Michelle Thompson's Alopecia Journey…in her own words

May 9, 2023

Michelle Thompson wearing Zara Petite in Malibu Blonde by Jon Renau

How My Wig Journey Began in 2020

I looked for help online as I knew absolutely nothing about wigs, other than seeing them in a Halloween costume store. But this wasn’t a journey of finding a costume, this was a real-life challenge to create normalcy for myself. It was truly a whole new world that I was not able to navigate alone. There were terms I never heard of before like wefted, monofilament, permatease . . seriously? I am already overwhelmed with my recent diagnosis of Alopecia at age 50! This was 3 years ago. I am now 53 and I feel like I’m 33. I have so much gratitude for finding Wigs.com as I was all alone dealing with being forced to begin a new journey knowing I now have a prescription from a Dermatologist for a cranial prosthesis. 

 I didn’t even have the courage to see a doctor until I lost weight. I was so depressed, no self-esteem, forced to be isolated from the new chaotic covid pandemic. My world was caving in on me. So, one day, I made a choice. I chose to be happy, and I took everything one day at a time, but I owned each day. I would look in the mirror and gaze into my own eyes and smile. You know a true “from the heart'' meaningful smile. Not only did I choose to be happy, but I also chose to fall in love with myself again and empower that woman I wasn’t recognizing in the mirror. I dropped the weight and finally made that Dermatologist appointment. That was the beginning of my wig journey. 
Michelle in Her Custom Human Hair Wig

Finding Wigs.com

Before I learned about Wigs.com, I was lost. I found a specialized hair salon for women like me and made an appointment for a consultation. I had to begin somewhere. The consultation was free, and I learned so much, like how to measure my head for sizing, how to care for a wig, and how expensive they can be. My first wig was a custom, European human hair wig and I truly love it, but the cost is not sustainable for my budget. I also didn’t want to ruin my human hair wig as I love to do activities outdoors. I was so desperate to find other wig options as I was devastated that I just dropped a several thousand dollars on a wig. This is when I really dove into the Wigs.com website. They have so many videos that I found on wig education. The sizing guidance on Wigs.com is exactly what I had just learned from the salon consultation therefore Wigs.com immediately earned my trust. Trust is so important because I was literally the most vulnerable I have ever been in my life. Now I feel like I’m in wig college, as I was taking so many notes and really captivated my interest in learning about wigs from this amazing website. This shocking journey I was forced to begin was starting to be fun! It became so fun that it helped me embrace my alopecia as the website became a safe space for me to escape to.

Embracing Alopecia and Shaving My Head!

My bio hair was getting worse as my ponytail was literally the diameter of a dime. So, one day I felt so empowered by my vulnerabilities, almost like I was wearing a superhero cape, and I put on a pair of camouflage jeans, went to my hairdresser and told her “I’m ready to be GI Jane.” I was ready to get a crew cut as I couldn’t stand my long, thin, stringy hair. I was ready and it was important for me to share that experience with someone. I was scared out of my mind but was mentally ready to cross over. I learned I have a cute head and look good with an army style haircut.
Michelle Thompson wearing Zara Petite in Malibu Blonde by Jon Renau  getting ready for CABO

The Power of Loving Myself

 It was literally the most empowered and sexiest moment I’ve ever had in my 50 years of life. From this moment on, I felt brave and invincible and knew I could look any way I wanted on the outside because I learned who I was on the inside. I found that love for myself I had once lost.  

I have bought several wigs from Wigs.com. The customer service is amazing, always very helpful, sweet, and empathetic. My favorite wig so far is the Zara Petite as I love the long layered look. I have 3 of them now. I have 2 Zara’s of the same color in Malibu Blonde that I had modified a little to shape my face more, but they are two different lengths. Zara is so comfortable to wear too, even in the middle of Summer on vacation in Cabo, where it's 100 degrees.

The wefted back keeps your head nice and cool and the style is so versatile for any occasion from glamming to camping and anything in between. Jon Renau is my favorite brand for wigs so far as my head is very petite. They fit nice having the lace front, easy to care for and seem durable when cared for properly. Honestly, buying wigs can be a trial-and-error type of experience. I learned that I can’t really wear permatease because my head is so tiny, it just looks like the wig is too big for my face, so I opt to not buy those types of wigs. Wigs.com has an easy-to-follow return policy so you just can’t go wrong trying new looks. My favorite video on Wigs.com is learning how the different brands code their colors. It’s a lot of information and definitely worth taking notes. 

