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LIVING with alopecia.

In my pre-teen years, I was intrigued by my neighbor, Dorothy’s, master braiding skills. She would sit on the front porch and do her young daughters hair in all sorts of corn-rowed and other braided styles and I wanted in.

I was excited the first time my mother agreed to let Dorothy braid my hair!

At the end of the process, I wasn’t so sure. The oh so tight braids, especially around the hairline had me looking like our Asian brethren and I believe I experienced the first headache I ever encountered in life.

Despite the pain – her styles were so fly – I went back for more on several occasions. I guess, it was sort of like they say childbirth is, women forget the pain or they would never do it again!  And even though it was less than a dozen times that Dorothy braided my very fine and fragile hair the damage was done.

Alopecia wasn’t in my, or anyone’s, vocabulary at the time.

All I knew was, I had patches, particularly at the temples, but all around my hairline, from front to back that wouldn’t grow in.  It was confirmed,  years later, after going to a trichologist, an expert in hair and scalp disorders, that the hair follicle was damaged and it would never grow back.

There are many causes for Alopecia.

The cause of my alopecia, braiding my hair too tightly, is the only one that is preventable. It may be too late for me and others like me to reverse the styling damage that was done, but we at Natural Haircare News would love for others to learn from our experiences and become educated to some of the other causes of alopecia.

Do you have alopecia? 

I received my consultation from trichologist, Dr. Kari Williams in Los Angeles.

In the following brief article at Essence.com, ‘Do you have Alopecia‘ by Tia Williams, Texas-based trichologist  Dr. Linda Amerson gives her expert point of view on causes and treatments.

If you’re seeking some relief from Alopecia, do your research, then seek out a reputable trichologist in your area to get the support you need.

Although, I would choose for things to be different, if I could, I’ve learned to live with my hairline alopecia and have learned to camouflage it well. There are worse things I could think of having besides a thin and patchy hairline and I keep it all in perspective!

To your natural hair health!

Author: Pamela Shaddock

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. Not sure of which products are right for your hair type? Visit our solution oriented natural hair products store.

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3 Responses to Alopecia and Me: Living with permanent hair loss

  1. […] alopecia is a form of gradual hair loss that is caused by hairstyles that are too tight or that constantly […]

  2. Stacey Small says:

    Hi Pam,

    I discovered last month I have alopecia AGAIN! This time it is in the front very near my hairline. Last time 7 years ago it was a spot in the back. Brought on by stress my doctor said. So once a month for a year I went to her office and had needles stuck into and around the area affected…not fun! Really don’t want to do that again but don’t know what else to do. Did you ever go through that type of treatment for your alopecia? What treatment do you do for yours?

    • Pamela says:

      Hi Stacey,

      So sorry you found yourself on that road again – that needle treatment does not sound like fun! Personally, all I ever tried were over the counter products to stimulate hair growth, for example; Organic Root Stimulater’s Fertilizing Temple balm and Nourishing Hair Fertilizer. Those helped in some areas around my hair line. What I call peach fuzz, lol! Some areas just never grew back and after my professional evaluation it was determined that the follicle was irreparably damaged. Are you having any luck with the treatment you’re doing Stacey?

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