Summer Reading List from Love, Alopecia

Summer is here. Can you hear it? It’s the sound of a deckchair, hammock or cozy couch calling your name. All you need it some ice tea and a good book.

This reading list isn’t about the newest releases or best sellers, but a collection of books which speak to us and share something meaningful about the experience of alopecia.

Do you have a book that helped you on your hair loss journey? Share it in the comments!

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A letter to my alopecia family

Submitted by Siarrah – You can read more about Siarrah’s journey with Alopecia Areata here.

My Alopecia journey in the last year:

Through the AAAF sponsorship program I set myself a goal to create awareness within my netball community.

I forget that I’m wearing a bandana; I forget that others might wonder why.

With the sponsorship program I found myself committed to creating awareness.

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Art and Alopecia

Creative practices like art, music, writing and dance have long been known to help support mental health. Arts therapy is a recognized practice with many potential benefits, known to help with communication, self-image, personal development and coping skills.

Throughout the challenges 2020, we’ve seen how arts and creative practices have been very helpful for individuals and families. A range of creative practices have seen a swell in popularity, from mindful colouring, paint-by-numbers for adults and learning viral online dances. Art, dance and music can be great learning tools for young kids and an opportunity for self-expression or exploring emotions for teens and adults.

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My Alopecia Story – Max’s Journey

I don’t exactly remember when I started to lose my hair. I know it happened around 2014, when I was about 11. I also know it started like it did for any other any kid. In patches across my head.

When it began, I honestly couldn’t have cared less. Hair wasn’t a vital organ and I wouldn’t die if I lost it, unlike some other people in my grade who certainly would have.  My alopecia then took a turn for the worse in 2017 when I was 14 and so I decided to shave my head as all my hair was going to fall out anyway. However, it didn’t bother any of my friends. After that, my eyebrows fell out and then that was it.

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How to Cope

Well, 2020 sure is something, huh? 

I had the idea for this article in December after a difficult personal month with family impacted by the bushfires. After some consideration, it felt a little too personal and not relevant enough to others to share to this blog.

And then the last three months happened.

Fires, floods, pandemic, political scandals, workplaces closing down and suddenly we can’t buy toilet paper. That’s just the macro level, big-picture stuff. Underneath all this, our personal lives keep on keeping on.

For me, that start of 2020 has been a house move, the passing of a much-beloved pet, family members battling cancer, and, after over six years of Alopecia Areata Universalis, my brows are growing back. In the wrong place. Urgh.

It’s a whole lot. And we’re all feeling it. Even if you haven’t been directly impacted by fires, workplace closures, or sudden lack is tissues, we’re all feeling the instability and unpredictability. 

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Motivation, Healthy Habits and Alopecia

IMG_2285Submitted by Nellie – You can read more about Nellie’s journey with Alopecia Areata here.

When my alopecia takes something away from me, there is usually an antidote that restores my equilibrium.

Hair needing to be cut into a pixie once some regrowth comes through? A licence to purchase a new lipstick and eyeshadow colours that compliment my new look. Alopecia Areata progressing to Universalis? A new wig cut into a sharp bob in a shade of blonde that I’d never be able to upkeep with my real hair. Braving life in the outside world without a wig at all? Easier to tackle with a new dress that gives me some extra confidence in my appearance. No hair to tie up or pin back? No need to perpetually purchase hair elastics or bobby pins when they inevitably get sucked into the hair-accessory black hole. Being unresponsive to new alopecia medications that seemed to work wonders for most other alopecians? Focus on other aspects of my physical health, applying for an AAAF sponsorship to playing tennis and stay active, have fun and remember that a bald head need not stop me from doing things I enjoy.

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