exposed through tufts of hair). Just looking into my eyes, I could instantly remember what I was thinking at the time, my sense of embarrassment, and the pain I was in. A constant thought was: “I wish I could have a thick, beautiful, mop of hair that I could gallantly flick about for the camera.” It seemed that the whole world had it, why not me?
After 2 children and 16 years of dealing with alopecia and its unpredictable patterns of hair loss, I simply one day reached a turning point–a place I could not turn back from. I had just come home from shopping, was preparing to go and fetch the kids from school, and looked in the mirror to make sure my “comb-over” was secure before heading out. Whilst combing things in place for the millionth time, I just blew up emotionally and broke down in tears asking myself, “why do I have to go through this? Why can’t I just be the ME I was before the hair loss started.” This questions stayed with me for several days and it pushed me to start seeking proper solutions and some hope.
I found a wig shop in the city and tried it for about 6 months. At first, it was much better than the comb-over and I got a little confidence back: I felt I was doing something in the right direction. And I was. But the wig was hot, heavy, and I had to take it off every day. I could not do much in it like go out on very windy days, or run my fingers through it, or get it wet, or show my hair line (I had a permanent fringe). And inside I knew it was just a wig.
I started searching for a super-wig or something that could be much closer to my own hair and let me live life more fully with. I saw an advertisement for Aspiration Hair in London, went to their website and saw exactly what I had been looking for: something as close to my own real as hair as technology could provide. Their products are called Aspiration Hair Systems, and they are not wigs in the slightest. Suddenly, I could get my own hair back that breathed like my own skin, I could run in, even sleep and shower in. I even found that I could swim in my hair.
Several years later:
“I walk everyday whether it be wind, rain, or shine and run my fingers through my gorgeous hair. I often like to comb the front back to show my “roots”–a style that suits my face I am told. And yes, I have had countless holidays from Spain to Florida to Italy to Rapid Boating in Colorado, and my hair has been there every step of the way without anyone even guessing. Just a salon visit every 3 weeks and I am back in action, and life cannot pass me by. My daughter and I noticed that in the newer photos I am a totally different person and look much younger (despite them being taken years later). How you feel about yourself is how you look… and vice versa.
I personally, and my life, truly have been empowered in every way.”
Janice L. (Ealing)