This is a blog article written by Jodi Pliszka, Ph.D. for Wigs.com.
I awakened with gobs of hair on my pillow, and each time I took a shower, clumps of it would clog the drain. I fell into a deep depression and couldn’t believe that all of the hair on entire body was gone. I was suddenly a bald woman living in a society where hair defines a woman’s beauty. How could this be happening to me? I soon learned I had Alopecia Universalis.
I figured that I had two choices: I could just exist and be miserable or learn to thrive and help others. I had an epiphany and soon discovered how to take my thoughts off autopilot and rewire my thinking to achieve any desired result. “If you can’t change your circumstances, learn to change your perspective” became my motto.
“If you can’t change your circumstances, learn to change your perspective”
I went from being a depressed woman full of hate to a positive person full of hope. This subtle change in my thinking opened up doors that I only dreamed about.
What happened next? I got married, moved to New York, and my daughter Jess, was born. A few months after her birth, my ex-husband decided that he didn’t want to be a dad anymore and left us. Instead of panicking again, I used the same process to help me get over losing my hair, and guess what happened? It worked! I changed my perspective, and everything turned out positively for Jess and me. This made me think that if I could get over losing my hair, my husband, and my house (we were homeless for a short time during the divorce) and still have hope, I could teach others how to change their lives.
Eventually, Jess and I enrolled in Taekwondo: I earned my black belt with a lot of hard work, and Jess earned her blue belt; together, we were having a blast. Because I would wear my wigs often, especially when working out, they went through a lot. They would become saturated with oils, sweat, makeup, and odors that smell gross during my workouts. So, I would have to wash my wig each night, and it would take hours to dry and style it before work at the hospital in the morning. Each time I washed my wig, it seemed like more and more hair would fall out, giving me PTSD of losing my hair all over again. I had to do something to reduce the number of times I would wash my wig each week. After all, human hair can get pretty pricey.
I needed to find a way to save myself some time and money by not having to replace my wigs as often as I was. I started putting things like paper towels under my wig. But they would slip underneath my wig and fall apart in pieces making it ineffective at sweat protection.
Next, I put feminine hygiene pads and panty liners under my wig to catch the sweat. They worked okay, but Jess yelled across the Dojo in Taekwondo one day, “Mom, your panty liner's hanging out!” I was mortified and amused simultaneously, knowing that there had to be something more dignified than wearing panty liners under my wigs, but 17 years ago, there was nothing on the market.
That same week, I read a piece in Time Magazine about the men and women in the military wearing panty liners underneath their tactical combat helmets, begging for someone to “invent something more dignified for them to use….” I knew that I had to invent something to fill the gap that so many people needed to be filled concerning sweat protection, cooling, and comfort.
Finding a Solution
I started to play around with different materials, like the soft chamois cloth fabric, and cut it into a shape that would fit my wig and hide discretely underneath. I received my first patent 16 years ago and invented a product called Headline It! No Sweat Comfort liners.
Soon after I received my patent, the creators of American Idol decided to produce a new show called American Inventor. Instead of using singers, they used inventors to showcase their talents. I was a contestant on that show and told the judges, including Simon Cowell, about my story and my love of helping others who had lost their hair in the alopecia community. I told them about my work as a hair loss advocate for over 30 years and was able to capture the attention of Simon Cowell and all the judges. I beat out 10,000 other inventors and did something that most people could only have dreamed of doing; I made it as a Top Finalist on the show.
Now armed with $50,000 in winnings, I was able to hire product experts to help me find the exact materials for our Headline It! No Sweat Safety liners. We did product testing with women who wore wigs due to cancer treatments and alopecia and firefighters who needed sweat protection under their helmets.
The Success of Headline It!
The results were stunning! We had a 100% success rate in stopping sweat from rolling into the eyes of the individuals testing the liners. It gave women extra confidence when using the liners since the design helped to add comfort, stopping wigs, hats, and scarves from shifting on their heads. It was my dream come true!
We then received a contract with the military and began working with notable companies like Wigs.com, which helped us spread the word of the comfort, cooling, and confidence that our Headline It! No Sweat Comfort liners would bring their customers. The liners are cost-effective; each liner can be used for up to 14 days, helping trap unwanted oils, salts, and odors in the liner, not the wig, hat, helmet, scarf, or headwear item. And even better is that one size fits all.
No more itchy, pokey little wig hairs irritating a sensitive scalp. No more having to wash the makeup, oils, and odors out of your wigs, saving you time and money! The extra comfort and confidence of using two of our liners, one in the front and one in the back of your wig, hat, scarf, or headwear item, spread like wildfire! Our liners grew in popularity, helping people worldwide have a more comfortable, cool experience under all headwear items. This all happened because I lost my hair to alopecia, and I wanted to make a difference.
I’m nothing special, and I’m not any different from you. I just found a way to bounce back quickly in life and increase your resilience by taking your thoughts off autopilot and rewiring your thinking to achieve any result.
“Don’t Sweat It, Headline It!” Good luck!
About Jodi Pliszka
She received her Master’s Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from West Point Military Academy, N.Y. (LIU), and her Ph.D. work at Ferkauf School of Psychology, Bronx, N.Y., with a focus in Applied Neuroscience & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Jodi is the president/CEO and award-winning inventor of the Headline It! No Sweat Comfort liners product. She just won Tycoon Success Magazines’ “Top 10 Most Empowering Women to Watch in 2022”, is the Enterprising Woman of the Year recipient, and is a 3 times best-selling author. Jodi is the founder of Neurolicity, a leader in neuromarketing & personal development, providing life-transforming products and services to help maximize performance & potential of individuals and corporations.
Despite her circumstances, losing her hair to Alopecia, and being a single mom, Jodi has been a visionary and committed alopecia advocate, for over 30 years. Her daughter, Jess, is a board-certified licensed professional counselor, and together, they operate NeuroJess Women’s Neurocounseling Center, helping women be their true, authentic selves while living their best life possible. They are a mom and daughter neurodivergent team who are on a mission to help women who are questioning neurodivergence. For more information about visit www.neurojess.com and www.headlineit.com. Here is a free training to help you Bounce Back Quickly from your challenging circumstance.