Posted on April 23 2018
My first year in college, I began rooming with my best friend from back home. She was two years older than me and was about to start her second year of her pre-med program as I was entering into my first year communication degree. Shortly after we began living together, I noticed she began wearing a lot of hats, and had almost stopped styling her hair completely.
One day, I got home early from class and I found her in our bathroom with a pair of scissors in her hand as she chopped haphazardly at her hair. I saw her tear-stained face and finally saw what was wrong. She had four or five bald patches across her scalp and I realized that her eyebrows had completely fallen out. As I took the scissors from her hands, I asked her what was going on. Turns out, she had alopecia when she was younger but it had subsided as she became a teenager, but it had unfortunately returned. Other than her obvious emotions about losing her hair, she had been in a relationship with a boy who didn’t know this about her. They were starting to get more serious, and she was terrified of showing him this side of her. What if he didn’t want her anymore? What if he no longer found her desirable?
It broke my heart to see her like this, so the next day when I came home, I had bought a few wigs for her to try. Though she was happy that I had come up with a solution, she also wasn’t sold on the idea of lying to her partner about what is going on with her - as he had begun to ask questions.
This isn’t an uncommon issue for women especially. Alopecia has a long list of causes - some genetic, some organic, or some that are a bit unclear. But - it is nothing to be ashamed of. If you or someone you know is going through this, or a similar situation, below I have detailed what I did in my efforts to help my friend. One of the most important things I can express is that ultimately, you cannot make their decisions for them and pushing them to make a certain decision is as bad as leaving them on their own.
- Never make them feel self-conscious about their appearance. What they need more than ever when dealing with their hair loss is someone to help keep their mind off it. Nothing has really changed, but to them, everything has.
- Get them out of the house! My friend’s biggest issue when she began losing her hair was getting her back out into social situations. She was constantly worried about being stared at, but having me by her side gave her some confidence.
- Be there for them if the worst happens...
- & also when the best occurs.
Dealing with losing your hair can be more than just a physical problem. But you never have to go through it by yourself. You are beautiful, and no one can take that away from you. You will find someone who loves you for you, just be patient!