My Alopecia Journey Part. 1

Posted on Posted in Embracing Baldness, Embracing Change, Embracing Life

I have alopecia! There I said it! When I started this journey five years ago, those three words stuck in the back of my throat. I could barely whisper them without tears streaming down my face.

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicles and causes hair to fall out or causes it not to grow. What does this mean? It means I live with permanent hair loss. I went bald.

After all, I had shoulder-length locs that I patiently waited more than three years to grow. A dermatologist told me I was eventually going to be bald. She offered me pills, injections and creams in an attempt to grow more hair. I asked her to give me time to think about it, and she gave me a few pamphlets to read.

Living in a society that glorifies beauty, I was distraught when the doctor had the audacity to utter those words to me. Truth be told, African American women love our hair. Statistics verify just how much we value our hair. Sales of hair care products for African Americans reached $774 million in 2014, representing a 12 percent increase since 2009, according to Mintel’s Black Consumers and Haircare executive summary.

I cried all the way home from that doctor’s office. I was afraid to share with my husband the information. What would he think about having a bald wife? What if he was

Embracing My Baldness Photo credit: E.Y.E Imagery Studios

disappointed? Would he still see me as sexy once it was all gone? Could he stomach being seen in public with me? All sorts of rejection thoughts ran through my mind.

As I look back at that stressful time in my life, I can’t help but be annoyed that I didn’t trust my husband’s love for me. I didn’t tell him right away what the doctor said, but when I did, I was not prepared for his response. He embraced me and kissed me. He told me he loved me and would love me with or without hair. He held me as I cried over the reality that I would not have hair. We discussed the side effects of the medications, and he emphatically said he did not want me to risk my health for a 50/50 chance to grow hair.

A few weeks later, my hubby asked me if I was okay for the thousandth time. That particular morning, I had been moving my locs all over my head, trying to hide and cover the growing bald spots. I gave up and had a breakdown on the bathroom floor. He knelt down, rubbed my back and told me over and again how much he loved me. After my pity-party, I decided to just cut it all off. He offered to go with me for support.

When we pulled up to the barbershop, I was so nervous I felt like I was going to lose my mind in the car. He prayed for me to have strength before we walked in the door. As we walked in the barbershop that day, I knew my life was about to change.

What was a life changing moment that you experienced  and how did you work through it?

For more information about alopecia, visit https://www.naaf.org.

30 thoughts on “My Alopecia Journey Part. 1

  1. I do understand, I also experienced the same thing crying, could not sleep, etc. I still miss my hair.

    1. Sis! All we can do is take it one day at a time! ? God’s grace is sufficient! Feel free to reach out to me on FB at Tanya’s Xchange to continue the conversation.

  2. Thank you for your story. As i walk about with my bald head i think maybe there eill be someone who is afraid that will see me and feel hope❤️

  3. We have such a connection to our hair. As a child I had to have stitches in the middle of my head. That left a bald spot for years. It was so difficult and kids were so cruel. I love that your husband was so supportive. It can be such an esteem changing experience. Embrace it beauty! You wear it well.

  4. First, you look beautiful :-). I have some form of alopecia in the front of my head. Wisps that refuse to grow. I keep my hair extremely short. I’m glad you had your hubby’s support. I think we women worry just too much about it. Mine encourages me to go bald all the time, but l prefer the stubble :-). I have to keep reminding myself that l am not my hair :-).

  5. You are a beautiful, strong woman, Tanya! I am sorry to hear you have alopecia, but I am so happy to hear your testimony. It truly encourages me. I love your strength and willingness to share your story with other women. This is going to really speak to so many women and help someone who is in need. I am sharing this on my FB page! I want you to know when I first came across your Twitter, your beautiful smile was the first thing that drew me in. I could tell right away you have a beautiful heart. I told my husband I instantly felt happy and encouraged just by finding your Twitter!! God is doing amazing things in your ministry! I’m so happy to connect with you!!

  6. Praise God for such a supportive husband. That’s what I am talking about! I have suffered hair loss around my hairlines no can totally empathize with you. However, you look dang fabulous honey and I appreciate you sharing your testimony.

  7. Wow I love this post. Yes African American wear our hair like crowns of glory but i also see people with no hair and look beautiful as well. I am so glad that your husband is supportive, our vows say to death do us part not if we have hair. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. That is a tough one, I like short hair by choice. If I was forced into it I don’t think I would embrace it the same. Kudos to hubby for being the strength in your time of weakness.

  9. Oh wow, I can imagine how losing your hair and the diagnosis could hit you so hard at first. Praise God for your trust and faith in Him, and for a an awesome, supportive husband! Thanks for sharing your journey. You look gorgeous, might I add!

  10. I never would have known if you hadn’t said anything because you rock your baldness like it was a choice! I’ve always admired you and other women who were bald because I definitely understand where you come from when you say african american women love their hair. I’m first to say it’s just hair and I always thought I couldn’t pull of being bald. With that said, I continue to admire those who do wear the look and look so fiercely doing so!

  11. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story. I have a friend with alopecia but she opts to wear wigs. You are owning your look and you look amazing! I love hearing how your husband has loved an supported you through this journey. This post restores my faith in what real love looks like.

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