Okay, so the title could do with some work, but I thought it was about time I updated you all on my bald bits. You know, the Alopecia.
It’s been a couple of months since I last updated about it, and at the time some of the hair was just starting to grow back.
Since then the patch that I’d been sharing pictures of has gotten a little bigger, but there’s been quite a bit of progress with the hair growth in the middle.
(sorry about the quality of the photos, all three pictures were taken with my phone and no visibility of the back of my head)
This was the first patch that I found, and when I found it, it was much, much smaller than it is now.
As you can see, it’s still a patch that I still try to hide when doing my hair, but it’s come a long way from when I got all of the injections. It’s really the best it could be at this stage.
But the other patches (the ones I haven’t shared before) are getting bigger, too. And when wearing my hair in a ponytail, it’s quite hard to hide. Impossible to hide completely.
In the photo below, you can see three of the four large spots I’ve got at the moment – at the top of this one you can see the patch in the first photo. The one in the centre of the picture is much like the second photo in this post. And at the very bottom, you can kind of make out another one which is much, much smaller. This is one of the older patches, but hasn’t grown like the other, newer ones – possibly because of the injections?
The injections were meant to re-awaken the hair follicles and in turn stimulate hair regrowth. That being said, the nature of alopecia areata is that the patches come and go on their own in their own time. As this is my first bout (perhaps ‘flare-up’ is a better term), I don’t know whether the speed of the regrowth was helped by the injections or whether this is just the course it was always going to run.
One thing that I can definitely attribute to the injections, though, are the crater-like dents in my scalp. The dermatologist said that this would likely happen, as the steroids burn away a lot of the fatty tissue between my skin and skull at the injection sites. It seems a little odd to me that they’d still be there (and even a little more noticeable) two months on. But since she told me to expect it, and to not be worried when I come across them, I’m not going to follow it up just yet. There’s no pain or discolouration. I just find myself playing with them, rubbing my fingers over the dents, from time to time – usually when I’m thinking at work.
That’s great, but why share?
Sharing these pictures online is one of the ways I’ve found to deal with this. Before finding the patches, I was the fat girl with nice skin and pretty hair. Sure, I’ve made some key lifestyle changes over the last few months (not necessarily because of the alopecia), but I still want to have nice, healthy hair. I want to be able to brush it without worrying that it will fall out in clumps.
Very few people in my day-to-day life know about this. In fact, other than my family, I can count the number of people who know on one hand. Including my immediate family, I could easily count everyone on two hands.
And, as so many of our generation do when they face a problem – the first thing I did when I found my bald patch was hit up Google. ‘Hair loss in women’. ‘Bald patches’. ‘Hair loss youth’. ‘Female baldness’. ‘Symptom+Bald’. There’s plenty of information out there if you spend an age looking. Some of the first hits I got referred to male pattern baldness (not relevant), chemotherapy (not something I’ve ever had any proximity to), and online wig stores. Cue
Once I knew what to look for, it was easier. Searching for “Alopecia Areata” brought up far more useful information, but I don’t think I ever felt like I knew what to expect.
If you’re reading this and you have, or suspect you might have, alopecia and you want to ask a question – drop me a line (email email@example.com if you don’t want to use the comments). My experience is only limited, with a relatively mild bout, but it’s an experience that I’m more than happy to share. No question’s a stupid question, and if you’re wondering then chances are, someone out there with less confidence to ask is wondering too.