True Freedom on Independence Day 2022

I am so grateful for the journey I was forced to embark as I learned to love myself for me. I learned that we all have challenges and the more we share our vulnerabilities with others, the more we help to empower and inspire those around us in parallel with ourselves. I no longer have a dark shadow over me where I hid from the embarrassment of wearing wigs or having alopecia. The reason the shadow went away was because on Independence Day 2022, I came out of the closet and admitted to all of my friends, family and colleagues that I have alopecia. After I posted, I cried because it was such an emotional jump for me toward freedom. I will never forget this day of taking that leap of faith that people will truly see me for who I am in my heart, not hair.
Collage of different pictures of Michelle Thompson wearing wigs and not wearing wigs.
Michelle’s Bio Hair 2019
Michelle’s Bio Hair in 2019
Michelle’s Zara (Petite) Wig 2022
Michelle Thompson wearing Zara Petite in Malibu Blonde by Jon Renau

We Are Stronger Than We Think

I have made hundreds of new friends since the beginning of my journey. My choice in life is to help others who struggle, hoping my story will help them by sharing my story of overcoming obesity, depression, and losing my bio hair. Sometimes we just need to reset our mind and take baby steps in moving forward each day in a positive direction. It’s a personal choice to find what will make you feel alive. I feel like a whole person again like when I was an innocent child before growing up in a world of corruption, toxicity, and judgment. I learned how to be proud of my alopecia and my accomplishments by accepting my own flaws. 

 My wig journey and learning all I could from my Wigs.com website education changed my life even more. I have self-esteem and courage like nothing before. I have had the most amazing things happen to me in the past 2 years. I got promoted to Manager, bought a house of my own, paid off my car, got promoted again to Director and now I am inspiring women globally, during my free time, because it's so important to me to pay it forward. I have always been a cheerleader to others, but when we become a cheerleader for ourselves, that’s when new beginnings are born, and miracles happen. We must be sensitive with our daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, girlfriends, moms, grandmas, neighbors, colleagues or any women you see with hair loss. Alopecia affects millions of women, including movie stars, who also wear wigs, but I bet most people have never noticed. I am raising awareness to help those who suffer from hair loss and simply have nowhere to turn. We are stronger than we think.

Breaking the Chains 

My saving grace was the pandemic. During this time, I was to work remotely indefinitely like my colleagues. This gave me time to find myself, my NEW self. Going through a new journey of wearing, caring, and styling a wig was so new to me and super scary. I bought human hair wigs and synthetic wigs. It's expensive I won't lie but it totally gave me my life back. I was no longer embarrassed to go in public and broke out of my bubble. In fact, I climbed a 14k foot trail on my hiking journey last year because I felt so amazing.
Michelle Thompson climbing Zion National Park “The Chains” one of the scariest trails in the USA
Michelle Thompson wearing Zara Petite by Jon Renau

Bringing Sexy Back

So now I finally feel sexy again. I lost all my weight (63 lbs), and learned how to maintain my new weight with food freedom. Not having much bio hair is quite a transition in life. My senior year in high school I was nominated to be prom queen. I didn't win and that's okay because this became my new goal through this Wig Journey, to feel like a prom queen and I do! I am winning this battle inside of myself to hide who I am to the world. I am still working on my self-esteem, but I have really come a long way and am so proud of myself. I am still the same person with or without a wig.

The hardest part for me is finding a partner. Dating is not easy. I've been single for several years and simply want to share my life with a man who will accept me for who I am with or without my hair.

Love Yourself!

I am 2 years into my hair journey and if you suffer and need support, I am totally here for you. No joke. This is serious business and the depression that comes with it can be horrifying.
I went through the learning alone and I have learned so much about myself and have grown to be braver than I ever thought I could.
 Believe in yourself, ask for help so you don't fight any battle alone and most importantly LOVE YOURSELF because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Michelle Thompson wearing Zara Petite in Shaded Mocha by Jon Renau

 Note from team at Wigs.com:

We are so grateful Michelle shared her story with us! Her hair loss journey is such an inspiration and example of triumph through adversity. We hope you are as inspired by her story as we are. Do you have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Shop Michelle's Favorite: Available in Inclusive Sizes!