Wigs – Where to start?

Choosing the right wig for you is a very personal decision. If you’ve never shopped for wigs before, it can also be overwhelming or stressful. But it doesn’t need to be. This guide is here to help you understand your options before you get stared.

Questions to Consider

Which wig will be best for you depends on your lifestyle and your preferences. We recommend doing some research and deciding what your priorities are before you get started. Here are some questions to think about:

  • What’s your budget? Costs of wigs can be very varied.
  • How soon do you want or need your new wig? Custom wigs are made to order, and therefore take more time to make. Some can take well over a year, so understand what to expect and what you need.
  • Do you need your hairpiece to stay on during sport or physical activity?
  • Do you want one style that you stick with for a long time, or would you rather mix and match your look?
  • Are you able to take care of the hairpiece? Kids are especially prone to bring rough on their wigs, which can shorten the lifespan of the wig. Factor this into your budgetary decisions.
  • Do you want to sleep in your wig? Sleeping in wigs can shorten their lifespan, so it’s not usually recommend. If you feel you need to sleep in a wig, be aware that it may need replacing much sooner, and factor that replacement cost into your budget.
  • Is it really hot or humid where you live? Some styles of wig breathe more than others, and shorter hair styles can feel lighter on your neck.
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Alopecia Video Resources

AAAF have a huge range of information and resources available on our website, including latest research updates, support material, and our biannual newsletter. This blog is also home to some fantastic tips, tricks and techniques to help you on your alopecia journey under our “Advice” tab.

But did you know that AAAF have a YouTube channel with hours of video resources all about living with a form of Alopecia Areata? Whether you’re looking for a super quick animated explanation of how Alopecia Areata works, a detailed makeup tutorial, or discussion of how to tell your friends about the condition, we have great video resources that can help.

We’ve collected some of the most popular videos to share with you here. What kinds of videos would you like to see us do next? let us know in the comments!

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Exercise and Alopecia

At this time of year, many people are taking up healthy habits and looking to get active. If you’ve thought about exercising more but find it difficult, you’re not alone. A 2016 study supported by AAAF found that 4 in 5 people with Alopecia Areata don’t get enough exercise. However, we know that physical activity has massive benefits for physical and mental health. The same study found that people with severe Alopecia Areata who did not get enough exercise reported higher rates of stress and were more likely to experience depression and anxiety.

Whether you’re new to Alopecia Areata or been living with it for years, getting active can feel really daunting. Some of the most common concerns are around wigs and headwear, sweat and reactions of others.  Love, Alopecia has previous articles on managing difficult or insensitive comments. Here we’ve collected some great tips for managing some of the most common barriers to getting active – and an extra special video at the end to help inspire and empower!

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22 Things I’ve Learnt from Alopecia in 22 Years

  1. It’s not your fault.
    As long as I’ve had alopecia, there have been people saying “Oh but if only you weren’t so stressed/drank this supplement/didn’t eat this food/rubbed this vegetable on your scalp every night, then you wouldn’t have alopecia”. Alopecia is individual, based on a complex gene interaction, and you didn’t bring it on yourself. It is not your fault.
  2. Surround yourself with good people.
    Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.
  3. Children will sometimes ask awkward questions about your appearance, but that’s okay, because they’re young and they don’t know better.
    Adults will sometimes ask awkward questions about your appearance, but that’s not okay, because they’re adults and they should know better.
  4. However, the huge majority of strangers really don’t care that much about what other people look like.
  5. Lubricating eye drops are a godsend. Go for preservative-free single-use droppers if you’ll be using them for a long time, as the preservatives can have some nasties.
  6. Master the thousand-yard stare.
    Learning how to navigate your way in public with your head up confidently but not checking if people are staring at you is a skill.
  7. Anyone who doesn’t want to date you because of your alopecia is 100% someone you do not want to date. Sometimes you’ve just got to let the trash take itself out.
  8. Find your role models.
    There are so many amazing, inspiring people out there absolutely #WinningAlopecia. Follow social media accounts that uplift you. Remove the ones that bring you down.
  9. Brow fashion styles change. Keep this in mind when making decisions about permanent or semi-permanent makeup options.
  10. Compliments on my hair when I’m wearing my wigs, or on my head shape when I’m going bald (why does everyone do this?) will always make me slightly uncomfortable. That’s okay.
  11. Health doesn’t mean what people think it means.
    Most people think that you start off with a “normal”, “healthy” body, and then something goes wrong. People spend years wondering “why did this happen to me?”. The truth is, there are a million or more different ways the human body can be not-normal. We are all healthy and not-healthy in different ways. Our bodies are unique and different, and things happen for all sorts of reasons and for no reason at all.
  12. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a wig. You’re not “lying” or “hiding” if wearing a wig feels right to you.
  13. There’s nothing wrong with being openly bald. Or having patches. Or having thin hair. Or wearing hats or scarves or turbans. You do you, boo.
  14. Keep a handkerchief with you at all times.
    Necessary equipment for managing teary lash-less eyes, drippy noses or the wig sweats.
  15. You can’t win them all.
    Some people might be uncomfortable about your alopecia, or say something rude, or have strong and incorrect opinions. Other people’s problems are a reflection on them, not on you.
  16. Gratitude is healing. You don’t need to be grateful for your alopecia, but reflecting one what good it has brought you and what you’ve learned can help you find peace with it.
  17.  It’s important to be positive.
    You don’t have to love your alopecia if you don’t want to. But for your long-term wellbeing, it’s important to find how to live with confidence, comfort, and in a way that serves you best.
  18. It’s okay to be upset.
    It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to feel distressed. You don’t need to feel guilty for your feelings because “it could be worse”. You’re allowed to feel what you feel. But always remember that you deserve to be happy and you will be.
  19. You can choose to move forward.
    We can’t always control how we feel. But we can control how we respond to hardship and how we act. If you need support, reach out. It’s there for you, I promise. If there is something you want to do, do it. Don’t let alopecia hold you back from the things you want. Go swimming, get on that rollercoaster, ask that person out. Pushing through our fears is hard, but living under them is worse.
  20. $8 liquid eyeliner just is as good as $80 liquid liner. You can’t change my mind.
  21. Helping others helps you.
    Volunteering and helping support others living with Alopecia Areata has been the best thing I could have done to help myself find positivity with this condition. If you’re able to, reach out to your local alopecia support organisation (AAAF, Alopecia UK, CANAAF, NAAF and many more) and ask how you can get involved. You could run a catch-up event in your town, take part in peer support, help young people tell their schools about alopecia, and more.
  22. You’re not alone. You can do this.

 

What have you learnt from your journey with Alopecia Areata? What do you wish you’d known when you were first diagnosed? Let us know in the comments!

My Alopecia Story By Sophia 

Sophia Williams Start (2)Hi, my name is Sophia. I am 12 years old and I have Alopecia. I have had Alopecia Areata since I was 8. So for 4 years now. Alopecia has affected my life a lot, with everything I do I always see people everywhere with beautiful hair and it reminds how much I want that, to show off my beautiful hair but unfortunately I don’t have that. I never realized how lucky I was to have hair before it all fell out. But now I have realized that I have a gift something that only about 1% of the world’s populations has. I’m part of that 1% and I am now proud!

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Sally’s Story

I was diagnosed with frontal fibrosing alopecia at the age of 34, just 9 weeks before I was to immigrate to Australia from the UK. This meant that every time I lost a hair, the actual follicle scarred over and it is a permanent form of hair loss.

I was advised to find a good dermatologist when I arrived in Australia, which I did. The result was an almost permanent dose of steroid to slow the process down but ultimately I knew I would lose my hair.

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