I have been wearing wigs for 10 years since receiving the diagnosis of alopecia areata in 2013. I’ll never forget my first wig- Jon Renau “Heidi” in 24BT18S8. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to try a variety of different wigs in all colors, lengths and hair types- and I love rocking them all! Honestly, I would continue to wear hair even if my bio hair grew back- that’s how much I’ve come to love wearing wigs. I have not always been in a place of joy and confidence when it comes to alternative hair, however. For example, I used to be extremely self-conscious when others would compliment my “hair”. I felt like everyone was looking at me and could tell I had a wig on. I wouldn’t even allow myself to accept the simple gift of a compliment because I was so unsure of myself! Thankfully I learned to embrace wearing wigs and have learned how to gracefully accept compliments when I get them (because even though it’s a wig, it is still MY hair!). Regardless of whether we’re wearing a wig or rocking a bald head, we always must remember to be kind and gentle with ourselves. It is in this spirit of self-love that I’d like to pass along some of the wisdom I wish I’d had in the beginning. This is why I am grateful to Wigs.com for the opportunity to share some of the most important things I’ve learned during my hair loss journey: 1) First of all, wearing hair doesn’t mean you stop living and loving your life! I’ve worn wigs while on vacation at the beach, running 5K’s and blind dates. I even wore a wig when I had surgery several years ago! Whatever I’m doing, my “helper hair” is very much a part of who I am. 2) I’ve also learned the importance of cultivating relationships with others struggling with hair loss. There is an absolutely amazing community out there where I’m inspired every day by others going through the same thing. We all have those hard days, and it is so important during those times to know that you’re NEVER alone. 3) Finally, I’ve learned to appreciate the positive aspects of wearing wigs. Let’s be honest- wearing hair is just fun! There are so many colors, styles and lengths to play with. Also, wearing alternative hair saves me a ton of time getting ready every morning. And that means I get to spend more time doing things with the people I love :) These lessons from my hair loss journey empower me to unapologetically own this part of who I am every day. I love that there’s always something new to experience when it comes to wig wearing (for example, I would love to try a pink wig such as “Dare to Be” by Raquel Welch!) . I am thankful to wigs.com for the opportunity to share my story, and I hope this will inspire someone else out there to show up for yourself, rock that alternative hair, and most importantly, CHOOSE JOY!