2020 was a year of loss. And for me, this loss just happened to be my hair. And in this podcast debut, I am going to tell the story of my hair loss, how it happened and how it progressed and where I am today. So let’s dive right into this story. So in 2020, towards the end of the year, I started losing my hair. And at first, it was a really slow loss. It started as just a really small bald patch and all of a sudden within about two months, it started falling out really, really fast. It went from being nice and soft and smooth hair. You know, I had really thick hair. It went from that to being really brittle and coarse and just breaking and falling. And it got to the point where I was terrified every time I would take a shower because it would come out in massive clumps.
I would just gently do the shampoo and conditioner through my hair. And even as gentle as I was, every time I would rinse the shampoo and conditioner out of my hair, the hair was just falling out in massive clumps into my hand and I would have to clean out the drain every time I would take a shower. And it was truly terrifying. Yeah. I didn’t know what was wrong. I just knew I was losing lots and lots of hair. And for those of you who were right there with us in the pandemic, you know that in 2020, we were socially isolated. And so this in a way worked to my advantage when I was going through this because I was able to hide what I was going through because I wasn’t around my friends and family. They didn’t see me losing my hair.
And so I was able to keep this secret until the holidays around Christmas time. And it wasn’t until Christmas and new years, it was the first time that I let anyone besides my immediate family, like my husband and my kids, know what was going on with me. And the only reason I came clean about what was going on with me is because by Christmas when we were getting together with family for the first time in almost a year, I had lost so much hair that I could no longer cover it. I could no longer go out in public without either wearing a beanie, a hat, or a wig. And it was right before Christmas when my husband bought me my first wig, and as much as I love wigs now, they’re a lot of fun. It was really hard for me to wear a wig for the first time.
Because that first time I wore a wig, it was almost as if a symbolic act of me being defeated, as if my hair loss had beat me, and so that was really hard. So I wore a wig for the first time to our family’s Christmas. And I had intended to not tell anyone that it was a wig to just go on about my day and just get through Christmas and just keep chugging along. And that was until my mother-in-law, who I loved dearly comes up to me and gives me a big hug because she hadn’t seen me in so long and she comes up to me and she’s like, oh, I love your hair. And she immediately went to my hair and I immediately backed away. I was like it’s a wig, it’s a wig.
And so that was the first time that I told anyone about what I was going through because I had to come clean with her because I didn’t want her to feel this dry, brittle wig and go, what the heck? And so I did, I told her that it was a wig and she, of course, asked me why I was wearing a wig. And I let her know that I had started losing my hair. And of course, we had this big emotional like is everything okay? And it was really hard. But then after Christmas, I started talking to a few more friends about it and by new year’s I had lost probably 80 to 90% of my hair. And I scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist for the very first time and had my dermatology appointment to figure out what kind of hair loss I had.
And so I went to the dermatologist, had a scout biopsy done. And the day after I had my dermatology appointment, that is when I shaved my head. And it was just one of those mornings where I was having a really, really hard time with what I was going through. I no longer felt like I could be around my kids seeing me with this amount of hair loss, I didn’t want to scare them. And it was scaring me and I just felt completely defeated. And that morning, my husband, who is just so incredibly supportive, I don’t know what I do without him. He just comes up to me one morning and he just like, do you want me to help you shave your head? And I was like, oh my God, yes, please, please. And so we shaved my head and I immediately felt a sense of relief.
It was really liberating to just let go of the little bit I was hanging onto. And so that was that. I shaved my head and then a few days later I got the phone call from my dermatologist saying that I had alopecia areata. Well, fast forward another month, the alopecia areata turned into alopecia universalis. I went from having lashes and eyebrows to realizing that my brows were really thin and I had really thin lashes. And I realized that I hadn’t shaved my legs in over a month and they were still silky smooth. Now that is one part of alopecia that I will not complain about. You will never hear me complain about having constant silky smooth legs. I will never ever complain about that. But when I lost my lashes and brows, that was kind of one of those final straws for me that really sent me over the edge and sent me into another whirlwind of depression because that’s when I realized that, oh, I don’t have just patchy hair loss, I have full-on universals.
Because it’s just a crazy mental hoop that you have to go through to realize that you’ve lost literally every strand of hair that you have on your body. And so that was a big adjustment for me to realize that I didn’t have any hair and that there’s not really a cure for this. The suggested cures for it right now are oral steroids, steroid injections, steroid creams. Those are about the standard treatment. And they very rarely work unless it’s just alopecia areata, alopecia areata you can bounce back with steroid treatment, but with alopecia universalis it’s harder to bounce back from alopecia universalis once you go to that stage. And so that’s where I am right now. I have alopecia universalis and I’ve had it for over a year now and I’m just learning to live with it.
I have learned to be at peace with my nice shiny dome. I’ve learned to be at peace with wearing wigs. And it’s just really been a life-changing experience to go through this. And I started this podcast as a way to advocate for people who are going through alopecia because until I started going through this, I didn’t know what alopecia was. I didn’t even know it existed. I am one of those people that when I would see someone out bald, I would just assume that they either one, shave their head by choice, or they were going through some sort of cancer treatment and lost their hair. And so now anytime I do go out bald, I’m very well aware that a lot of people assume the worst and assume that I’m probably going through cancer treatment and I’m not. And that is one thing that I’m very thankful for.
I’m very thankful that I am an incredibly healthy bald chick. I have no other health issues. I’m just incredibly bald. So that’s where I’m at in my life right now. And I am at peace with this journey and I really want to help other people who are going through alopecia to be at peace with their journey, because I know this journey is difficult in so many ways. And I just hope that I am able to be a source of truth and light and happiness for people. And someone that you can look at and realize that you’re not alone. So that is the end of this very first podcast episode.
I hope that you have found this helpful, and thank you so much for listening, and just remember that you are beautiful hair or no hair. All right. So that’s the end of the recording of this episode. If anyone has questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I’m an open book about this. I’m truly an open book about my alopecia journey and I just want to be able to help people and to help people understand what it is. Even if you aren’t going through alopecia, I want to help you understand what alopecia is. So I’m going to end this recording now and thank you all so much for your support. I truly, truly appreciate it. Bye.